Saturday, February 21, 2009

Laughing until we cry

Today I cooked American food (well sorta) for everyone. I made smoked sausage, corn, jello, and macaroni and cheese. I was impressed with my efforts since it is really difficult to find something that even comes close to American food here. I took a slice of white bread (I couldn't find buns) and loaded it up with sausage, cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion and tomato and most of the Sisters followed suit. However, Sr. Martina decided it would be better to make a sandwich with everything on it including the corn, macaroni, and even jello. I couldn't help laughing and pretty soon everyone was close to hysterics. That is what I like most about Nigeria, the laughter. I read somewhere that in a global study, Nigerians were found to be the happiest people on Earth and it is completely true. It doesn't take much to get everyone laughing at dinner and on more than one occasion we have laughed until we cried. I appreciate the fact that Nigerians don't take life too seriously.

Sometimes I find it hard not to get discouraged by the things I see. Like today when I saw an old man with two young children scaling the huge garbage heap looking for things to salvage. Normally it is just goats picking through other people's trash but today it was children. I see extreme poverty here which is beyond my comprehension. If I think about it for too long I feel myself sinking into despair but I know that won't help anyone.

So you can either laugh or you cry. Here we laugh, a lot.

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