03 March 2009

We have a tutor!

Last night we had our first of what I hope to be many tutoring sessions with Mama William.  She sat down with Michael and I for an hour and gave us our first Swahili lesson.  What a difference it makes to have phrases and words broken down into slow syllables.  Just today, I noticed that I had a much easier time reading names and words.  I sound like a first grader sounding out "see dog run," but it is easier and I actually sound more Kenyan.  Maybe that is in my head, I will always have a crazy accent to the Kenyans here when I speak in Swahili.  Americans speaking Swahili sound flat.  I notice that in just about every language.  The same way a Russian will have a heavy accent but in reverse.

Not much to report in the working world.  Sue was out sick and David was out to take his daughter to the hospital.  There were only a few clients to offset David's absence, but we still were there until 1pm.  That means that if his daughter is admitted to the hospital tomorrow will be a long slow day.  Without Sue to talk to, things can be very slow.  Yet again, excel has helped to pass the time.  I also had some cutting duties and a little play therapy.  Neto was kind enough to make more visits into the back room to say hello.  Despite the way I may make it sound, I do enjoy the SJC and the pace of work.  I continue to be very happy and far less stressed out at work and in general.  Living here could do wonders for a person on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  You cannot find stress if you looked for it.  I should develop a motivational plan called something like the "Kenyan Lifestyle."  People are millionaires for far worse ideas.

I made the weekly walk over the the compound to do some carpentry, but work was quickly laid aside once Sue and I got to talking.  Chatting can take up a lot of time, especially when you have been cooped up at home sick and alone at work.  By the time I checked my phone it was nearly four and past time to go home.  Despite not getting done what I had intended to do, it was nice to speak to Sue and see how she was feeling.  Usually I would be really anxious to get done whatever I was supposed to do, but the thought of sawing never crossed my mind.  I mentioned before that people here are more present and I think that I am slowly coming to not just appreciate it but to practice it.

The walk home was by far the best it has been yet.  Since it has rained two consecutive nights, people have worked hurriedly to prepare the fields to plant.  It is like a great race where the contestants must wait and wait and wait at the gate for the go to be given.  Once given, it is a mad dash to prepare the fields and plant the seeds.  Overnight, un-cared for grass fields are laid to rest.  With neat rows dug by a team of cows and plow in tow.  The once lush vista is now great carpets unfurled like a French Louis was going to visit.  The welcome is intended to seduce the rains that are still giving test showers to determine whether or not they want to stay.  Like a person dipping their toe into a pool before a great splashing jump.  There is a vulrubility of the land.  Cut open like a fresh wound awaiting the only medicine to cure its ailment: water.  Two songs played on my ipod on my walk over that could not have been more apt:

Black by Pearl Jam

In God's Country by U2

Lyrics fit, but the songs themselves caught the landscape.  It was as if Bono and Eddie Vedder saw the same landscape that lay before me.