July 9, 2011
Site announcement was yesterday. I was sick again for that. I swear I'm not doing it for attention. :) I'm much better after about 12 hours normally. We watched a movie about Liberia after its civil war: Iron Ladies of Liberia. It was centered on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's first year in office and other strong women of Liberia. If any African country diserves extra praise for it's powerful and history-changing women, it's Liberia. I thought the movie complimented Ellen Sirleaf's book 'This Child Will Be Great'. It's a great book on Ellen and Liberia and I recommend it. It's detailed, but the information is simply gripping. I finally feel like I have a grasp on Liberian history with five movies, two books and countless Liberian comments under my belt. The rest will come with time. Seeing all she has done for Liberia, makes me even more excited to meet President Sirleaf in August.
And speaking of meeting the President, my host family's tailor came by this morning. He took my measurements for my lapa suit and I have a nearly completed lapa suit (just missing the headdress) already. It's very lovely and he did a great job incorporating the fish on the lapa into the design. So now I just need to find some shoes to match and I'm all set to meet the president. If only meeting the president of the United States was as easy. However, Obama wear is everywhere in Liberia and I'm assuming most of Africa and so it's only a matter of time before I buy an Obama umbrella like Matt did.... or find an Obama portrait lapa to make into a skirt. It's actually really nice because I don't have any Obama items in the states.
And speaking of lapas... I bought three more today. I'm finding it hard to avoid the lapas printed with sea stars, coral, and fish.
I guess this just means I'll be teaching in ocean scene lapas for two years. And I have no complaints there. My only dream is to find a shark lapa to make into a dress. Who knows, I may find one someday. Until then, I have lapas to start off my collection of dresses and suits to teach in. It's exciting, and my host family is excited to see me 'dress like African woman'.
I also just noticed today, my host father was wearing a Linenkugel's t-shirt. I tried not to get too excited. I, of course, had to explain why I was so happy to see the shirt and explain that the brewery is from my home, Wisconsin. I only hope I can find a shirt like that here.
And not to get too sidetracked, but I should get back to site announcement. I daresay I can't remember where all my fellow trainees are going after August, but I was excited to hear about my site. My roommate will be Holly (and she was awesome enough to grab me some red wine and snickers bars from Monrovia today. You'd be surprised at what you begin to miss after awhile.) and our town will be slightly rural. About 2-3,000 and our school has a female principal which I think is pretty amazing (talk about more iron ladies of Liberia). We get more details next week and we do a site visit then, so I'll write more on that later.
I have also been watching Lord of the Rings with my host brothers and sisters. We're half way through the Two Towers and my brothers Oneal and Randy are really enjoying it. I also happen to have several Disney movies on my external hard drive so hopefully afterward, we'll be watching some Aladdin or Mulan.
I feel like I need to mention bugs at some point. Because if I don't, a certain amount of time will pass and I won't care about the creepies as much or as often. Luckily for me, I have not seen any crazy huge African bugs bigger than, say, a American 50 cent piece. One was a cockroach in my bathroom. Unfortunately, I didn't notice him until after I was in the middle of my bath and covered in soap. And so, I spent a good amount of time circling my bucket, trying to avoid him while he tried to avoid the water I was throwing to rinse off with. The other was a large spider. But I was sick at the time of meeting said spider and my level of 'care' was low enough for me to just shrug and 'eh' it off. A few times I sent my brothers into my room to kill the spiders, but often times they just get away and I give up. The only real annoying ones are the ants. They can smell a tiny hole in a chocolate wrapper eight miles away, and I'm pretty sure I've swallowed a few that were hanging out too close to my water filter when I was filling my water bottle (mmmm, protein). They're mainly just annoying little monsters that seem to get everywhere. But if you happen to be standing on or too close to their anthill, they're sure to climb onto your foot and 'let you know'. I've got some good collection of bites now, mostly spider, ant, and mosquito, but none of them are horrible. Just bothersome. Although, the ant bites are rather nasty when being received. I'm hoping this sensitivity goes away after awhile.