Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tick Tock Goes the Clock...

This week I went to the kitchen to meet the Yogurt Mamas. It was definitely one of the highlights of the week. All of them were so nice and had so much to say about the project. Of course, all of what they said was translated back to me in English. Jen and Amanda were unable to come as they were ill. So I was with Roy and the Mamas. It was fun, a lot of the morning was spent talking to the Mamas about the project, their roles in the community and the impact they will be making, the perceptions associated with the yogurt they will be making, their own goals and responsibilities etc. After that I went around and asked each Mama to introduce and share something interesting about themselves with the group including their occupation, why they joined the kitchen, and why they feel this project is important. After I got home I organized all the answers given so I could make a short profile on each Mama that will be posted on our NGO’s website and the kitchen walls.

An observation I noticed is that time is of not a huge essence here. People here really do operate on their own schedules. For example, we had told the Mamas to arrive by 9am, the first one arrived by 10 and the last one had trickled in by 1pm. I guess that may have to do with folks around here waking up between 4-5am and calling it quits late in the evening. When you have so many hours to carry out your tasks, I guess it doesn’t make a difference what you do during the day as long as work gets done. Also, getting anything here done will make you wish that you were going through a root canal procedure instead. I kid, just exaggerating! Jokes aside, getting the kitchen up and running has been a huge ordeal. We still don’t have electricity as we don’t want to cave in and go the corrupt route. The painter keeps canceling on us without informing us, and he is the 2nd one whose help we have solicited. The list can continue to go on forever.

Remember how I have told you all about the three girls who are our neighbours: Evaleen, Sachbea and Tracey. Well Tracey (the youngest) has finally opened up to us and has started saying our names! We have been so delighted that we keep taking videos of her saying our names. She has also started to smile at us a lot which is so great as she really does have a beautiful smile!

Want to hear about Murphy’s Law striking again? So a couple of days ago Jen, Amanda and I ventured out to the school to play with the kids. Pretty normal for us right? Well, as it turns out not so much as today I was going to join the game. Before I get to the game though, the three of us decided to climb a tree. Jen and Amanda climbed farther than I did and I jumped off the tree sooner than them too because of the bugs. Whatever, I don’t like crawling critters. Well, when the two of them started climbing down they both realized they were stuck so I climbed back up to help them down only to fall from the tree on my descent thus ripping my pants at the knees and taking home a pretty large scrape on both of my knees. That was strike one for good ol’ Murphy. I then decided that a couple of scrapes were not going to keep me from playing soccer, the game had already started. So for the first time! I was going to brave playing a game of soccer, a game that involves flying objects. Think I am being melodramatic, I don’t think so. Within 10 seconds of standing on the field, as I was asking Amanda and Christopher (goalie) whose team I was going to be on, Christopher who hadn’t seen me come on to the field kicked me in the stomach with all the power he could put in a kick (he usually kicks the ball couple of stories high). Knocked the wind out of me. Suffice it to say I am going to stay clear of soccer for a bit.

I almost forgot, for those of you who know me really well will be surprised to know I have gone the vegetarian route. Now being a carnivore before I embarked on this journey, I am not sure if this is a permanent change but I have not had meat for about a week now. An accomplishment? I think so.

As Jen has continued being very sick, we have been spending more and more time at the hotel. After lunch, we all decided to sit on the balcony and wind down from the week’s activities. My plan was to write in my journal, but I ended up people watching as there was always something interesting to see. I took so many pictures and videos. Since I can’t upload them yet I will tell you a bit about them below.

Interesting and Memorable Sightings/ Quotes!

• “be Christ-like on the field,” a soccer coach mentoring his students before a big game. I thought it was pretty silly. I mean being nice to the opponent’s team is not going to win you the game. There will be shoving, pushing and blocking involved. I don’t think Jesus would approve that kind of behaviour....
• Fred (hotel staff) killing a HUGE bug with bug spray and then air-freshening the room as if there was nothing wrong. Meanwhile we bolted out of the room as the combination of two had created a pretty putrid smell.
• Kids no older than the age of 8 caring for their infant sibling(s).
• Five guys riding on the back of a truck that is piled with long pieces of wood. So not safe!
• Women carrying their day’s worth of groceries on their heads. I feel like bags here are so “last season.” It is now all about the head balancing act. Saw a woman carrying a brand new mattress on her head, and a double one at that!
• A sheep struggling away from its owner. I think that is because he/ she knew it was their last day. I took a video of it =/
• Wearing coats here are so popular. I saw a man wearing a winter parka in middle of the day. It was blistering hot!
• Families of four ride together on one motorbike. That is definitely a balancing act, and one I hope always stays balanced...

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