No Electricity, No Running Water
Trip Start Apr 19, 2010
131Trip End Apr 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
When we first arrived, we met Jessie's mamma, the greatest old lady neighbor who looks after Jessie as her own. Although no one can take the place of our real moms back home, it's nice to have a surrogate in the meantime. We really enjoyed getting to know her and attempting to use what little Swahili we know to communicate. Back to the world of facial expressions and hand gestures, I guess.
We spent the remainder of the evening just hanging out and catching up. That was of course after a botched attempt at bathing in the dark. I'll tell you, bathing with a bucket is hard enough without not being able to see what you're doing. Oh that's right, that's because we can't turn a light on because there's no electricity. Without any lights to lead us astray, we hit the hay early. Good thing too, because the roosters were definitely crowing first thing in the morning, come 4:30am. Ah, Africa.
The next day, we wanted to treat Jessie to a special breakfast so we made crepes
Crepes were a great way to start a great day. We headed over to the secondary school where Jessie teaches biology. Right now they are learning about HIV and AIDS which is her specialty. We walked to school, through a path that was completely surrounded by vegetation and farms. We didn't even take a road to get there. Another subtle reminder that we're in rural Africa. Once we arrived at school, we quickly realized what Jessie is up against in teaching here. The kids are just out wandering around, primarily because there isn't a teacher to instruct their class so they just hang out. The entire school has one or two teachers other than Jess for over 300 students. It's crazy. We sat through her biology class, which she taught in both Swahili and English. It was awesome.
After school we walked around the village, grabbed some food, and met the people at the local dispensary. Everyone is so welcoming and inviting here, it's fabulous. They laugh at our attempts at Swahili and encourage us to try more. It's really a great atmosphere.
When we got home, there was a rather large gathering of village children in front of the house; kids eager to play with the new people in town and used to Jess's open door environment. Kids come in and out all the time. They even come over in the mornings to ask if they can do her dishes! Of course, a sticker or candy reward hangs in the balance, but it's well worth it to not have to do the dishes in the big bins. But it's fun to have the kids around. I'm sure it can get really overwhelming and tiring to have them around ALL the time though. Quite often they just walk right up and ask to come in and begin playing. Their giant smiles, though, are hard to turn away and so they just keep coming. We pretty much played with the kids for the remainder of the night until we kicked them all out to watch a movie on the computer. Thank goodness for the long battery life!