Thursday, January 26, 2012
My darling mother,
Hi! How are you? Please don't be too sad about the state of my school. I'll try to send a photo from this week. Oh, wait. I can't from this computer. Well, sometime sooner or later. I'll send a nice photo and you will see my beautiful kids and your soul will be placated.
Also, wahoo! I got dad's call. Tell him "Thanks!" I love hearing his voice. What # did I get on the essay? Like is 96th percentile a 6 or 5? Thank you for being proud of me.
Poor cats. When they sneeze, aww, it's so pathetic and adorable. That said, don't let them infect my princess, please. She's so dainty. I love that you set up the humidifier for the cats.
I would love you to come whenever. Can you take a day off class at all? It's a solid 17 hours of travel so it'd be best for longer. Maybe also check the flight prices. So, yes, I would definitely love you to come (I could get a week off teaching), but I want to be sure that you really want to and think it's a good idea as well. That said, I legitimately worry that I may be bald before you come. My ponytail is paaaathetic.
I've kept notes on what I want to email you.
1. Biology-related: Some of my students have sores around the sides of their eyes and mouth, is this AIDS? Second, when I sweat now, I smell straight-up African, is this due to my African diet or, as I recently learned that sweat is caused by bacteria, is the change in sweat-smell due to the fact that my normal American bacteria have been replaced by African armpit bacteria? Also, I've vomited my second time since arrival. This time, like the last, it was a short period of feeling ill, an easy vomit, then feeling quite fine upon completion - does this mean food poisoning? Does this mean it's not a big deal? Finally, as I've mentioned the water only runs from about 1-3pm every couple days. This is not a huge deal except that it means I can't flush most of the time and, unlike toilets in the states, putting a bucket of water in the bowl does not induce a flush. This is all to tell you that I wish I could poop only when I really wanted to.
In vaguely related news, guess who gets coffee now??????????????????????
My students, as always, are wonderful (and irritating and bright and dull and interesting, etc). My fifth graders did their first speeches this week. They had to write a script as a character (tree, rock, corn, rich man, frog, etc.) and perform it. 47 of them! I had Godwin and Dima (she is the only white person for ages, like me. On that note, guess what? My dream last night only had black people in it, interesting, huh?) come to judge and the 3 best got chocolate bars. They were so excited. That said, both my grade 5 and 4 students read at about a 2nd grade level (picture books, essentially). It's a bit hard (emotionally).
Though, worse, I was watching one of my students write in his journal and he wasn't writing anything. I suggested he write his age, "I am 11 years old." He didn't know how. At all. I started to spell it for him and when I said, "I" he wrote "r." Poor love. How hard to be put in grade 4 and not even know your alphabet. I want him to come get help from me, but he's the cool kid bully, so, we'll see. Poor love though. On that note, I've gotten new students. My 4th graders range in age from 7-18 and my 5th graders from 8-18. Whew! Fourth graders worked on poetry this week and dominated at syllables. Also, Elom (the handsome Togolese french teacher who, per one of my students, "enjoys the cane" so any handsomeness is squashed) did SO well in English class. I'm going to his village Saturday and he's buying me coconuts. Sunday Dima and I will go to Accra to visit the national museum (hopefully)!
Other than that, the African Cup of Nations is on and Ghana, apparently, has a good chance of winning. I've been watching and feigning interest in my attempt to be accepted. :) Truthfully though, I anticipate there will be a kickin' party if they win, so I legitimately hope they do.
On that note, there will be a funeral in town tomorrow. I hear funerals are also kickin' parties, so I'm excited (strange to say, huh?).
Also, Ghana is EXPENSIVE. I paid about $25 for contact lens solution. Holy cow, mom. Ho. Le. Cow.
Did I tell you about the food here? It's pretty...boring, in fact. While the ingredients are all nice, everything has the SAME exact sauce which makes every item taste just the same, which gets a bit dull.
Also, there are goats everywhere. That no one/everyone owns and wander the village paths. It's interesting. Also, people litter everywhere and burn to get rid of it. Also, no one uses toilets, really. They just go "in the bush" if you will.
Anyhow, time is up. I love you lots.
Also, I’m still very excited at the prospect of teacher-ship. :)