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Friday, September 2, 2011

Living in the jungle...

August 28th 2011
I think the rain started around 4 or 5am…. I thundered and stormed well into 5pm. 12 hours of constant rain. I woke up at 7am but the rain put me back to sleep in a heartbeat. I finally got up at 8:30 to let the dog out.  We left the buckets out in the rain to fill our barrel in the kitchen. I organized my room and killed a few large spiders and cockroaches. Holly did some reading on the porch with Naw wei sleeping on her toes. She made lunch: penne noodles with boiled egg, seasoning and mayo. It was very good.
We took a walk around when the rain finally turned into a sprinkle. The mountains around us are gorgeous, shrouded in mist from all the rain (If I were ever to film Jurassic Park I would come here), decked out in foliage, crawling with ruins of buildings from the war. I took pictures and George acted as our personal tour guide. We counted about 6 movie picture theatres thus far in our town (which is not a complaint since I saw Town and part of Mask of Zorro last night). We stopped by the school and moseyed over to the Chinese Base. While on the road, a passing young girl looks to me and says ‘you’re lady is very fine.’ The words register a moment later after she’s gone and I look at Holly who is laughing under her breath. ‘Apparently you’re my fine lady.’ I said. Wasn’t the first time I’ve been taken for a guy since I cut my hair shorter…won’t be the last. We’re getting tired of correcting the small African children that yell ‘Chinese! China Woman!’ after us. A few times I get cheeky and yell ‘African boy!’ back at them.
We arrived home with Martalyn rushing over to us with a knotted rice sack. It was mewing… :) Holly had been looking for a kitty since before we came and one potential lead almost always leads to another but they all bit the dust. Holly bought a chicken to trade for a cat yesterday…but then the guy changed his mind on giving it to her. So we went to bed with a puppy and a chicken in the neighbor’s house…it certainly wasn’t staying in mine. But now Martayln had traded the chicken for a different cat from another house. Holly was quite ecstatic. Momo, the adorable calico kitty ate a whole fish, cowered in the bedroom corner, and finally snuggled up to Holly. Her eyes are huge and her ears are large disks. She’s a bit scrawny but that will change. She certainly is a lucky kitty to have ended up with us. Her coloring reminds me of my Maggie back in the States with my parents.

September 2, 2011
Our taxi ride….can totally top yours. The start of school is delayed, and so Holly and I made a day trip to Kakata to buy small things for our house. Erm, sorta small. We bought mattresses. And so our taxi ride back: seven adults (including holly, I and the driver), two newborn African twins (holly got to hold one…it peed on her), two mattresses atop the average sized car, and two goats, one chicken, one cat in a box and bags or rice in the back. …oh, and the suspension on the car was so bad that we could feel rocks under our feet through the floor mat if the driver hit a bump just right. That was a two-ish hour ride.
Holly and I made plantain bread too. Our landlady gave us plantains as a gift. We accepted them, thanked her very much. Once she left we looked at each other. “You like plantain?” “No.” “Me neither.” “Let’s make it into bread.” And so we modified banana bread into plantain bread and gave it to our neighbors as a ‘thanks for being our neighbor’.
We also bought a radio. THANK GOODNESS. We were planning to buy one at site but the only three places that carry it were all sold out. It was day two of Holly’s four day streak of singing the same two songs (one of them a Christmas song) that I decided we needed to get one…before we both went crazy. (although I think she already has in a way) And so now we can listen to BBC at our site. *Hallelujah bells ring*
We also got a free cat with our mattresses. His (or I think it’s a him) name is Puck aka: Puckerman, Puck Puck or Puckasoarus. He hissed, spat, swatted at, and seemed to hate us. I spent the night hearing him cry in the room next to mine. I finally got up at 5:30am and sat next to him, hissing and still spitting. Finally he cracked and walked near me. After a few hours of sweet talking him, he melted into my arms and cuddled away. He and Momo are bonding this weekend while Holly and I are in Monrovia getting a few more things for our house: random food items, toilet plunger and brush, and potato masher. Okay, okay, we came to eat some American food too :)
Holly and I take many nature walks through our site with the pup. We found the huge abandoned swimming pool built by the Germans long ago. There are many paved roads that are left behind, unused and I’m thinking they will be perfect to run along with the pup.
We’re still living in a very small fishbowl where all the kids (ie 20 or 25 of them) like to stand in our backyard and stare at us. Holly tries to scare them off, but they just laugh and migrate back to our porch. We are the hottest and newest entertainment in town. Watch white woman do wash, watch white woman cook on coal pot, watch white woman do dishes in a bucket. They still keep calling us China woman and we’re getting a little tired of reminding them we are NOT Chinese. The Chinese do like to smile and wave at us though.
School starts soon and we’ll know what we are teaching and when etc, etc. I'll get a post up next when I've met the lucky students of my school.

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