Friday, January 11, 2008

i'm on a roll

that's right folks, only one week later and you're hearing from me again.

i don't know what's gotten into me! maybe it's the fact that we have electricity and i'm able to write from the comfort of my own kitchen table. maybe it's the fact that we have electricity and i'm able to sleep to the soothing whir and breeze from my very own FAN. maybe it's the fact that we have electricity and i'm able to start my day with a glass of COLD water from our fridge that makes things COLD. my friends, life is good.

i recieved quite a few responses to my last post which made me realize something... i live in africa. my life is interesting. funny things happen to me every single day and after only 4 months, they seem normal. i actually went back and read that post after reading the responses and i laughed at it myself. i do have some unique stories to share. so i'm honestly going to try to be better. i think that i've been waiting around for some big earth-shaking insight that the world must know, but really, we all just want to laugh at the white girl in africa. that's what all of my neighbors want, so why should i think you're any different? :)

so, for your reading pleasure, here are a couple of notes from my time tutoring in the afternoons... both of these stories involve snack time, so it would appear that they just come here and eat, but i promise that we learn every once in a while too.

a few weeks ago the 3 regulars were sitting at the table eating egg sandwiches, and they were making a MESS as usual. they don't eat at a table in their house, so even when one is available they don't use it. so little saidu is sitting with his legs up on the arm of the chair, his plate on his lap, food flying in every direction... he stood up, and there were crumbs ALL OVER his chair. and this is when i made my first real language error. i've made mistakes, sure. but i've never made an offensive mistake. so to make that kind of mistake in front of children... ouch. it's really not fair, because the polite way of referring to a person's back side in english, is to call it just that - their "back side." what i didn't know is this - that is pretty much the MOST offensive way to refer to it in Krio. does that seem fair to you? so i made some comment about food and his backside and saidu and mari start laughing. mari was in tears. saidu just staring at me laughing with his eyes WIDE like i had absolutely made his day. and then there's remie... "auntie steph, you done cuss." so serious and sober. while the others are crying. he told them that they should correct me first, then laugh. which i enjoyed. anyway, completely embarrassing. i apologized to remie, then saidu yells "i'm the one you cussed!" so they laughed again. moral of the story, be careful with krio. i've said it before and i'll say it again; it's just close enough to english to really get you into trouble.

last week the kids didn't have school but i told the boys to come at 3 when i finished my krio lesson. at 3:30 on friday i called noah to ask where they were so he sent them and they reached my house at 4. (i thought i had a fluid sense of time...) we only had an hour before i had to be somewhere else, so i decided i would just give them some ginger cookies and tea - no sandwich. well, then they told me that they hadn't eaten that day, which i didn't really believe, but i sent remie to buy some bananas anyway just in case they really were hungry. long story short, cami overhears them tell me that they hadn't eaten, she sees noah that afternoon and asks him if it's true. of course, it isn't. we decide that as punishment for lying, they won't get a snack at my house this week. so i saw saidu the next day and asked, "my friend, what happened yesterday?" he responds, in a very quiet voice with his eyes to the ground, "something very wrong." it has never been so easy to forgive someone. :)

and hillary, you won't believe this, but i haven't fallen down or tripped in a really long time! my reflexes and night vision are greatly improving. however, last week i was walking to the youth center and all of these people were saying to me "osh ya" and "take time white girl" and i started to realize that they must have thought i was someone else who HAD fallen on that corner... i never figured it out, but even when i stay upright, i get credit for falling. forced humility.

i turn 27 next week. gross. i'll try to have fun anyway, and i'll let you know what i do to dull the pain of reaching my LATE 20'S...


amanda said...

it's me hoping that if i post again you will write again. i laughed out loud as i read sitting at my desk in the office.

have fun white uman!

love ya

Jourt said...

I was quite happy to see another post, and so soon:) Glad your electricity is up and running!!! The late 20's aren't so bad. In October I'll let you know how turning 30 is. Doh!

Chris Harrell said...

Excellent post Steph. It's great to see when anyone has posted from there because it keeps us a bit up to date. It's great to hear from you and it's nice to be able to picture what and who you're talking about. :-)


Liz said...

27?! One foot in the grave... I miss you Steph, love the stories! Especially "you done cuss." hehe!

angela said...

isn't 30 the new 20? if so, you are apparently just getting ready to transition adolescence. that's what i tell myself anyways, when my wardrobe still consists of hooded sweatshirts and i like the same music as the 18 year old busser at work.

you're only as old as you feel... but apparently we need to invest in a walker for you?

Anonymous said...

happy birthday steph mcguire. i love you.

you got a phone number there you can ever be reached at? i'll call you and say hi if you do.