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Recharging

May 15, 2012

wash

I’ve been in Monrovia for a few days recharging with friends, but it’s good to be home.

I had to wait over an hour for the car to fill in Red Light but once it did we made great time and it was a good trip.  I had a middle seat and slept most of the time slumped on a nice young woman, waking just in time to sing a few rounds of ‘Chop my Money’ with her.  Once in Ganta, however, I had to wait two hours for a car to Sanni.  And when we finally left?  There were ten boxes of fish in the trunk.  They heaped my bags on top of the quickly thawing load and, with a sigh; I resigned myself to the fate of the next hour.

It was so good to be home!  I went to my student Ander’s shop to change money.  He and his friends grinned as I tumbled out of the car, heavily dusted, sweaty, and oddly fishy.  “Ms. RB, she’s really with us!  She pay the same we do.  She rides the same we do.  She having hard time like we do!”

It made me happy.

Across the street Maima fed me pepper soup.  Oh I missed rice!  Nathaniel had a cold drink for me, but delighted in pretending they were all gone, returning with something wrapped in tissue, “Sorry, this all I have.”  He handed it to me—my favorite!  He thought this was the funniest joke ever.  From him it was.

I carried my fifty pound load all the way home and the kids ran across the yard screaming, practically knocking me over.  It was good to be home.  Even though my biceps were burning I hauled two buckets of water for my bath and my water filter before collapsing on the porch with the kids.

I made tea, wrapped a scarf around my shoulders and, for the first time in six weeks, slept like a baby.

The next morning I woke up to a rainstorm and ran outside to fill my buckets.  I started washing… and never stopped.  Where I found the energy I’ll never understand.  Four or five hours later I admitted defeat and finished this morning.  The highlight of the day was when Grandpa killed a lizard and they chased me around the porch with it.  This was hilarious until it came back to life small just as they chunked it at me.  I screamed and they died laughing.  A razor blade appeared from somewhere and they huddled around while Nya cut it open and took out the eggs.

Yep.  They ate them.

Nya Lizard

I finally went in town around 3:00 and was delighted Maima had jolof rice, even if all the red oil made me sick later.  On the road I was stopped by a young man, “Excuse me.  Who are you?  Everyone knows you and loves talking to you.”  I told him I was a teacher.  “Peace Corps?”  I nodded.  “Thank god!”

Garrison came out of his house just then.  I was thrilled and terrified all in one breath.  I’d never found his application and hadn’t wanted to admit that during his WAEC.  “My heart isn’t feeling alright,” he said, “I never brought my application to you.”  I heaved a giant sigh, “I know!  FOR WHY?!”  He’d been waiting on the transcript from Mr. Demy.  Ugh!  I asked if he was done and made him promise to carry it to me.  “I will go to the computer area and beg them to help us, but I na know,” I said.

(Today they did it for me at the Education Office and I will email it tonight as long as the file isn’t too big.)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. blondie permalink
    June 14, 2012 2:02 pm

    Such a lively entry. Of the people I’ve known in peace corps…of the two dishes that stick out to me…lizard eggs or salted raw fat from a hog [dish served to a person I knew serving PC in the Ukraine]…I’m not sure which I’d choose. Probably the lizard eggs.
    I am impressed and glad the kids are so comfortable finding food for themselves with the plants and animals around there. Something really lacking in a lot of people around here!
    You’re a celebrity around there 🙂 ❤

  2. Candace permalink
    June 15, 2012 5:02 pm

    As if the story wasn’t delightful enough (I could just feel your burden lifting), the pictures are a story all their own…so beautifully framed.

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