11 Oct 2008 Simple Day

Almost before I woke up today I was thinking of breakfast. I had PawPaw (papaya) sauce and eggs all I needed was fresh bread from Perpetua’s bakery and I was ready to go with French Toast. So I got up quickly. No lounging in bed listening to BBC this morning.  I went out to get the bread and Madua said to wait small small and it would be done. Lucky for me I know what wait small small means.So I decided not to wait.

Dizzy came by and I asked if she wanted to cook breakfast with me. I told her I was having eggs. She came and helped. I made up a name for the eggs we were cooking. I told her they were Christmas eggs because we put red tomatos and green peppers in them. I was more excited about the name than she was.Maybe that’s good that Christmas isn’t such a huge deal for her.  I also fried up the rest of the tomato. A left over from when I didn’t have a fridge to store the cut tomato in.

I had eggs,  tomato and tea. Dizzy had milo and small small eggs. She would have her breakfast later at her house. When we finished I had to bathe and get ready to go to town with the Presby students. It’s Presbyterian but they call it Presby here.

Joseph,another teacher, was going to go in with us, I went to the dining hall about 8:30 am and no student was in sight. So I sat on a bench under a tree. There was a cool breeze and i could watch the kitchen staff work. One woman was winnowing the corn. She used two calabashes and lifted one high above her head and poured the corn into the other. The other was in a big metal bowl. I think in case the corn missed. As she poured the corn i could see the chaft blowing away. We were supposed to be at the other High School at 9:00 am but I am getting use to African time and always enjoy a chance to watch whatever is happening around me.

Joseph came about 8:45 am and some kids started showing up. The bus arrived around 9:30 am. And off we went. Joseph was a great tour guide. He pointed out all the places of interest. He said the Good Family Guest House is very good, running water and all. I even saw a satelite dish on the roof. (hint hint)  I also learned three new buili phrases.

We arrived at the school. We greeted the ministers and one of the other teachers then we boogied out of there. With extra classes afternoons and evenings we teachers don’t have much time to prepare lessons during the week so we both wanted to get back to do some work. But as we drove through town I asked the bus driver to stop at Good Family Grocer. Good Family is quite a local conglomerate in Sandema. Guest house and grocer. Jospeh thinks they are making another guest house as well. Anyway I picked a few things at the grocer and we headed home.

I prepared for next week for the next couple of hours until my stomach started grumbling. Then I made cabbage, tomato and green pepper salad with vinegar and mayo dressing. I realized I never got my bread so I went out to the bakery and bought a fresh loaf of sugar bread. I ate a thick slice of that with my salad and a cup of water. Cold water from my refridgerator.

The girls came to fill my water barrels while I was eating.

After lunch Dizzy and I played outside for a while. She had blown up an empty water sachet and made a balloon. We tossed that around. Then I saw her mom and asked when they wanted me to set up their new computer. Mr. won a best teacher award and a new computer was one of the prizes. A gas range with four burners and an oven was another prize. He hadn’t gotten a table for it so that would wait. Then I asked Perpetua if she would let me learn how to pluck the ground nuts off the plants. They had pulled them all up today and were going to pluck them this weekend. She said she would call me.

So Dizzy and I headed off to see the work on the new boys dormatory. On the way we stopped in the fields and talked to her dad.  He showed me how to harvest the ground nuts. It’s best after a rain because the ground is soft and then they come out easier. You just grab the plant and tug gently and the nuts and roots come out. He is worried about the harvest this year. the goats got into the ground nuts too much and the weeds were overgrown because of so much rain. When he pulled up some plants the ground nuts even looked scarce and small to me a novice.

We moved on to the construction site. Of course this is a slow process with watching butterflies and picking flowers and talking about the boogy man in the glen of trees. I can’t remember her name for the boogyman but I will report that later.  However much progress had been made on the dorm. The cement was in all the trenches and many cement blocks had been laid so I could see them above the trenches.

Then back to work for me and to play with someone else for Dizzy. I finished my prep for the week and took a short nap. When I woke up it was very cool. Then I heard a very loud crash. The rain was coming. And did it come. My favorite kind of rain. Well I gave myself a treat and worked on some puzzles and listened to BBC while it rained.

After the rain was over Madua came by on a bike and said I should try to ride. I did. First time wimping out at a mud puddle. But the second time I road right through and on down the lane. It felt pretty good to be on it. I think I’m gonna have to get me one. Madua also tried a couple of times. After that harrowing experience I needed a drink. One Sprite please Carl!.

It was still overcast and cool so Dizzy and I drank my Sprite outside. Then I went back in to listen to BBC some more.

At suppertime the cat, Shadow is her name, came to my door. I gave her some veggie stew. I came in and put the rest of the veggie stew on the stove. She was at the door crying so I opened the door and in she came. Because she was spooked the last time I shut the door I propped it open and she stayed in. She wanted to be petted and then she wandered around my house. Cats are curious.I gave her some more soup and she ate it all. The door was still open but I was worried about bugs so when she was in the kitchen I shut the door. When she came in the livingroom she did not freak that the door was closed. The last time she lept up to the screen and yowled.

Then I got so cool that I had to put on my one and  only sweatshirt. I must of worn it for 45 minutes.

Now I am settled in bed. My stomach is full. The kitchen is clean. The cat is out. I am ready for a good book.

My days are simple here. I walk, I cook, I eat, I bathe,I teach, I play, I read, I photograph…  I am allowing myself to be in the moment. I am learning to relax when I have to wait and to enjoy the things around me.  And to take opportunities to get to know the people around me. All is well.

-vc

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