July 7th, 2011
The day before the fourth of July was simply one of the most wonderful days of togetherness since leaving home and adjusting to life in Liberia. It was a day in which all of us trainees got together at our training site and made burritos together. We brought all the ingredients, made the tortillas, chopped the onions, cooked the beans, rice, chicken, and beef. We had taco seasoning from Monrovia and a 'pinanta' with candy to finish the night. It was wonderful. This is not to say that Liberian life is bad, because it's not at all. It was just refreshing to feel 'homey' after being thrown into a new country and new culture.
The day after, July 4th, we had a cultural session in the morning. The five local languages we've been learning: Vai, Mano, Mende, Kpelle, Gola gave presentations to the group in their language. This included us doing some acting and counting in our language. It was followed by wonderful cultural dancers. In the afternoon we set out to make an 'american' dish with our families to bring for the party later. I went out to market and got potatoes and made the best 'french fries' I could under the variables I could find. They turned out a little squishy, but they tasted wonderful salted and in ketchup I found in Kakata. We played American and Liberian music that night, brought our host families along, and ate various Liberian versions of American food including: donuts, pancakes, guacamole, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and hot dogs. Aside from the missing fireworks, it was a pretty wonderful independence day. Liberia's Independence day is July 26th. I'm looking forward to that, I've heard stories, but experiencing it for my own will be exciting.
I also found a lapa nice enough to be my 'meet the president in this' lapa. I will get pictures when it's made, but as of now, it's still a lapa and has yet to be taken to the tailor to become a lapa suit. I'm also hoping to get some skirts made....mainly because they're really great in hot weather, and I'm all for keeping cool. I also took my host mom's instruction and bought a small collar and leash for Nai wai. It's different from the one I bought in Monrovia. That one will fit him once he's bigger. This one he can grow up wearing and get used to. I've noticed his mom does not like the collar. It's far to foreign for a dog who has never/rarely been leached.
My parents also texted me solely to inform me they installed the two air conditioners and put one in my room where Charmin has been living. They're taking the best possible care of my little man and I'm so happy to hear that he is doing well. Now that I think of it; today is his birthday. He's 2 years and 10 months old today on July 7th. Only two months away from the huge and hardly-reached 3 years old.