Sunday, May 6, 2012

the remainder

>> so here's what's left for me. on may 18th, ill be going to a birthday party for joey peterson. the last weekend in may i go to bo to see my host family one last time. on june 14th i come back to freetown for our going away party for our peace corps doctor on june 15th. on july 4th or 6th, depending on schooling, i go to port loko for our 4th of july party. on july 21st, we have a huge party in gbendembu and on the 22nd, i go to freetown. on the 23rd, i take my TB test and begin the mess of paperwork, finally 'COS'ing on july 27th. we are allowed one extra week around the peace corps compound after that date to wrap things up, and on the 29th, i head off to paris and france for my COS trip. i return home to america on august 12th. it's coming to an end frightfully quickly here, with about 86 days left until i leave my village for freetown finally and therefore only about 6 or 7 real weeks of teaching left.. ill be in gbendembu doing my best to teach as much as i can while trying to ensure that they understand it, but the time remaining is small :) i love and miss you all :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

sad blog post - get kleenex ready

>> so this is a sad blog post. the next morning, my host father and i walked to the school. upon arrival and plugging in his phone to charge, i got a call on my phone. from his wife. i answered. 'tell pa aruna his daughter is seriously sick. he needs to come home to bo now.' i told my host father, and we quickly found him a bike. he packed his belongings, we had a hurried goodbye, and then he left. i called my host mother to tell him he had departed and she replied, 'his daughter is dead.' my host father was already gone and i couldn't inform him, so we let it be. he called me later to tell me that he had arrived and that his daughter had died. during all of this, the fun night before, the frantic morning, the aftermath of drinking and feeling solemn, queen was continuing to nibble at his tail, which leads us to even more bad news... the skin infection there continued to grow, eating his fur, so we tried local remedies which included the black inside chalky powder of a battery on the wound and later GV (gentian violet) a stain. what we really needed was some antibiotic cream and one of those collars that prevents the dog from biting it. with no improvement, i called the veterinarian that had done neutering, spaying, and rabies injections for my dogs in the past. he sensed the agitation in my voice and came the next morning and began double injections of antibiotics in the morning and night. (night morning night morning (no night) morning night). i was never there for the injections because i cannot handle the fight and sadness and anger queen put up when being treated. i was the first person he ran to after the injection and served as counsel. after this final night injection, he ran to me as normal, i petted him, and then he began to twitch, convulse, and stumble, whimpering and struggling to breathe. we took him inside the house. we laid him down but i got *that* feeling. i moved close and pet his neck and said his name comfortingly until he stopped breathing. i broke down sobbing. after a few minutes i came outside to everyone yelling and sad, seeing the look on my tear-stained face. i called my parents, and we made the difficult decision to take queen to the bush now instead of in the morning. we wrapped queen in a bag and went into the bush. a friend of mine called but i darkly responded, "I'll call you back. My dog just died." We laid Queen down. I said, "Give me a minute." I pet him a little bit more, and then we walked back to the house without him. I believe that my veterinarian, who worked primarily with livestock, gave Queen too much antibiotic too quickly too fast for his small size, but the veterinarian reiterated that this was the first dog he has ever lost. this all happened on april 20th and ive done my grieving and am trying to move on, but i felt it necessary to make a blogpost. love you, queen. i love and miss you all. :(

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

even more last thoughts on COS conference

>> some moments you might enjoy: (a) while i took my bucket bath at the hill valley hotel (one of the most expensive hotels in freetown but still without functioning showers) the lights went out. for a moment i stood in the shower, naked, in a completely dark bathroom, and  then broke out into giggles at my life. i continued reaching down to the bucket and finished my bath in the dark only for the lights to return on once i'd finished.. (b) the last night of the COS conference was a big night for my group.. we were treated to pizza at mamba point by our country directors and then broke off into groups to prepare for the night - most of my friends made our way to ace's where the DJ played an amazing set (like a prayer, 'believe' by cher, chris brown, pitbull, david guetta, etc.) and we danced the night away. it was a nice sense of closure since most of these friendships really blossomed around vicani nightclub in bo (during our training) and the nights we spent enjoying and dancing together.. (c) my host father was finally able to visit! foday and i waited in town and then he got down slow and stiff but had a great night together drinking palm wine (which he remarked was amazing) and spending time together sharing stories about me. unfortunately, problems arose... [next blog post..] I love and miss you all.