Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Red House Una De De?!?!?!? (Red House are you here?!?!?)

Sport is finished. It was crazy fun, but I can’t really condone any activity that eats up a month of school time. Nevertheless when it came time to the actual events, the two day discorama, and the two day track and field meet it was a good time (see facebook for pictures). First came the rama, my favorite event. Not all schools have a rama I learned from other volunteers, so I was pumped that my school thought that this talent showesque event was worthwhile. My house (red house) dominated. I was so proud of the kids for working so hard to come first. The format of the rama was two days (Friday and Saturday). It was supposed to start at 9:30 pm but because nothing here ever starts on time, we would get started around 10:30 and would go until all hours of the morning. The first night I toughed it out and stayed until it finished at 3 am. The second night 3 am came and went and we still had two events left and with four houses doing each event I knew there was no way that I was going to make it so I went home. They didn’t finish up until 5 in the morning! Crazy kids.

The rama was so much fun though. First everyone gets really into supporting their houses. There was so much smack talk for the weeks leading up to the event. Thank God my house killed it, otherwise I would have been eating some serious humble pie.I got all decked out for the event with everything red. Shirt, shoes, earrings, headband, nail polish, bracelets, all red. My house was by far the most energetic, yelling and jumping every time it was our turn to perform. Part of your score is how loud the audience claps for you and how many people come up and throw money at the performer, so we had that part on lock. My favorite events were single dancing for boys and single dancing for girls. The boys were awesome. Breaking and locking better than anything I had seen in any music video. The performer for green house was one of my JSS II students, Mohamed, who is 12. He seriously killed it, it was so cool to watch. The girls, oh man how do I even start describing that event. Let's just say that there was so much booty shaking and getting low that if I hadn't been exposed to this kind of dancing for 10 months it would have made me feel uncomfortable. They used muscles that I didn't even know existed. I bet that I looked ridiculous standing at the front of the stage watching in awe as they broke it down, but it was so cool I couldn't help myself. I tried to take a video but my camera doesn't do the best at night and it didn't turn out so you will have to take my word for it, these kids can dance.

After all of the lip synching, melo drama and booty shaking fun of the rama we had a week to 'train' for the sport. For me this meant chilling at my house, working in the library, writing lesson notes, cooking and just hanging out. I got a little sick this week so it was nice not to have to teach. I only went to the field once to watch the kids train but it resulted in a fight between the kids over where I would stand, with my house, or with the person who brought me, a member of green house. By this point I was a little fed up with people losing their temper when anything competitive comes around so I just left. The actual 'sport' was on Friday and Saturday starting in the afternoon and going until it got dark, around seven. Red house performed well, but we still don't know who came first because they haven't announced the results yet. We weren't able to do all of the events because there was some drama and starting late of course so it is still up in the air, which makes a lot of people mad. Oh well, small small. 

Now we are in the interim before we give exams. I'm not too optimistic about the results of these exams. I mean we haven't had school for a month and when I was doing some reviewing with the handful of kids that did show up to school this week, they have not been studying in their time off from school. I can only hope for the best though. School will close next week Thursday and then it's break time! Not that I really need a break, I've had a month off from teaching. But I am going to go to Freetown for a couple days (we have a training) and hopefully a beach. I haven't been out of Kamabai for awhile so it will be nice to take a mini vacation. I'm excited for this weekend though because it is my friend Sara's birthday so a bunch of us are meeting up in Makeni to go to lunch and have a pool party at the hotel. And of course later going out dancing. It will be nice to catch up with everyone. 

Alright I think I have thoroughly exhausted this topic. Sorry for the rambling. Love and miss you all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Discoramas and Chickens

Since I am basically on break from school I figured I would use some of my new found free time to update you all on what is going on over here. Currently, my school is in full swing of ‘sport’ effectively ending school until end of term exams. Last week and this week have been spent training for the upcoming ‘disco rama’ which will take place this Friday and Saturday. We were supposed to have classes in the morning and then training in the afternoon, but as soon as training was announced everyone left. Sure a handful of kids will show up on any given morning, but since there are not enough kids to hold class, they are just put to work building our stage for the rama. I mean I wouldn’t come to school either if I had to go tote water and stones for the stage, so I can’t really blame the kids. Also the stage for the rama isn’t completed and we’re supposed to be dancing on it in two days, so I’m curious to see how that will work out. Regardless of the ineffectiveness that sport has induced on my school, I’m still pumped to see the final product. I am a teacher in red house, so I have been attending the red house practices for the rama and the kids are spending a lot of time getting ready for this performance. I wish they would spend half as much time studying, but I mean what’s more fun, reading about the Euglena or breaking it down with your friends? I really hope that my house wins the rama, or at least does well. One of the teachers brought his friend from Makeni to train the kids, so this is serious stuff. Everything here is so competitive though, I know the kids will be really disappointed if they don’t win.
I went to Makeni yesterday to prepare for the sport which meant buying a crapton of red things, since I do not own anything of that color. But now that situation is remedied. I will be bluffing hard core with red sunglasses, jewelry, headbands, sandals and clothes. I’m going to look ridiculous and I can’t wait. I guess I will never get away from red, despite the protests from my hair which clashes wonderfully with that color. Once a Redwing, always a Redwing. 

Oh my goodness yesterday going to Makeni I had one of the most uncomfortable yet hilarious transportation situations. As you may or may not know, I am more than a little afraid of birds. Especially chickens. This stems from an incident I had with a certain parrot that escaped from its cage while I was house sitting and in my attempts to get it back in its home it bit me a few times. Not fun. Anyways, yesterday I was sitting in the back of a poda poda (a large Scooby Doo esque van) and everything was fine. Then a guy with a chicken gets in and sits behind me, with the chicken touching me. Now, being in transport with animals is not an unusual thing. I have traveled accompanied by goats, sheep and chickens aplenty, but normally they have the decency to give me my space. I had adjusted myself so the chicken wasn’t touching me when the apprentice puts a bag of three ducks right at my feet. In a poda poda it is not like I can switch my seat or put my feet up, there is just no space, so the only thing left for me to do was to ‘bear’ as they call it here, which means to just deal with it. Even though I thought I was doing an excellent job masking my discomfort after the second bump where I jerked my foot away from a duck bill, the lady next to me started cracking up and telling everyone in the poda that the white woman was afraid of the ducks. Awesome. When we got to Panlap, which is a town just a few miles outside of Makeni the dude with the chicken got out and I breathed a little easier. That is until another dude with THREE chickens got in and promptly set them down right next to the ducks. Like was there any other place in that huge van that those chickens could have gone? Did they need to be right next to me? I seriously contemplated hopping out and walking the rest of the way, but I didn’t because I have made it through a lot worse things in things in this country. If I can bathe in a community latrine I am not going to let six feathered creatures get the best of me. As soon as we reached Makeni though I was out of that poda ridiculously fast. This experience just went to show me that some things about me will never change, especially my unfounded fear of anything with a beak.

Well that about sums it up, I promise to take lots of pictures at the rama and sport and to eventually get them up online so you all can see. Hopefully, Mighty Red House will be victorious!