Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birthday Post

Today is my birthday. I am 25. It seems extremely weird to be having my Birthday in Africa. Also seems weird to be 25! I just met Heather (LIFE) and Tim (PCVL) in town. We are going to do a few things in town (like get a free ice cream for my birthday from the boy at the ice cream stand!). It is banana soft serve, which sounds disgusting, but is actually quite delicious- me and Heather get some every time we come to town! Then, after town, Heather and Tim are coming back to my place and spending the night at my house in the village. I’m not sure if my family is planning anything for my Birthday- except my bataata promised he would kill a chicken and have one of the wives cook it for us. But hopefully, my sister also said maybe there will be some music and dancing…we’ll see. On Sunday morning, I want to take my friends to the school, where some games will be going on, so I can introduce them to some of the teachers and pupils. Then, they will leave Sunday afternoon, and Tim will go to visit/spend the night at Heather’s place. Also, I’m sure at some point I will have a bucket of water poured on me, as that is their Birthday tradition here (I think to symbolize birth, but I’m not entirely sure).

So, things are going good here. I’ve been super busy. It is hard to find time now to do just the little things like sweeping or doing dishes or even bathing! It is winter, so daylight hours are short (and almost entirely spent at school). I am getting more used to eating lunch late- or not eating lunch at all. If there is a meeting scheduled for that day, you can almost count on missing lunch. That’s just the way it goes here. Luckily, they usually feel some sympathy for the “Mukuwa” and at least give me some biscuits (cookies) to snack on. I spend my days at schools observing teachers and taking notes on what I might work on to fix/change at the schools. I’ve become very familiar and comfortable with most of the teachers at the Zonal school where I spend most of my time. They are getting to know me too- how I will speak my mind, and not let them off the hook for being late or missing their classes lol. I’m still working on traveling to and getting to know the other schools and the teachers there. One day a week I am supposed to work in the community, but this time is very open and unstructured, so it is difficult on these days to know exactly what to do. But, I am slowly meeting some people in the community that I might eventually work on some projects with. We held my “community agreement” meeting earlier this week, where representatives from each of the schools and PTA’s came. I reviewed the PC and RED project goals with them and then went through the contract that we were to sign. It was a very good and productive meeting :-)
Well, I am tired of writing and want to try to put some pictures on. So, hope everyone and everything is well at home. Thank you for packages and letters!

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