Saturday, June 16, 2012

goodbye to dr. laura

>> as is the way with government organizations (or any real organization i suppose), there must be overlap and continuity between incoming and outgoing staffs. june 22nd marks the departure of our doctor, Dr. Laura, who has helped myself ((boils, diarrhea, dehydration, giardia, rabies (disproved), blisters, gashes (from the freetown streets), and nightmares and insomnia (thank you, malaria medication)), as well as many other volunteers and trainees with their medical and psychological problems. im not ashamed to say that on more than one occasion it has been laura that either with compassion or sarcasm or a little bit of both had gotten me past rough patches, whether it was something as physical as diarrhea or something as ethereal as nightmares and insomnia. her replacement, steven tull, sounds like a nice man (i've only talked to him on the phone as of yet), but i look forward to working with him for the short time i'll be under his care. i am happy for salone 3 (who arrived june 7th and are now in bo for training) because they will have mr. tull for a majority of their service - he will leave around the time laura is leaving, respectively. anyway, in conclusion, thank you, dr. laura, for doing your job professionally and practically, never failing to set us straight when we went awry but also always being there to care for us when you were needed. thank you. i love and miss you all :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

africa is cruella devil

>> play along with this analogy for me. if africa was cruella devil, she would know when you were happy and then destroy those feelings. some examples: a) you've had a great day teaching! (AFRICA NOTICES) you now have devastating diarrhea all night! b) you're really tired and need a restful night of sleep! (AFRICA SEES) you now have a deafening terrifying lightning-enriched thunderstorm that makes you think that your zinc roof might just fly off and into the jungle! c) you're excited about your last day of teaching! (AFRICA OBSERVES) you go to class to find it mostly empty and your students not all that upset that you're done standing in front of them attempting to instruct them.. i could go on. i should clarify that this is almost always done with a humorous context, that when i talk to a friend and say 'but then the best thing happened...' that my friend will reply with, 'shhhhhhhhh SHE'S LISTENING!' and then we chuckle. perhaps its time for us to come home, eh? i love and miss you all :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

finally back in freetown

>> sorry. i've been away from freetown for far too long. since we talked last, lots has happened. your briefing begins now: a) I finished teaching! As of last Thursday, the 7th, I finished instruction. It was a relief to finally be finished with teaching which, if we're being honest, which i try to be all the time, was getting a little worn around the edges. the students no longer had any interest, stopped coming to school altogether, and only vaguely gave any appearance of interest in their studies. it's nice to be done, but of course, the work continues.. now i get to enter all the grades (55 students per class x 9 subjects x 13 classes x 2 tests) and then do the clerical work to end up the year right. there's a lot to be done before i can happily put a pretty bow on my service, but we're on our way! b) We decided to get another dog! I say this now, that this will not WILL NOT be my dog, that this is Foday's dog FODAY'S DOG! that we are getting when I return home on Sunday. one of my teachers' dogs had puppies and sunday night we will bring him home (already named 'patience' by foday) and continue on. i know that this will not replace queen, but it will be nice to have a sprightly puppy around again... c) the goodbyes have started. i have had multiple people come up to me with no other purpose than to tell me how much they will miss me, on some occasions, intermingled with tears and people saying things like, 'i dont know what we will do without you' or 'i dont know what i will do without you.' we are told in peace corps that you have a beginning, that rough first patch, followed by a lengthy middle part, where everything is more or less the same, and then, (where we are now), the end, when everything has underneath it that sense of ending, like crunchy leaves - every step you take can't be taken without being reminded that this is the last time i go here, the last time i do that, the last time we celebrate this together. the goodbyes have begun.. i love and miss you all :)