08 Feb 09 Random Thoughts

Not conscience of the time
Think how much the time runs our lives in America. Dinner time, news time, work time, time for my favorite show, time for bed, time to get up, drive time, lunch time, time to go …. You name it we have a time for it in America. And boy you better be there ON TIME! We all must have our watches. Every room you go into has a clock or some device that shows the time.

Now imagine hardly any one owns a watch. Even in the classroom there are no clocks. People are not worried what time it is. They are not thinking about the next thing they have to do but about the thing they are doing right now. I wasn’t conscience of the time is a familiar phrase. People are almost never on time for anything.

How can we blend the two? Think about the best times you have ever had? Didn’t time fly? Did you loose all worry about what the next thing was? In America we need to learn to appreciate the now. Appreciate what is with us and not what is coming in the future. In Africa they need to learn to come to meetings or classes on time and keep that freedom for the tyranny of time in all else.

Weird African Disease
My belly and breaswts began to itch this week. At first I thought it was heat rash but that goes away when the area cools. Then I wondered if it was cat scratch fever but no fever. So yes I began to worry I was getting some weird African disease. I chastized myself. You should have listened better when Cynthia, the PCMO, talked about all those diseases. You should have kept the volumes of paper the PCMO gave you. on and on.

I decided to wait a couple of days before I called the PCMO.

Tonight I was laying in bed in my undies. I was doing a Kukuro puzzle. My belly and breasts started itching. When I scratched I also ran into eraser dust, right where I was itching. Eureeka! I bought erasers from the market three days ago when this itching began! No weird African disease just a small reaction to something in the eraser. Feeling warm or itching what was better? So sadly I had to put something over me.

Freedom from religion
This week we met with the student religious leaders. I was thinking about the difference in approach to religion and state in America and Ghana. Both America and Ghana have religious freedom as part of their constitutions. Ghana and America forbid the government to set up a state religion but they have put those principles in to practice in very different ways.

Current American culture interprets the separation of church and state as no religion at state functions or in state institutions. So no prayer in the classroom lead by the teacher. No religious symbols in or near state buildings, such as the ten commandments in a courtroom. I think of it as freedom FROM all religions.

Ghana has interpreted these principles to mean equal time for all religions. At school at Christian opens Monday Assembly with prayer and a Muslim closes. At public functions libations are poured to the local gods as well as the prayers from Christians and Muslims. I think of this as freedom FOR all religions.

Living outside
As the weather heats up I am spending more time outside. Even though my experiences over the past 8 months have shown me that it is cooler outside in the shade than in my house, it is hard for my brain to believe it.
Today I am sitting on my stoop in the shade. A cool breeze is blowing . Every time I need something inside a mass of hot air hits me. It is at least 10 degrees hotter probably more. As well as writing outside I ate breakfast, did my morning puzzle and the wash. I have found it’s easier to visit with my small army outside too. When I don’t want to visit anymore I can just go inside. Before I had to shoo them all out!

Blowing hot air
No I am not confessing that the nature of this blog! Instead I am confessing the I have learned that hot air rises! One very hot evening I had the fan on. The air was only moving it was not cooler ataaawllll! I had to get up to pee and opened my outside door to let the cat in. Oh the air was so much cooler out there. I stood for a moment enjoying the cool. Then I remembered cool air falls and hot air rises. I went back and turned off my fan. Eh haaa I could feel cool air falling from the windows. Lovely.

Free range?
In Sandema U.E.R. Ghana our animals are truly free range. Last week at orientation for new staff 6 guinea fowl walked into the entertainment hall where we were meeting. It was as natural as anything. We just laughed a bit. They are quiet noisy and echoed in the big empty hall. A sow and her piglets have made a mud hole around a tree near the bore hole. On my way to school a goat gave birth to her two babies under a tree near the path. In fact they are all in the yard right now. The two babies are playing king of the hill on a rock.

There are no fences. The animals come home at night because they know they will be fed. They also have shelter from the rain at home. People will keep the pigs penned when there are crops because the pigs really damage crops.

As Dizzy would say when she thinks I won’t understand something “€œYou don’t know ___”€ So I say “€œWe don’t know free range in America.”€

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