Thursday, March 22, 2012

I am pretty sure my neighbors are raising their cats as food. The kittens that turn to adults disappear.

Hi Mom!

Maya caught a bat?! Don’t let her get rabies. She’s one tough booger, my littlest love. The tulips are up? Good golly! Also, ha! Dad told me you were worried about my plans for the 3 day camel trip. I laughed and said, “I love that she is not worried about me journeying to Burkina Faso, but IS worried about back pain from camel riding.” I think it means you’ve come to trust me and my wayward ways. True or false? I paid $665/month. Poor Lynn’s son. He was into hitching rides on trains to travel to protests. Plus, nonmonogamous relationships.

Sorry it’s been so long, but I’ve been legitimately busy with schoolwork and the like. How are you? Everything is fine here. It’s hot as heck, como siempre and there’s no water, also como siempre. Some things have changed though including:

1.       My sandals have been fixed! My FABULOUS student John (1/2 of the pair of smartie boy twins John and Johnson) patched ‘em up something wonderful.

2.       I miss Maya with an intense desperation new to me. I’ve been dreaming both about her and about other cute and cuddly things.

3.       I’ve been very into BOTH grade 4 and 5 this week.

a.       Grade 5 finished their book report to some “eh” results, but, by golly we did it. As a reward they got to make bookmarks which I laminated. Lawer decorated his with “I love Madam Nix,” Nicholas stressed out over his for days, the girls all covered theirs with flowers, and John (see above), the cheeky devil included the school logo on one side and, ahem, a small picture of a white woman in a bra on the other side. I admire his decision. J

b.      Grade 4 finished making their books (also thank god). On Wednesday I had been prepping them that we would be having 25 guests come to class. The students would each get one guest to themselves and they would first read their story and then, with the help of their guest, make a small book. The kids were dying of curiosity and I was badgered with questions such as, “Madam, are they white people?” “Madam, are they teachers?” “Are they from the village?” “Are they from your country?” etc. I did not tell them. Precious egged them on, telling them they must tidy the room for the guests and, “The guests just called to say their plane landed.” The guests were…kids from KG1, preschool. J I gathered all the babies with me, walked them to the classroom and the students had a righteous laugh. They made the books and the babies are cherishing them. They’re everywhere with them and I’ve accidentally acquired a small mob of MAJOR fans. Adorable.

                                                               i.      Other Grade 4 news: I’ve acquired myself two project students. One, Prosper, is too smart for his own good. He’s taken to writing stories for me to edit. His most recent one, created over the span of 3 days is a solid 17 handwritten pages and details the story of a mouse and her babies and a snake and her babies and their difficulties because they both keep eating each other. Second, Richmond, who is in grade 4 and, well, I asked him to write every word he could think of that he knew and he finished with: Richmond, ICT, RME, book, cat, is, so. And that was all. He doesn’t really have a good grasp of the alphabet and, honestly, has no chance of passing grade 4. He should not be in grade 4. He should be in grade 1 and I think the school is foolish for forcing him to associate with his friends in age versus his academic rivals, but, heck. So, I’m teaching him words now and he’s in a fever to learn. He wants to have class with me after school for one hour and in the evening for one hour. I’m trying to cut down, but he’s really, really interested in learning and I can’t say no to that. So, projects. Glad to be here. J

4.       Solidly stoked for break in Burkina. Not that I’ve yet done any research or anything productive like that, but, emotionally, I’m there. On that note, apparently, I’m done teaching for the term. Next week is “revisions” which means studying for the finals and the week after is finals. HOW TIME FLIES. On that note, 55 days until I leave. I’m pretty sad, but it’s still a number big enough that I’m not in too big of a panic.

5.       My vomit count holds at 3, which I think means I’ve turned African.

6.       Wanna know one of my new favorite things about Ghanaians? The words they use like, even from the little, little ones: vernacular (“Madam, Philo is speaking vernacular!”), flattulate (solidly unsure how to spell it) (*Snicker* “Madam, Lawer flattulated!”), buttocks, urinate, mucus. I’m also a 12 year old that I secretly giggle every time they use these words.

7.       OH! In other news, Keke was sick for 2 days and the whole world felt wrong. Random students cooked and things, but the vibe was all off without her sassy ways. I jumped and hugged her when she came back.

8.       I have to go to Accra tomorrow to get my passport back. I tried to go today, but after a late moto, flat tire, then complete engine failure I decided to call it quits.

I think that’s about all that’s going on in the hood. Oh, also, got into too many discussions about religion. Ghanaians are all nice, and welcoming, and lovely…just until you mention atheism, good golly, I’d prefer back surgery to more religious talk.

Love you,

Tell me all about the tulips.

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