19 March 2009

One week later...

and after a terrible end to last week, I have experienced the opposite this one.  Today was a wonderful day and not special in any sort of way.  The morning started with my breakfast at the Honey Drop and ended with dinner at the Honey Drop.  Due to the fact that we have no way to cook a meal, we decided to hit the town for dinner.  For about $1, I had eggs, soup and a soda.  Nearly half of the price was the soda.  Since I did not break my wallet over the meal, a samosa from the samosa lady was a delectable dessert.  Now, Michael and I are watching a group of boys playing tennis ball soccer in our courtyard.  Our new friend, The Camo Kid, brought some friends to play.  They are playing a form of keep away as we chat and watch.  He has been one of the few children who does not beg and bother us.  In fact, he loves to point out what different items are called in Swahili.  I like to call him our practicum teacher, but since he always wears camouflage clothing, he is The Camo Kid.

After a mandazi, chai, and news breakfast, I went to work.  Upon arrival Neto greeted me and said, "Were you a part of the mob?  There was a mob moving up town and I thought for sure you were a part of it."  Confused, I laughed and asked him what he meant.  "Oh, there was a mob that lynched a guy for stealing a cow."  I knew that he did not mean lynch in the sense that I know it.  The news papers will use lynch whenever a group of people get together as a mob and kill an individual for some sort of crime.  Not the best way of justice, but they often catch criminals before the police.  I asked Neto if they killed the man and he said they did not because "in Malava it is too hard to kill someone."  I took that to mean that the police is strong enough to prevent most murders.

The working day went by at a swift pace.  There were a lot of children very early on and the flow was constant until noon.  Sue and I went home with Sister Joy because Judi asked to meet with us at 2:30.  Before leaving, Joy introduced us to her driving teacher who then offered to give us driving lessons.  I do not know how often I will get to drive around here, but I am going to take the opportunity to learn to drive and get my Kenyan drivers license.  At the very least it would be neat to have a license from another country.  On a practical level, it would make proving residency much easier.

Sue and I waited at her house before the meeting.  She cooked a lunch of grilled cheese and tomatoes.  We chatted and prepared for the worst.  Neither of us had great hopes for the meeting, but it turned out to be beneficial.  We were able to talk about how to change things up at the SJC.  I was given the go to come over and do work at the compound whenever I can.  Not a whole lot changed, but it is good to have time to go over how things are progressing.  I feel that we have opened a dialogue that did not exist and we can only move forward from here.

I made my favorite walk home and arrived just before our Swahili lesson.  We learned some new tenses and verbs.  I have noticed a rapid improvement over the three weeks of lessons and I am happy that we made this arrangement.

To make it all better, I had a very hot shower just before dinner.  We added water into the already hot bag.  I had a long (solar shower standards) and hot shower.  All of this before our dinner and right now.  A mild night and a great end to an improved week.