Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Do you ever have one of those moments where you think your heart feels too big to stay in your chest? When you suddenly just feel more than you can put words to; when you feel like crying or laughing because your throat gets tight and your eyes prickle? Today was one of those days~~I showed up to teach today and our kids were taking exams….leaving me with an hour and a half to wander the school.
I wandered into the kindergarten class and found Lynley teaching a lesson about germs. Watching was so fun, all the little faces and their wiggling in their seats. One little one raised his hand to give an answer and it just hit me. Just a rush of feelings. Not my first “moment” since I’ve been here, but another cute one. I got to help Lynley teach them “Do As I’m Doing,” which pretty much means me and Lynley sang a duet while a class of little ones mimed our motions as best they could. Haha…
Next, I wandered over to the older kids class to watch them dance. Lots of Michael Jackson impersonators. Way to go Michael…what a legacy! Then…..I’m really not sure what made me think it would be a good idea….. but I DARED to wander outside and pull out of my bag a sheet of stickers. Bedlam, pure bedlam. I was showered in “Madam, please. Madam, I want one.” Seriously, I was swarmed with children. It was all I could do to keep upright. And at one point my skirt was literally being pulled from my body. Pretty sure I flashed some children…not my fault. And the pipe cleaners, well, I handed out 4 and had to put them away. “Too crazy!” was all I told them. “It’s too crazy!” Too bad, but they can be vicious:)
We rode back to the hostel and had a class on parasites. It is so gross how many things can infect people here from poor hygiene and sanitation. One of our maids actually is infected with something they call the "fiery serpent." It enters the body through drinking contaminated water, grows about the length of your leg, then tries to exit the body right above the ankle, the whole time making your leg "burn." It can take months to mature, then up to two months to exit the body. They tie a stick to the ankle, wrap the head of the worm around the stick a few times, then everyday for a month make one turn of the stick to slowly pull it out without breaking it. Just awful. I'm learning lots of crazy things here; things that make me (a germ-a-phobe) even more phobic. Anyway...
We've got a big day planed for tomorrow. The kids have some drumming and dancing for us to learn, and we have "field day" activities. With 350+ kids, this could be "too crazy!" Then we head back to the girl-guides to teach lessons requested by their leader as well as to play some games. Granted, this is all in the works. Things have a great deal of ebb and flow when it comes to plans. Seriously, everyday is a surprise on some level. We just go with it, since the whole purpose of our time here is to help and teach what the people really feel they need.
It has been a crazy feeling knowing I am on the tail end of my experience here. I have waited a life-time to come to Africa and this experience has been so much more than I could have planned. As hard as it has sometimes been for me to accept, I have to admit that the Lord's plan for my life is far better than my own. I "envisioned" myself somewhere else entirely at this point in my life/education. But you know what? This path just worked out pretty great for me so far, so I think I'll just keep rollin' with this one for the time being. His guiding hand has directed my wanderings so lovingly through the years, I trust it can only continue~
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Next, we took a tour through the village and spent some more time with the village kids. We then took dibs on which rooms we dared to sleep in. Luckily, our room had two beds and two mosquito nets!!!!! We managed to fit 5 of us in those two beds.
Cocoa Pod...we got to try the seeds. Yuck
And to top it off, the whole rock wall to the left was covered in bats. We wanted so bad to wake them up so we all screamed together…nothing. After a few tries our guide, taking pity on us, took a big board and slammed it against the dock. That did it! All the bats woke up and the sky was dotted with black bats. Creepy but so fun!
Dinner in the village was better than expected. We went to this little thatched roof kitchen and had a huge mound of rice with some bean sauce and pineapple. I was not expecting such luck. Then we were invited to culture night. Gathering around a fire, we were told stories by the blind village storyteller. He spoke in his dialect, then our young guide interpreted for us. Every story was followed by him saying, “The first moral of this story is….The second moral of this story is….” Kind of funny. The little children were then asked to do a dance for us around the fire. So cute. Next…drums. The fire was put out and anyone who wanted was asked to join in dancing around the now fireless fire pit. Gladys, who was sitting on my lap, pulled me up off my chair and we danced together. For the record, I do NOT move like an African. Quite regrettable really. But there is just something in their genes. There was one mama who had her baby on her back fast asleep but she was just dancing up a storm. Maybe that’s how they learn to dance…they’ve literally been doing it since birth.
Jordyn, Carlie, Ashley, Sarah and I then went back to our room, played a mad game of UNO, took sleeping pills and called it a night. It was not nearly as terrifying as I thought. Only a few spiders, mostly relegated to the bathroom. However, if it weren't for the mosquito net I don’t think I would have slept at all.
On the ride home we went on a little boat ride. Our planned hike got totally rained out so we drove to our first rest stop and decided to have a little fun. It was kind of humorous actually because we all looked so dead. We were crashed on the bus, would wake up for the rest stops, then crash again. Any chance we get though to take photos and see Africa we take it.Glad we did. We saw lots of water front little homes with everyone out doing their wash, taking baths, and fishing. Just a regular day for them that we happen to catch a glimpse of.
It was by far the most rural of our African adventures. It of course made me anxious and I did not like being dirty, but I made good memories!