Friday, November 26, 2010

Bryan and the Case of the Undisciplined Students

>> So. Let's get caught up. School has gone very well. I've given a few more tests, and my students have honestly begun to respect me, that is, my SS2 students. (JSS1 to JSS3 is from age 13 to about 16, give or take a decade, and SS1 to SS3 is 16-20, give or take a decade. I have a 30-year-old student in SS3). My SS3 kids were very disrespectful for a few days in a row, giving me flack, talking in Loko behind my back because they knew I would not understand it, etc. I came out of the class fuming and the principal noticed (My friends have sometimes noted either a feeling of cold or a feeling of heat waves when I'm angry) and asked what was the matter. I informed him about their flagrant disrespect, ESPECIALLY given my status as, you know, a young volunteer thousands of miles from his family and friends, you know, no biggie. My principal was VERY upset. He wanted NAMES. The next day, the worst five, (which became nine), got yelled at, eventually turning into a hunt to see who had taken down my notes. Out of the 51 students, only 18 had. The others? Of COURSE causing problems. Caught. Their punishments can't really be revealed here, but the school farm looks superb, and my compound is very clean. Their uniforms were also changed to match the younger students. They pleaded to me, "Mr. Meeker, the younger students do not respect us in this uniform!" to which I replied, "Oh? You're upset because you're not getting the respect you feel you deserve? That must be AWFUL." They prompty left. Treated. // My laptop refuses to charge. A technician in my village, Jerry, has taken her down to the motherboard and found multiple problems that coincide with someone dropping it. I have NEVER dropped it and am usually careful (as careful as you can be here) with it which means that someone else dropped it. I would be angry, but there's no real point. My life goes on. I hope that Jerry can fix it, because I miss movies and writing and mixing music, but if he can't, I'll survive. It's just frustrating to have an amazing poweful laptop essentially reduced to a shiny Sony paperweight now. Sigh. // There was a Muslim holiday here a few weeks back which involved me going to a nearby village for an awesome dance. We were treated like royalty (Jimmy and I) and we had a lot of fun although real-world problems came back at the conclusion when our ride was inebriated and our options to get the seven miles back to Gbendembu were limited. Needless to say, we walked a large chunk of that (as the sun set) and then I managed to find transportation. The day and dance were fun, but to have real-world problems like alcoholism hit you in the face was depressing. // I had giardia a week ago, you can look that beauty up, and it was awful. I know that I always seem to be writing about when I'm sick, but that's just because it's what I remember. I'm healthy and happy 85% of the time :) but the giardia was bad. I had terrible diarrhea and felt like vomiting, dry heaving, like my insides were on fire. I called our medical officer and took 4 pills of 500mg antibiotics (which honestly would kill anything) and felt better slowly over the next couple of days. I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but being sick here is a HUGE depressing situation. Whereas in America you can drive to CVS or Walgreens or wherever and get some soup and some medicine, that's really not an option here. Your choices are, call the doctor, take the medicine she prescribes, and wait it out. Such is life. // Foday showed me an awesome dish that I will be sharing with my parents when come to visit me in late March. Papaya, red peppers, lime, salt. It sounds maybe a smidgen like guacamole or a smidgen like fruit salad, but it was REALLY good. The Mende pastor, which whom I've been spending Monday or Tuesday evenings with, continues to spoil me with amazingly good food. Her last dish I christened "Spicy Mende Chicken," which she loved :) She is also an example of the village beginning to like me- she came to my house when I had giardia and prayed over me. Wonderful experience :) I have to give a shout out to the BB parents of Jessie, Andre, and Jimmy, my family here in Sierra Leone. Your kids love you, and we're having a get-together tomorrow for Thanksgiving. It was hard to miss Thanksgiving, especially since my parents called, but I know that we'll make up for it with our own unique version tonight/tomorrow. I love and miss you all :)


  1. Hahaha "Oh you are upset because you are not getting the respect you deserve? Must be AWFUL. Treated." Oh how I love you! The laptop thing is a major bummer! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Try to stop getting sick all the time... Hmmm that line sounds oddly familiar to me ;) I know it's not your fault but I hope you can stay well. Miss you!

  2. Always good to see what you have to share! Hope you're feeling better and sorry to hear about your laptop. Hope that can be fixed. But glad to see that so much out there is going well, too! Thanks for keeping all of us posted on your adventures!