Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just Chillin'

The past two days have been pretty relaxed. We aren't teaching in the school this week because the kids are all in review and then taking their exams. We are done with the Manya Kroba area. We taught the Ga tribe yesterday and they were by far the most well informed group. They knew the answers so well that we are going back tomorrow to train them to be educators themselves. Ironically, the community where they live has seen a 104% increase of adults with AIDS from last year to this year even though they know all about infection and transmission. Clearly, knowledge is only valuable if used.
The rest of our time has been used however we want. Yeah! Two of my roommates got their hair braided today and it's pretty wild. And as I sit writing this post there are three girls gathered around my friend Desiree combing out the dreads she has had in for over a year. Party!
We have ventured out to two markets recently to find more African souvenirs. So far, I think I'll be bringing home only a mere 10 lbs. or so of jewelry. I just can't help it. I like big, chunky, colorful things on my wrists and this is the place to get them! You have to seriously barter though. One thing I got today...the man started out saying he wanted 180 cedi. I finally got it for 23. Yeah...it's outrageous. They see a blonde American girl and think I can afford the world. Crazy~

Saw Harry Potter tonight after we once again went to our favorite restaurant, Rhapsody. It is one of the nicest places with great food. We're practically regulars now! The theater was surprisingly huge, and not surprisingly...empty. I had to prep a few of the girls on the plot. Lynley kept calling Snape "Snipe" and Jon was saying "Skape". Haha.

And we saw the book cover here, which looks completely different. I had heard there were varying covers for different countries and it was fun to see the African one.

It has been nice and necessary to have some down time. I do not know how I get so tired because it seems like our schedule is not really that hectic. But somehow it just all gets to you. It is impossible NOT to think and feel a lot here all the time. I keep feeling like I'm getting used to my surroundings, but then something will hit me and I remember all over again where I am, why I am here, and who I am. Some things are just so hard I will never get over them. All the people, all the poverty, all the working...you just can't comprehend it till it's forced under your nose. When we arrived at the Mud Huts the other day I had to fight back tears. It was not the time or place to cry. I feel so much, but do not feel it would be appropriate to show all those feelings in front of the people.
Reading about it in a textbook or a newspaper with a detached sense of pity is not the same. Words can't affect the heart the way a child's hand holding your hand does when they walk you through their village; the way a bumpy car ride through the ghettos does; the way the smells of foul gutter sewage and vending smoke does; or the way tired eyes looking out of a tired face int0 your eyes does. As hard as it feels to see, I'm very blessed to learn all that I am. The world is so much bigger than I ever knew.

1 comment:

  1. Chunky bracelets around your wrists will be one of the best reminders of everything you're feeling right now. I say you're a smart one! Everyone else will see them as Anne Marie's African bracelets and you'll look at them and think "mud huts", "little hands", "Great Change", "happy people".

    By the way, I read an interesting article about how homophobia fuels the African AIDS epidemic. I'll have to E-mail you about it. I was so curious to know if your curriculum includes that unpleasant but misunderstood topic.