March 2, 2011
So I have been slacking on the whole blog thing. I could lie and say I wrote something out, but the goat ate it. I hate lying, so the truth is...the Donkey ate it. ;)
It has been pretty hot lately. Sweat behind the knees hot. I never knew I could drip sweat from behind my knees, but its possible and every time I have a good sweat going (in the shade under a fan) I always initially freak out and think a bug is on my legs. For us non-exercisers this is not natural. None the less I am hoping for an early rainy season. Other volunteers hiss at this idea, but I can handle the bugs with a good bug repellent and a mosquito coil. What I am ready for is not to have to haul water in 98 degree morning weather and sleep in my sweat.
About a month ago my neighbor Suyini decided he was afraid of white people. From across the courtyard he would spot me, freak out, cry, and try to crawl to safety. The adults think this is very funny. According to Nikki, another volunteer, he just hit that age where kids begin to realize that they see color and differentiate between them. One guess who in the neighborhood is not like all the others. I have been working on this kid for a month now...we have progressed to holding as long as someone else is around, as soon as all the Ghanaians leave the courtyard the crying commences....the adults still think its funny. This kid will like me.
I am currently trying to put together a Girl's Health Club in Karaga. I am green with envy of volunteers in sites that do not have Ghana Education Services stationed within town limits. Trying to work with them and convince them that an informal club is a good thing is starting to get frustrating. I can't go around them for fear of insulting/offending them, but I am pretty damn close to pulling my hair out. Hopefully I will be able to get this club started before my service is over...if not hopefully I will have laid the groundwork for the next volunteer. These girls will learn about safe sex practices GOSH DERNIT!
I went to a funeral the beginning of February with Beth. It was a nice event and nothing like funerals back home. People danced and we paid the dancers/instrument players with small coins, we ate local food, and at one point the mourning party walked around the house 3 times while shotguns were fired. The shotguns sounded like cannons. I have spent some time around guns and people who shoot guns...they don't make me jump and as nervous the way these home made cannon rifles do. I kept picturing them exploding.
For all of you that are wondering about the mice in my house, I am now averaging one per month. That is right, just in time for March (MONTH 10!!!) I got mouse number 10. He was glad to see the groundnut paste I left out for him, though the menu price was probably more than he was willing to pay. Take that mice.
I promise to try to be better about the blog. I have always been bad at this sort of thing. 1/3 of the way done....and can't believe I am going to miss the Captain America movie.
Love you all.
March 4th, 2011
So it hit me today, a revelation that will make me a better customer, patron, and overall person. Well, if not “overall person” maybe a better customer. Today was market day in Karaga and I went ready to but my usual supply of onion and tomato ** little yay **. Making my way through the chaos I noticed it from a far....AVOCADO **BIG YAY**. I bought five of those suckers. Avocado here does not look the same as it does in the states (the peel is different), but it tastes just as glorious. Today was a good treat. How does this make a better customer you ask. Simple. Have you ever worked customer service? Ever wanted to strangle the customer? Ever wanted to cry because that customer took it out on you because their shoe size, favorite snack, or police report was not available. I will never be that customer...if I ever have been, I will never be again. If ever the store is out of fruit loops, crazy band aids, or video games I will look back on this day. I will remember my excitement over seeing an avocado and say to myself “hey, at least it won't take 9 months for Safeway to get it back in stock.”
Ever wake up in the morning and ask yourself “how can I cause trouble in my village today?” I tell you that this is a really simple task. The result is at least one crying child, maybe two, confused parents, and one less trip to the garbage bin. Its fun! First you need some empty Altoids tins, you know the ones your mom sends you (full) and you have been saving. You also secretly wonder why your breath does not have some residual freshness after easting so many delightful and curiously strong mints. Second go outside with the intent to give these tins away, this goal is accomplished easily as soon as one child receives a tin even some adults will materialize out of nowhere to obtain a tin. Where is the “trouble” in this...simple...the child who got a tin will now spread the word showing off her new treasure. One child who sees this will assume that the tin had fish in it and that instead of empty tins she will assume I was giving away delciousness. When new children show up for tins (which you no longer have) give them plastic bottles and containers from other thing you have collected. At least one child from this group will be upset she (Becky) did not get fish, and at least one parent (Becky's mom) will come over to find out why her child did not get fish. Luckily the parent is understanding of the “I was giving only empty containers away and there are no more tins” explanation. This is good for a least a few hours solid entertainment. Guaranteed.
In other kid news. My neighbors are still finding it quite hilarious that the children are split between half being afraid of me and the other half completely obsessed with trying to play with me. One such child, Valeria, is in the obsessed category. She is only two, so her cuteness wins her some points though we are trying to work on the “I will not pick you up because if I do you will not let me put you down” issue. Today, she was handed off to me to watch for a little while. The neighbors laughed as I sat down and let Val climb all over me. Eventually the heat kicked in, she grew tired, and plotzed in my lap. Awwwwww. Cute, right? Wrong! As soon as she passed out in an adorable state of cuteness, Valeria then peed all over me! Now instead of the picking her up issue we are working on the “you don't pee on me” new development. Granted it is hard to stay mad at her for long as she has started trying to say my name. Instead of Tiyumtaba (tee-you-m-ta-ba) she say it Diumpa (dee-umm-paa).