Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week 2 of Placement

I have already been here a full week, and I can't believe it. From here, I'm sure time will begin to accelerate. Monday morning, bright and early after breakfast, I took my daily hike down to Dar Rd. to Twisuka. No matter how late I leave I am always early. I can't quite figure things out. To my surprise though, Maria was back from her meetings. We had a very long and confusing conversation about all sorts of things including how much 15 meters of fabric costs and what exactly I am teaching. I honestly have no idea what I am teaching, but I'm making it work anyway. At least I think I am.

After going through a whole lesson on time with foam clocks that I found at the main house, I come to find out that they have no use for this lesson but they still want to learn about time. Improvising, I started writing out digital times on my sad excuse for a flip chart, and they seemed to respond much better. I don't actually have any idea though. After that mess, I pulled out the giant map I found at summer house and hung it on the wall. I figured that I could kill at least a half hour, but they were fascinated by everything. The rest of my time there took place in Swahili as Lucas explained to my students that the  Earth was in fact round. This was an amazing discovery for the day. He also talked about longitude, latitude, rotation, revolution, and the planets and their relationship to the sun. I was pretty much useless.

In the middle of all of this, an older man came in and asked me for financial advice because I was clearly rich. I tried to explain that this was not the case, and that in America I didn't actually make that much money. His response was that I did make more money than I needed because if you have enough to save then you are rich. So he wanted to know how he could become rich like me so that he could travel the world. Turns out that he owns a small book shop and he constantly reads about other places, but he knows he will never be able to see them. It made me realize how fortunate I am to be able to just have the opportunity to do things.

After another lovely lunch, I went with Ben and Madame Wemba (Amber) to meet with Kennedy about our trip to Zanzibar this weekend and our Safari the following weekend. It is always a shady experience dealing with the infamous Kennedy because he finds the table away from everyone where they store the chairs at Hillside to talk. My only purpose is for moral support because Amber is great at asking all the questions. I just hope Kennedy can deliver.

On to my Batik lesson...
We all went to this children's art studio to learn. I was so excited though because I could finally make something here. I decided to draw a twiga (giraffe) with a border of giraffe spots. I was very excited about this as well. After the drawing on the fabric, we took hot wax and a pointy sponge and outlines our drawings. After it dries, it is a lot like the ty dying process except with just one color. I made my twiga orange, and again I am thrilled. I think this may be my new enrichment cluster. Hooray. I could also do some beading!

On the way home from batik lessons, Amber and I stopped by Monday Market. I kid you not when I tell you it is insanity. People are selling everything from school uniforms to transistor radios. I stopped to buy my first fabric called conga. It is the fabric that has a border and a saying. Women use these to make a statement without saying a word. I really have no idea what mine say, and they cost me 15,000 shillings which is somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 I think.

Dinner was a fab mac and cheese with avocado, and then it was off to Hillside again  for some lovely conversation. Goodnight!