Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Are you American? I love you."

Real question I got the other day

I have lucked out and have electricity at my site. Most of the time. It goes out randomly. Which is not a real problem for me, I usually just use it as my excuse to go to bed (it makes it sound better than saying "I went to bed at 8:00 because I'm tired"). It really worries my family, I live on their compound, about what I do when it goes out. They also worry about what I do for water, cooking, traveling, washing, living, etc. I'm pretty sure they wake up each morning surprised I survived the night. This often leads to them requesting (demanding) that they do stuff for me. I've tried to let them know I'm pretty self-reliant and have thus far been able to survive on my own, they usually just stare at me and start talking in dhluo really fast to each other (which means they don't want me to know what they are talking about.).

Food continues to be an issue with me. My whole day pretty much revolves around it. Thinking about it, making it and/or eating it. I even dream of food. Some people get really vivid nightmares from mephlaquin. I dream of food and peace corps. On a positive note, I have about 10 pounds of groundnuts (peanuts) that different mama's have given me.

I helped set up my first VSLA (Village Savings and Loan) today. It's pretty much a group that gets together and pays shares each meeting (social fund, development fund, shares), money is then loaned out and saved, either for personal use or for group use. Obviously there is more to it than this, but that is the gist of it. Hopefully all will go well, it's with my catering group and they are a pretty driven bunch.

I also have been going to church. Yes, church. A Catholic one. I figure it's good for my rep (also, one of the mama's in my community called me out the 2nd week I was here, wondering why I don't go to church) plus it's a break from my daily routine of: washing, reading, cleaning, washing, sleeping, eating, cleaning, watching movies. And it's near my house so I can walk. It's pretty interesting. For one, it is all in dhluo. Luckily, I've been to mass enough that I can follow along (see family, I do pay attention). Second, they have dancers and the choir does that undulating sound that I think is pretty cool (both things that would definitely liven up any mass). I also tend to attract a crowd, of kids. While this is not abnormal, this is the only place I spend 1 1/2 hours getting poked, touched and smelled. I try to shoo them away, but that just draws attention to my hand, which they then want to hold.

Got to meet with the health center today, hopefully I can get them to let me do my secondary project there. I miss health.

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