First day of school 15 September 2009

Today was the first day of school for my small girl. She came to the house before 6:00 am, very eager to start the school year. I warmed up TZ (tee zed) and wata stew for her while she fetched water and swept. As she came to the house with the last bucket of water the rain let loose. Oh she was so disappointed. As I have mentioned before when it rains almost everything stops here in Sandema. My neighbors don’t like to go out in the rain. So there would be no school at least until the rain let up. I was also not having school that day because although the student’s had reported there were no classes. Students were cleaning the campus.

Cantuace at her TZ then Tenni, Thomas and her brother, Samuel came into the house. I was enjoying my morning tea, listening to the BBC and doing Kakuro. There was a small rumble of voices in the kitchen. It got louder and louder and suddenly all the kids were screaming. They were all talking in the local language and I couldn’t understand any of it.  I had no idea who started it or what the fight was about because they were talking much too fast and loud for me to ‘hear’ it. I am sure the underlaying reason was everyone’s disappointment about school being postponed by the ran but I wasn’t in the mood for psychoanaylsis I just wanted my peaceful morning back. I tossed them all out of my house.

Cantuace was in the house for a few minutes when they came and started screaming outside the door. When I went out to shoo them away Cantuace followed screaming herself. I said to myself “Forget this” and went back inside. In about 5 minutes Cantuace was still outside but alone now. She was wailing like she had lost her mother. I went out to try to comfort her and bring her in the house. She went to the back room and calmed herself down.

I think three things contributed to the fight. As I said earlier everyone was probably disappointed that they couldn’t go to school. The second is that all those adolescent hormones can flare up at any time. And last like any brother and sister Samuel and Contuace know how to push each other’s buttons. I was just glad it was over.

After finishing my tea and the puzzle I decided to make spagetti sauce. A rainy day is just right for simmering the sauce to perfection.  I started grinding the ingredients, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. The grinding bowl is good therapy. The meditative feeling I get when grinding veggies remindes me of how it use to feel to knead bread. I also reserved some tomatoes and onions to dice and add to the sauce. I had beef and pepperoni. Jack thanks for the pepperoni. I put the beef in a pot on the stove with some spices and a small bit of water. Portia and Rofina call this steaming the meat. It does wonders to tenderize tough beef. After the meat was steamed I added the puried veggies to the pot. Chopped the remaining tomatoes and onions and added them as well.  (I would give my left arm for some fresh celery oh how I miss it)

While the sauce was simmering my other two girls came, Portia and Rofina. We had tea which in Ghana is a hot drink and some bread with butter, groundnut paste or jam. We talked and caught up. I shared my photos from Burkina with them but all too soon they had to go.

The rain had finally stopped. Tenni and Cantuace gathered their school things and headed off about 11:00 am. At last the house to myself.
Last night Bernard, Lenore’s husband, called. He wanted some of my Burkina blog entries for the newsletter he and Lenore send out. I had not yet rewritten them from my blog notebook so today I was planning to do that. As the sauce simmered I sat down with my computer and began the rewrites. I usually write my blog long hand in a notebook then transfer it to computer for the initial rewrite. The kids here say that’s how “my generation” does things because we are not comfortable editing on the computer. Oh how that irks me! I was using computers before some of those young wipersnappers were born! What I didn’t know is how much rewriting involves playing solitaire! Its such a good way to ‘think’. With short stops to check on the sauce and a longer one to eat a small lunch I managed to  finish the three entries by 3:30.

-vc

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