>> so i'm back in freetown. since we talked last, i've worked with the new trainees, finished teaching my first year of teaching biology in africa, turned in my grades, packed my bags for home, gotten giardia a second time, and arrived in freetown safely, driven in a Peace Corps vehicle, because they were going my way. the new trainees are knowledgeable, way more than we were at this point, which is intimidating / great. they're a little naive, but so were we when we first arrived; there's a lot of lessons they have yet to learn (and i do to...). finishing my first year of teaching was anticlimactic, since the students stopped really interacting for the last few weeks because they saw the summer vacation approaching (kinda the same as in an American classroom). i turned in my grades, which was not that bad, but working in the grades office was, (a HUGE headache),.. whereas in many classrooms in America we utilize these pretty computer-generated-software printouts of grades, in Africa it's all done by hand. my hand. i stayed until 4 AM one morning, came back at 6:30 AM, stayed until 3 PM, collapsed at home, came back, worked until dark and it was finished. a sizeable amount of work. with the school year done, i spent more time with foday and my village, which was great :) although large stinging ants decided that my shower is their new favorite rest stop. this was especially fun in the morning, naked, taking a bucket bath, and feeling my feet burning and prickling as they bit me. cut to me throwing boxers back on, resisting the urge to scream, running outside, seeing that the floor of the shower is in fact a small interstate of ants. i go and get foday, because i'm not man enough, and my feet hurt, and he came with one of the brooms and smacked, cleaned, and frustrated the ants. they left. i bathed. now i check the shower for ants. i had the, err, runs, but they got worse, much worse, and, grudgingly, i called laura (because i hate calling and saying 'laura, i'm pooping a lot') and we agreed it was indeed giardia again. superb. giardia is like diarrhea on steroids, so, yes, diarrhea + your body on fire + aches + cramps + incredible burps and other gaseous exchanges. it's fun! i packed my bags for home, and was informed a snake was in my latrine. apparently someone posted about my latrine on some social networking site, because everyone wants to go there now. the snake fell into the pit, what a terrible way to die, and life moves on. i went to makeni, collected some letters from trainees, and got a ride to freetown, and here we are. all caught up? :) i love and miss you all.