Monday, May 18, 2009

Trip Highlights (Week Four)

May 4th-10th
I decided that it was time to go back to work. I went to school in the morning but there wasn't much for me to do so I headed over to the medical clinic. I meant to take a tour sooner but the only time I was there, it was as a patient. So Prisca gave me the full tour of the waiting room, the lab, the consulting room, the patient ward, and the pharmacy. It is a small clinic but it provides good health care at low cost to mostly poor villagers. Monday afternoon the girls have sports so I taught them Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light.

I went to the JSS1 class and talked about the United States. It struck me how different our lives are, when I tried to explain the four seasons, especially winter. Then I went to Ilorin with Sr. Fidelia. We went to the market and to a shop that sells imported goods like peanut butter. On the way home Fidelia bought me a real ice cream cone to "flag my birthday". That evening I made glumpky (stuffed cabbage) for dinner and it turned out pretty tasty.

I asked for more work and Cordis suggested that I teach the Introductory Technology classes, since the teacher quit. In JSS1 we are discussing different building materials and in JSS2 we discussed force, work, and power, complete with some physic formulas that I learned in high school. In the afternoon I coached (tutored) some students in maths.

I celebrated my 25th birthday, Nigerian style. During the morning assembly the students sang happy birthday for me. I only had one class to teach so I spent most of the day relaxing in the house. In honor of my birthday, I planted two pineapples (you can cut off the green top of a pineapple, bury it, and a year later you can pick a pineapple). After school the Sisters took me to Asa Dam which is the closest thing to a tourist spot in Ilorin. The Asa river was swollen from all the rain and the surrounding forests were thriving. It was really beautiful. On the way home we stopped at Royals for real ice cream. We ate our dinner of fried rice while watching the final episode of Super Story. Then we ate birthday cake and drank wine. I was touched by everything the Sisters in Amoyo did for my birthday. I have been here for only three weeks yet I am completely at home here and the Sisters treat me like family.

I taught two classes today and helped the Sisters type up a schedule for the third term. In the evening I hung out with the students, swapping songs and answering questions about life in America. Sad as it may seem, I was beat by 8pm so I went to bed early.

I have been hanging out at the house for most of the day. I helped Fidelia in the garden and I showed some of the Sisters the basics of Power Point. But other than that I have just been relaxing.

For the past week, we have had a ram tied up in our garage. The school's chaplain brought it to celebrate the start of term. Originally I felt sorry for the poor animal that had to be killed for our supper. However, after a few days of listening to that sheep's constant bleating and putting up with the petting zoo smell, I has ready to eat. On Saturday, the driver Steven slaughtered the ram and today we finally ate it. It was nice having meat, which is a commodity here, even if I found a couple unidentifiable organs in the stew.

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