Celebrations – by John:
Each day is getting closer to the end of our training. We finally had our big language test and although Carol and I feel we did horribly on the test, we know that we have gotten quite a bit of the language under our belts given the less than 40 hours of training we have had in the past 7 weeks.
We plan to get a tutor but, I’m not worried about it, since I know we will pick up what we need as we go. The test being over is a huge monkey off our backs and in 5 days we move to our new home. We are on the down hill slope and life is good.
We have celebrated several birthday parties so far. John M. (he is also married to a Carol) turned 66 and celebrated a birthday for the third time as a PCV. He is on his second tour as a PCV, and he brought his wife this time. Our friend Rose just turned 24. The group skews young, but there are a few people our age and older. Sometimes we feel old, but the young people usually treat us as peers and we all seem to respect each other and generally we make a nice rounded group. Everyone is very mature and it’s a fun pleasure to get to know all these new people. We remembered the camera on Roses birthday:
There is a constant struggle to keep the bugs out of our room at night and we have to strike a balance between the cool breeze outside and the huge bugs that are attracted to our one 100 watt bulb.
This little neighbor made his way to our bedroom. They are cute when they twist their heads all the way around following us with their eyes as we walk around their bodies, figuring out how best to remove from our room: kill or capture and release?
We celebrated Halloween a few days back. Carol and I were trying to think of a costume and were procrastinating until the last-minute. But we use our computer as an alarm clock. We did not reset the automatic Day Light Savings Time update feature which is not needed in Africa and we woke up an hour late and in a panic to get to language class. We lost our last chance to make a costume! Bummer. However, it seems several people in our class decided to dress up like each other. It’s difficult to imagine if you were not there and didn’t know the limited style of clothing that most of us wear, but take my word for it that it was quite hilarious to see the imitations. Julia, one of the true free spirits in our class, dressed like Carol. Julia pulled her hair back, wore conservative clothe and found a big fanny pack like Carol wears every day. It was quite different from the usual Julia with half a shaved head, and tattoos all over her body, with fun chic young women outfits. It made Carol happy and she felt much more like she was a part of Halloween having a twin out there.
Given the extremely limited resources we had to work with for costume ideas, I’d say we did pretty well!
After school, we went to play some pool for rest and relaxation. The local’s rules for pool are interesting. You get two shots if someone scratches, two shots if someone doesn’t hit their intended ball and a bunch of other strange, but fun rules. The real trick is shooting with sticks that have no tips into pockets barely an atom bigger than the balls and using a cue ball that is little more than a hand carved wooden sphere, painted white and about ¾ the size of the rest of the balls.
We are enjoying some of our last walks to school during these last few days. We will miss the neighbors, although we weren’t here long enough to get to know any of them other than just saying hello (Dumela) everyday.
This little neighbor of ours is on his way to Wall Street. At least he has the right idea!