Thursday, March 10, 2011
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
Getting back from safari has been a bit tough, mainly because of the heat. My entire body is covered in the worst heat rash imaginable. My face was all swollen, my body itches like crazy non-stop, and there is nothing to do. It has been consistently 110 and it doesn’t get much cooler at night. I have started sleeping outside though, but that is only minimally better. So all of you enjoy your air conditioners. I guess that’s what I get for not having electricity. I have discovered a way to keep my drinking water below boiling though! Somebody took an old jug of motor oil and cleaned it out real good and made a rattan type cover for it so if you keep that kinda wet, the water stays cooler. The only problem is that everyone else knows I have it so they come to drink my water. But I guess that’s the culture here, whatever you have, you have to share.
Other than that, things have been pretty good. I have restarted playing soccer with the girls. We play almost every night. I have also been continuing to meet with the primary school girls. About 15 of them pile into my house which it is way too small and too hot for, but we do it anyways. We talked about self-confidence, the importance of women, and made friendship bracelets.
Students have figured out that I am decent at math, so they have started bringing me their homework to help them with. I always welcome students who are willing to learn, as many of them come for help with English, but it is often disheartening. Kids who are in 4eme which is about 8th grade have a lot of trouble understanding what fractions are. Is this normal??? With the way the system here works, most kids just memorize words and formulas without understanding what they are memorizing so in a subject such as math where you build off of previously learned items, it becomes increasingly more difficult to understand. I still try though. I try to explain through pictures, money, anything I can think of, but it makes me wonder how they really learn. It’s not any easier when the teachers tell the kids to go home and figure it out without explaining. How are you supposed to do that without textbooks or resources such as computers?
I had spoken with the director of the school to get the kids to plant a garden so they built the fence to keep out the goats and stuff. Now I have to take the seeds, which I have broccoli (doubt that will work), lettuce, okra, turnips, radish, carrots, tons of stuff. I’m trying to figure out the best way so that the kids actually get to use the seeds and so that director doesn’t take them and say he misplaced them so he can plant himself a nice little garden. I think I might just tell them to come get me when they are ready to plant.
My third cat is no longer. He lasted a good while though and he took care of my mouse problem. He got hit by a truck going by on the highway that is directly in front of my house and the neighbors were so lucky as to find him so they could eat him. That was a sad day. I’m just not meant to have pets here.
I just had a little terrace built in front of my house to give myself a good place to hang my mosquito net for sleeping outside. I remember when I used to have a mosquito net on my bed when I was little because it made me feel like a princess or something like that. Now, I actually need one. Funny how things change.
It’s presidential election time here so people are busy campaigning. Two nights ago, presidential hopeful Issa Salifou came to my village around 10:30 at night and passed out money and danced and then left. That is the essence of a good campaign. That or passing out fliers with the name and picture of the hopeful. And by passing out, I mean a car driving by playing loud music and throwing the fliers out to whoever wants them. They were supposed to vote on the 6th, but of course it got delayed so it is now scheduled for the 13th. We’ll see if that actually happens. So that’s about it for now, it’s the dry season so the other day I witnessed a dust tornado. Kinda cool. But that also means the wells will dry up soon so getting water will be more difficult.