For a couple days, we are back in the land of internet access. Yay! I don’t know how to begin to update all of you in a single blog on the last five or so weeks of our lives. It’s been energy draining, tedious, and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. But that being said, so far its been pretty awesome.
Our family that we are living with is awesome. We have 7 brothers and sisters and a mom who can’t give us enough food to eat. We finally met our dad a few nights ago. He is in the navy here and lives in
In two more days, John and I get to see the house that we will be living in for the next two years. I am so excited!! Its been great to live with a family to help us try and integrate into the community, but at the same time its been frustrating because we have a total lack of privacy or time to ourselves. We play A LOT of cards with the kids. We finally broke down and taught them some games because they play one game, which is sort of a version of crazy 8’s. You would think that multiple hours of this each day would get old. But you would be wrong.
I’ll talk a bit about our life here. It’s been much easier than I thought it would be to say good-bye to electricity and a bathroom and other things I considered necessary at home. My biggest issues so far have been getting sick and missing home. You all could help out with this by sending letters! Whenever we’ve gotten mail so far, my happiness level is comparable to Christmas morning as a seven year old. A special thanks goes out to Jackie, Sue and Steve, Rami, and Tom and Susan McGarrity for the letters and care packages. Awesome. As for the rest of you…pick up the pace…J
I miss the variety of food from home. Every night, our mom has our dinner ready for us when we get home from class. Every night she covers it with a piece of cloth like it’s going to be a surprise when I uncover it and find rice and sauce waiting for me. Don’t get me wrong, the rice and sauce is good. In a couple of months I’ll get to start cooking for myself, which will be nice.
Our French is really coming along. I’m pretty much able to have conversations with people about anything now, it just took a few weeks of remembering. John is doing much better too. When we get back, we will start to learn Pulaar, the local language. We had a basic lesson before we came here, so I know how to say hello and what my husband’s name is. In class, I was actually asked to answer that question before I was asked what my name is. That’s good practice for real life here though because whenever I am walking home without John, everyone greets me and asks how he’s doing. That is taking some getting used to.
We have electricity a few nights a week for a few hours and our house has a TV and a DVD player. Which means two things: 1. I have officially seen many of the WORST American movies ever made. I have never even heard of these movies at home, but the kids here love Chuck Norris…seriously. Or I see bad Guinean soap operas or Bollywood films. 2.) Watching TV here is much more of a social experience here than at home. When the electricity comes on, we have at least 15 neighborhood children sitting on our floor also watching movies. Every time it comes on, you can hear the cheers from any child within a yelling radius scream with joy.
I have a Guinean name now, as does John. Mine is Den-Den and John’s is Moussa. We were named after our brothers and sisters, which is really confusing when we are both in the room. My sister always seems to know when someone is talking to her and when they are not, but I have not yet gotten the hang of it. It’s also fun to tell all the kids our Guinean names and they love to come out and give us hugs and high fives on our way to school, from school, to the market, anywhere. John started doing this thing where he lifts kids up in the air and spins them around, which is nice, except now we can’t NOT do it. I had a little girl chase me in the rain while I was riding my bike just to do that the other day.
I’m trying to squeeze in so much really quickly, so sorry if this journal entry is a little all over the place. We’ve gone to a couple of social meetings with our mom. She is in a bunch of societies and on Sundays they have a music and dance party. Of course, they make John and I get up and dance. Everyone laughs and cheers at the crazy fotés. I feel worse for John because these societies are for women. So usually there have been about 30 Guinean women, me…and John.I have to get going for now, but hopefully I can post again before we leave! Love and miss you all!