Monday, October 30, 2006

...Animal Farm...

We adopted a puppy!

It's true, I don't even really like dogs. But I always said I might like a dog if I was able to get it when it was a here's to discovery! So far, the puppy makes noises like a dying cow at night when he's lonely (the night watchmen call it "crying." I call it horrendous). He's also got something wrong with his hind leg, so he's been limping all weekend. When they took him to get his rabies shot on Saturday, the vet said that the leg wasn't broken so we're hoping it will just heal. The puppy will start his worm treatment medicine today...maybe that will make him gain some weight. He's a bit scrawny...and a little worse for wear. He was living at a school downtown and the kids here tend to enjoy stoning he's got a couple of battle scars. Oh yes, I believe he is going to be called "Frodo." Originally they wanted to call him "Hobbit" but I vetoed that. Giving him a name like that would be like naming a child "Human." It's just too impersonal. Even for a dog that makes noises like a dying cow.

We also have a cat. The cat has been here since I arrived. She's given birth to something like 3 litters, but ate two of them. She managed to keep from devouring her most recent litter which was born just before I arrived. We're so proud. The kittens were given away before I moved in. Nuts. The cat's name is Beatrix - after the queen of the Netherlands or something like that. I don't know. I just call her "Puss." I'm not so original with names. When I was a child, I had a hampter named "Hampsty," and three fishes named "Goldie," "Blackie," and "Strawberry." Three guesses what colours they were! If I ever have children, I'll try to be more inventive.

They make books for that, don't they?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

...ewww!...Emily....That's gross!!...

Ok, nobody panic. No, I'm not turning into an blood-sucking vampire (although, sometimes that idea does appeal to me), but I did have strep throat for most of last week. Don't worry, after 4 days the Amoxicilin finally kicked in. I'm not sure why it took so long...either it was a really bad infection (yipee!!) or maybe it was because the antibiotics only cost me about $2.75 for 10 days worth of pills. I'm feeling much better now, and relieved that I am not, in fact, dying.

Isn't that picture disgusting. It makes me laugh every time I look at it. I couldn't sleep last Wednesday night so I took multiple shots of my throat. I figured I could capture the moment for all of you. What? Don't tell me you don't appreciate it...

So next week is "Halloween Week" at school. We had a student council meeting about what activities we could do...I realised I'm really not that creative. In fact, I can't even think of a good costume. Nothing can top the Oompa Loompa of last year...and I'm feeling like straying away from the typical elf-fairy-munchkin combinations I usually fall into. Any suggestions??

Monday, October 16, 2006

...ooooh...that doesn't feel so good...

I feel like I'm walking through a cloud of fog. I started feeling a bit off around noon today. Now all of my muscles are achy. I'm not sure why. I figure it's one of two options, either I'm in pain from carrying my extremely full knapsack of textbooks and a bonus plastic bag full of dried beans (We're making faux Roman mosaics in social studies)up the insanely steep hill by my house, or I'm dying of malaria. Being the dramatist that I am, let's go with option 'b'...

Kidding, people. Kidding. I think I just need a good night's sleep...and some more water. I'm parched!

Another not-so-good feeling from today: I saw a woman with a black eye and I asked her what happened. She told me she fell down. Hmmmm...right. That explanation doesn't sit well. Because as clumsy as I am (and trust me, I have the bruises to prove it!) I've never fallen down and given myself a black eye. That takes a special kind of talent...or fist. Boo.

Held our first student council meeting of the year today at lunch break. I'd really like to put together a year book this year - I can take lots of photos with my nifty digital camera. The kids seemed to like the idea. Also among the top ideas for the school year was a lobby in support of reducing homework and increasing gym periods.

Dream on, kiddies....dream on.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

...oh wait, I forgot...

the MOST exciting thing recently has been the fact that I've discovered an ELECTRIC KEYBOARD in my house on Saturday!!


So needless to say, I've been playing for hours on all I need to get my hands on is a sustain pedal!

Also, I've been meaning to put this quote from one of my students up for a while...I gave them an assignment that had to do with International Peace Day (Sept. 21) and one of the questions was to give an example of the negative effects of conflict on society (I articulated it a bit better on the assignment...) At any rate, here's what one students said:

"The negative effect of conflict is that it will bring backwardness to a community because a community can only go ahead when all heads are stuck together."

All I've got to say is, that's a lot of super glue to achieve world peace.

It's a bit of a sticky situation.

...not much to report...

Thanksgiving came and went with next to no fanfare around here. I managed a nice lunch on the beach with some friends...but grilled baraccuda just isn't the same as turkey(although quite tasty!).

In some exciting news, on Tuesday night we got electricity from National Power Authority for the first time in three weeks. That meant I was able to charge my cell phone and we were able to pump water to the house. We've been without water for about a week. That's right water and no light. Good times! It's raining again though so that's good...water, water, everywhere!

I've got to run to my classroom - I told my students I'd help them make campaign posters for Student Council. Elections are on Friday.

Vote for Pedro.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

...It's a MIRACLE!!...

(the view at dusk from my apartment)

Well friends, the moment you've all been waiting for with baited breath has arrived....


I'm fairly certain it's a miracle. Not only did my air mail package reach me, but so did the one that I sent by land (at the same time as the one by air, mind why did I pay more?) and as a special bonus, the post office even threw in the package my sister mailed on September 12th. It took less than a month for it to get here. (it cost a small fortune...but I appreciate it!)

So what was in the packages?? (drum roll please....)

In package 'A' we have SHOES! Huzzah! What a girl always wants and needs...more shoes!

In package 'B'! Hahahaha...I bought it before I left to give as presents around Christmas time. I think I'll have to keep it in the fridge so it doesn't melt...good times.

And finally, because my sister is close to a godess, my third package has coffee, sunscreen, gum, tea, swiss chalet dipping sauce (gotta love that!), and Dove soap. *sigh* I am one happy adventurer.

I had to pay something like $10 here to receive the packages, but I think that's a small price to pay for getting some novelties from people...start mailing!!!

The packages came at the right time too...I left my keys at home for the third time since I've been here and I'm locked out of my house. I really need to get another set made and keep them at school. Either that, or I need to get another brain. I hear they're selling those on the black market nowadays (kidding).

I'm going home to make coffee.


...Lakka Beach...

....this picture doesn't really capture the beauty of Lakka or of Sierra Leone for that matter, but it's all I have at the moment. I'm hoping to make it to River Number 2 this weekend or sometime in the near future, so I'll be sure to take some breath-taking shots there! Still...I suppose there are things to be jealous about...I mean, I do have an ocean at my doorstep!!

I didn't burn! Hurray for sunscreen. :)

I built a mermaid in the sand. In Krio it's called a "mammi wata" (Water Mother).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

...a picture is worth a thousand words...

I don't have to write any words, because I'm already using thousands upon thousands with all of these photos.

What a cop-out.

So this the "Wall of Fame" I was talking about a number of postings ago...if you're not up here, either I don't have a picture of you, or your picture is stuck to the wall above my bed. :)

This here's the gang from dinner last friday night. Much hilarity and good eats were had by all. Top row, left to right: Kadi, Sylvanus, Mahmood, Adama, Aroun, Hanneke. Justin (one of the teachers I work with) is sitting in the chair.
Ok, so this picture above doesn't really show the extent to which hilarity was experienced...I swear this was one of the few breaks in laughter that evening. (Fine. Don't believe me.)

Ah ha! See! Who wouldn't laugh along with Adama. I know I did. :)

Finally, what night would be complete without a little bit of foolishness? I suppose this gives a new meaning to the word "pumpkin head." The lights over our dinner table are creatively shaded by hollowed out calabash shells (a very large gourd). More typically, calabash shells are used as large serving bowls rather than lampshades.( - I'm not writing an essay, so therefore, I can use Wikipedia as a reliable source for information. Shhhhh! Don't tell my students...) Creativity thrives at 8 Scan Drive...

Monday, October 02, 2006

...I always did like my authentic ethnic foods...

Here am I...eating a shawarma in Mahmood's shop near PZ on Wilberforce Street, just off of Siaka Stevens Street in the heart of downtown Freetown. Looks civilized, doesn't it?

Pictures...I meant to post more today, but something must have gone awry when I was burning the CD with the photos on it. I'll try copying them again and I'll add some photos from the weekend. Hanneke and I went to Lakka - it's a beach on the outskirts of Freetown. There's a bit of a tourist site there with a restaurant, some beach houses, a pool (if you get tired of battling the waves) and a miles of sand.

THIS IS HANNEKE - I live with her. We also have lots of adventures together. She has uber-blonde hair and bright blue eyes, the epitome of a dutch girl. I haven't found her hiding any clogs under her bed yet though. Trust me, I've looked. Below is a picture of Hanneke with our friend MAHMOOD. We all spend a good chunk of time together on the weekends.

This is Heleen, my other "housemate." Technically speaking, Heleen lives in an apartment next door to me, but we live on the same compound and often eat dinner together. When Heleen's gas stove was broken, she would come over to use was like she never moved out of the big house (she used to live where I do). Heleen has been in Salone for over 3 years.

Well folks, that's all for now. I'll see what I can do about some more photos. It's hard to keep my computer and my camera charged (not to mention my cell phone!) when there's no light/electricity.

Gotta love "black out..."