Archive for February, 2009

coconut trees and split pants

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The other day 3 boys around 12 years old came to my house to ask if they could climb my coconut trees to get the coconuts.  I let them in and one of the boys in a very nice blue outfit made from fancy cloth prepared to scale up the tree.

“You are going to ruin your nice pants!”, I warned him.  But 12 year olds are the same everywhere, and he wasn’t going to worry about it.  He started to scale the tree, and his pant bottms immediately started to rip.  Each time he scaled higher, we heard another rip.  Soon his white underclothes were exposed to us in bright contrast to his royal blue pants.
To increase his embarrasment, I ran into my house to get the camera.  He happily knocked down some coconuts from the top before beginning to scale down the tree.  At this point, his friends couldn’t keep it a secret any longer and warned him that I had a camera.  We all laughed hysterically as he slid down the tree trunk in a panic.

But after all that the boys couldn’t resist asking me to take a picture of them together before leaving.  One boy even held a cell phone ( a status symbol) to his ear to show off.

Camp Informatique 2009

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

I am currently working on the second year of Computer Camp for kids in this region.  Here is  the simple web site with more information. There are pictures for those of you who demand visuals.  The camp was a success last year, and we are working on making it even better this year.
We have not yet found full funding for the camp.  I am currently working on setting up a Peace Corps Partnership as a way for people to contribute from the USA.  I know times are tough over there, but any donations will be appreciated.  You can sponsor one student for $75.  If you are interested in helping, please send me an email and I will make sure you get full information. 

dancing girls

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

There are finally some pictures uploaded on my flickr account. Check them out.

bush taxis and I’m not even in the bush

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Getting out Sokode is hard. I normally take a van with seats for 15 people. More than 15 people get crammed in, and it is all very hot and uncomfortable. I either wait for hours for the car to fillup, or I sit in the car as it drives around town looking for passengers. I’ve had voyages that should take a couple hours take 5 hours because we just can’t get out of Sokode until the car is filled to the brim. And the drivers like to power trip. They will force everyone in the car, drive 500 meters and then get out to discuss the weather or buy yams while we wait and sweat in the car.


Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Harmattan season is in full swing.  This means that a dry dusty wind comes down from the Sahel. Everything is covered in dust. THis includes everything in my house, my clothes, my bike, EVERYTHING.  It is usually also a bit cooler in the mornings and evenings. I have found myself actually wanting to cuddle under a sheet to stay warm some mornings.   But this makes the cold water showers a bit tougher.

THe dust and dryness can be hard on the skin and lips as well.  My hands have erupted with a painful itchy rash. I had it last year, too. I put Aloe Vera on them several times a day and this seems to help.  It actually makes me look forward to the hot season. 

I’m keeping busy with work projects.  THis past week I sat in a few math classes, just to see what they were doing.  (roots of polynomials in case you are curious). I like getting better idea of what the students are learning and at the same time brushing up a bit on math myself.  The teachers at the school I’m with this year a very open and friendly, willing to let me participate in many ways.  About once a week, when there aren’t many classes, the teachers will play table tennis.  I join them despite my poor hand eye coordination.