>> So I've been here two weeks now. I'm adjusted to the food, to my wonderful family, but the weather still gives me pause. My mother is under the belief that I could drink a gallon of water each day. She has found a small towel for me and insisted I buy another (for the sweat). I don't want to say that I'm melting, but I'm melting.
In other news, the training is going really well. We're finally beginning to specialize, i.e. not learning about education in one large group but breaking off into our individal groups (science, math, english) and learning techniques and strategies to teach it. My homework for this weekend is to prepare a fifteen-minute lesson plan on metamorphosis (caterpillar to butterfly) for young students. I'll be giving it in front of my fellow volunteers and then, as the weeks go by, longer and longer lessons with more and more feedback. In two weeks, we'll begin working at local summer schools and I'll be relatively on my own- preparing lesson plans, homework, and even a final exam with grades and all. No pressure.
The weather here, excluding the relentless heat and humidity, is amazing. Last night I was awoken by a thunderblast that may have actually terrified me. These aren't your run-of-the-mill storms, even the fun Champaign storms. These are rumbling crackling storms you see and hear coming for half an hour and whilst in America I would make popcorn and sit on the porch, here I sit inside and hope I survive. It's relatively epic.
My language studies are going slowly. My family speaks English and Mende first, and Krio second. My instructors have insisted on teaching Krio, but it is relatively ineffective at home, so I speak broken Mende and English. We've already had some wonderful conversations about American politics, the economy, and my home life. One of the main goals of this organization is not only me being immersed in Sierra Leone culture but for Sierra Leoneans to learn more about American culture. I'm doing my best. (My family was AMAZED that I am from Chicago, which they quickly pieced together to be where OBAMA is from. They insist that Obama and I are brothers. I agreed.)
Last night, I made my first walk from Kebbie Town (Apologies for calling it Kebbitown) to downtown Bo. This journey is some miles and while fun during the daytime proved relatively scary at nighttime but, with the company of other volunteers, we sarcasmed and laughed our way home on the pitch-black road, being passed by motorcycles and cars (which all honk whenever they pass anyone so as to inform you of their presence) and watching the sky ahead of us crackle and light up as yet another storm approached.
I'll close here. I love and miss you all. :)