Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kamabai Adventures

Hello all! Sorry to not be better about updating this thing. I'm going to try to start coming up to the Catholic mission once every two weeks to access internet, so hopefully I will be able to keep you all updated more frequently. A few weeks ago I discovered the Catholic Mission here and it is seriously like a little oasis. It has internet, running water, cold drinks (like with ice) and delicious food. I am so lucky to have it so close to me, but I'm a little weary of coming here too often, so I am going to limit it to twice a month because I really do love being in the village.

Anyways, school was supposed to start on Monday, but students haven't really started coming yet, so hopefully tomorrow they will come and we can start classes. Since there wasn't much teaching to do I decided to start the project of organizing our school library. I'm actually really lucky that my school has a lot of resources and support from the government. (The president's mother went to my school). The library has a ton of really great books but no one uses them. It's incredibly dirty, the first step of my work is taking all of the books off of the shelves, wiping the shelves and the books and then putting them back. Also sweeping and  general cleaning, which has uncovered a few creatures that had made their home in the abandoned space, awesome. This is 'big work' as all of the people who come in to see me tell me, but I think it will be so great when it is done. I'm looking forward to getting everything set up, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by the largeness of the project. Any help with library organization would be much appreciated, I have no idea what I'm doing hehe.

It's really hard to articulate what I'm experiencing here when I write once a month, I will have to start doing rough drafts of blog posts so that you can get a better picture of what my every day life is.

I guess I can talk about all of the kids that I have kind of adopted. There are about eight kids that live around me and are constantly hanging out on my porch. They are awesome little humans. They work incredibly hard, the kids are the first ones called on for any type of domestic work like fetching water, cooking, cleaning etc. They have such great attitudes for the most part and any little luxury makes them so happy. I have loved sharing with them my kool aid, cookies, the strange food I cook and the abundance of food that people bring me. When I came back from the mission the first time, the priest sent me home with a water bottle that was frozen. I gave it to the kids, we hacked it up with knife and they ran to give it to their families. There was still some ice left and as it melted they patiently waited their turn to get some cold water and exclaimed at its coldness every time they took a drink. I tried to explain to them in my broken Krio about ice changing to water as the temperature increases, and I actually think they understood at least a little of it. Later on in the day the kids showed up with bananas, ground nuts (peanuts) and oranges for me as a way of saying thank you. I'm trying to teach them not to beg for things, to say thank you when I give them something and to share. They are getting it and always reminding each other to say 'tenki' and to not be greedy. Small small as they say here.

This last week my neighbour was in the hospital (she is better now and at home), but during the week I was the adult that the kids came to. It was interesting to be put in that position, but now after the motherly duties of holding Arnold after he fell down and breaking up a fight between Bassie and another kid,they all really feel like my family. Speaking of family, my host brother came to visit me in Kamabai. I haven't seen him for a month and it was so nice to see him and introduce him to my new family here. It was really funny how often he had to explain how he was my brother but black while I am white. He was the first person that I officially cooked African food for on my coal pot. It was a bit nerve wracking but I think I did okay, he ate it at least. I made 'stew' which is tomato paste, peanut oil, onions, eggplant, and other random things. Then you put that over rice, of course because this is Salone and everything has to have rice. It was good but lacking in some of the traditional Salone ingredients, mainly fish, msg, and hot peppers. But there has to be some compromise :)

Okay, I think that's all I have to say. If there are any questions that you have just face book me, I'm really going to try and be better about checking it now that I have free access to internet. Love and miss you all!