Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The (New) Typical Day

>> So. I think a lifetime ago I wrote about my typical day. It's changed.. I wake up around 630 or 7 AM to the sound of roosters crowing outside my window, women pounding leaves to make sauce, children running around, and my dogs barking at anything and everything.. I move to my porch, where Sandy is usually sweeping it or the compound around, asking how I slept, drawing water from the well for bathing, etc. We're usually laughing pretty quickly unless I didn't sleep well in which case Sandy usually recognizes quickly to stay out of sight (I'll say I'm crabby like that once a week. Something about the mice crawling up my mosquito net, the bats having ridiculous sex in my attic, or the roosters deciding that YES, 3 AM IS MORNING! is an obstruction to good sleep). I get out my crank REI radio (which Foday dropped and broke the battery housing) so I start cranking. I listen to Capital Radio (http://www.capitalradio.sl) from about 7 to 830ish, at which point I usually lose the signal. I don't know why. Something about the planet spinning. I usually sit on my porch, read some books, write, wonder what I'm doing, decide whether or not to go into town before school, and bathe. It's dry season by now, which means that if I don't bathe by about 10 AM, it's not worth it, because I'll be sweating by the time I leave the latrine. I pull water from the well, put it in my broken blue bucket, and walk to the latrine, strip down, suds up, wash down, and get dressed. Because if I stayed home I wouldn't be productive, I usually take my belongings to the school. Because my school has switched to a shift system, I now only teach in the afternoon, but from 10AMish to 1PMish when my shift starts I'm in the staff room, reading, writing, being rude, being funny, talking about America, talking about Libya, talking about how Americans do NOT love war, (thats worth another blog post in itself), and relaxing. I usually visit Mr. Bangura in the carpentry workshop and listen to music on his radio. At 1 PM we have devotion. The children sing religious songs, sing the national anthem, and then it's off to class (in a perfect world, mind you :P) I only teach SS2 sci/arts, SS2 commercial, and SS3 arts/commercial, so at the most I have three classes. Imagine me teaching perfectly. Good. After the classes, around 3 PM, I either go to town to get the necessary items (bread, units to text, peanut butter cakes, honey, etc.) or I go home. ((It being the dry season, my first goal is usually to get home and GET OUT OF MY BLACK PANTS)) I get onto the porch, either lesson plan (although I've now planned all the way through to 2012 I feel), read, write, relax, drink palm wine, think about home, take a nap, write some more, or go visit Mr. Bangura, the Councilor, or my fellow teachers and friends. At about 5 or 6 PM, my neighbor brings over food. I pay her 40,000Le a month (~$10) to make food for me. This is a good deal (although I'm planning to increase it to 50,000Le next month (prices are rising here.. rice was 600Le a cup when I first got to Gbendembu and it's now 900Le). I eat. At about 6 PM I usually take another shower because at this time it gets cooler and once you're wet everything feels cooler, etc. People visit, we talk and laugh and drink and relax, I light a candle, the candle burns down, and people depart. I lock down my house, check it again, and either settle into bed with a light and a book or lay down. The mice and bats wait until I am suitably asleep before they begin their shenanigans and in a short spin of the globe, I do it all over again :) I love and miss you all! :)


  1. "I usually sit on my porch, read some books, write, wonder what I'm doing, decide whether or not to go into town before school, and bathe."

    What really hit home here was that part: wonder what I am doing. I found this absolutely hilarious because I feel I will be in the same situation here in two months. My name is Drew and I will be in Sierra Leone somewhere between June 3rd and however long it takes to get to Freetown. Good luck and I enjoyed the laugh!


  2. I enjoyed this post! It's nice to hear what your day comprises and where you might face some of the challenges that you've grown accustomed to. Sheds light on the nuances of life in one African village.