Sunday 13 June 08

Today was a slow day, thank goodness. Practicum finished Friday so no lesson plans to make, no homework to correct. So I stayed home most of the day. The morning started about 6:15 am when i did two buckets full of laundry. I washed my sheet and pillow cases. I am so happy I have my own pillow here from The States. The pillows here feel like they have lumps of stuff in them and cannot be remotely described as soft. I sleep on a piece of foam. That is covered by a heavy blanket then the blanket is covered by a flat sheet. I sleep on top of that with my wonderful, marvelous, magical, all purpose two yard in case my feet get cold. They have maybe half a dozen times and only twice have I slept with socks on. So you gotta know it’s hot here. I soaked all of my clothes overnight. That really helps get them clean. I washed and rinsed them then put my linens in the bucket to soak while I hung out the other clothes. Washed my linens and a few throw rugs and towels. Got them on the line and it started to rain! But luckily for me it only sprinkled for about 10 minutes. Most of the clothes dried by 10;30 with some of the heavier ones drying later in the afternoon. I put the blanket on the line as well to air out. I ate a light breakfast of boiled egg, bananas and an orange. I had some hot tea. I still want it no matter how warm it is in the morning. I took my malaria pill with a full glass of water. It must be taken with food and water. Then I washed my dishes and sat and enjoyed the sun for a few minutes. I was just sitting on a stool in the courtyard, my eyes closed. One of the childred said ”Auntie Vic’ what are you doing? “ just enjoying the sun. I took a bucket bath. It’s a wonderful feeling to squeeze cold water from a wash cloth and feel a chill when it’s already 86 degrees out at 7:30 am. After my bath I worked on Buli, my language. I tried writing some questions and answer that are common when you are just meeting some one. Fu yoi li buaa? (What is your name?) Mi yoi li Vicky. (My name is Vicky), My new favorite phrase is MAAAA MU. It is yelled and it means help me. I also like Taw, ti li man zigi chaab, That means we will meet again. This language is more tonal than twi. the word for sing means sing when said in a high tone and song when said in a low tone. hopefully context will help my listeners. After an hour i wanted to go out and enjoy the weather so I pulled a chair out and got a wooden stool. I sat in the courtyard in the shade and continued my language review. The most popular kind of chair here are placstic lawn chairs. They clean easily and don’t mold or mildew. As I was sitting in the courtyard my sister, Portia, brought three of her friends to meet me. I enjoyed meeting them all. Last night I brought my three sisters (yes I know I had two before but families here are very fluid. I am not really sure if Portia is a sister or cousin) to a dance party for one of the other PCTs, Megan. It was Megan’s birthday. I introduced them to my friends so it felt nice when Portia reciprocated. It got hot quickly so in about ½ an hour I returned to the house. I studied about another 45 minutes. The children had been peeking in under the door curtain. (Door curtains help keep out bugs in liu of a screen door. ) And asking for me so I decided to go outside with them for a bit. They play outside all day but you will see them playing in the shade. We played rock paper scissors. I learned to count to three in twi. They made more pictures and letters with an elastic. And they read me an English ABC book and told me the twi words for each of the pictures. They are getting more use to me. Today a couple of them felt comfortable enough to touch my skin. They are very curious to know how my white skin feels. And the baby who is afraid of me sat within 3 feet of me today. The kids brighten my day. While they were reading to me the air began to smell as if the baby made a mess in her diaper. I looked at her but she seemed unfazed. Then one boy pointed to another and said “You spoiled the air!” I laughed and laughed. I took my laundry in and got out my computer to copy some of my earlier blog entries that I had written in a note book. That kept me busy until lunch. At lunch I had potatoes! YEAH!!! Irene skinned them then fried them whole. She served them with beans. The beans were not spicy and the potatoes were much sweeter than the ones at home. They tasted like sweet potatoes but were white. Potatoes definitely have more flavor than the white yams that I have eaten here. The white yams just taste like a mouthful of starch. After lunch I took a nap. It’s amazing how much a small breeze can cool me off. There was the littlest breeze coming through my window and it was just enough to cool me down so i could nap. It’s nice to nap in the heat of the day. Otherwise if I exert myself even a little I get quite sweaty! After my nap Sara called and she and Megan came over for a visit. Sara had a cold and just wanted company. Megan brought her computer for us to watch a movie but the sound was not loud enough. bummer John Cusack in Say Anything. Megan brought a coconut. Last week Sara brought one and it was not ripe enough to eat. Today we asked my sister, Esther, to chop it open for us. She is one powerful woman. She held the coconut in one hand and hacked the top off with a machette in the other hand. Both Megan and I were awed. But alas, we offered her a drink of the milk and promised some meat but when she drank the milk it was spoiled. Hopefully we will get a coconut that is “just right” next weekend! We finally got a nice long rain. My laundry was in so I didn’t care. Megan and Sara left. Then Agatha, my language teacher, came by and we planned our lesson for tomorrow. I showed off my homework to her. I played some solitaire. I ate a very light dinner of bananas and groundnut paste. I took a bucket bath. Set my other bra to soak in the remaining water and some laundry soap. I will rinse it and hang it out to dry tomorrow. Then grabbed my computer to write this post. Some PCTs and trainers went to a waterfall today but I really needed a day to recoup and have no planned activities. Now that training is over we usually have just 4 hours of lessons. Language and subject specific, ICT for me. I hope to spend more time in the village. it would be nice to get to know the people I have been greeting. Today Megan, Sara and I talked about the value of getting to know someone even if you may never see them again. I mentioned it in a previous post so I won’t ramble but it was nice to know others feel the same way. I don’t think I have mentioned how noisy Africa is. I feel like the Grinch, Oh the noise Oh the noise oh the Noise Noise Noise Noise. Cocks crowing from about 3:30 am. 400 am the Muslim call to prayer. Then 45 mins later the close of prayer. Radios playing loudly at all hours of the night. The spot or bar is close to my house. And funerals can go all night. Friday night there was a funeral and it lasted until dawn. Since the funeral was at the spot near my house even the earplugs did not drown out all the noise. But tonight, there is a hum of people quietly talking, a TV is quietly on in the room next door, some doors opening and closing in the distance and I can hear the frogs peeping. It will be a good night to sleep.

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