Saturday, June 29, 2013

Invasion of the Grasshoppers

Work. There is a wide interpretation of what exactly the term means and how exactly it is supposed to fit into the activities that compromise the tasks of our daily schedule. Is pulling yourself out of bed to say hi to your counterparts family considered work? Is walking to the market just to make yourself seen for the day so that the masses don’t start to suspect that you skipped town considered work? Is meeting with the local womens group because they have a business idea that they
My nephew trying on my glasses
think is worth financing but you know otherwise considered work? Is blogging so that friends and family back home can have a small idea of what you are up to during this period of our lives considered work? Well if you ask about anyone here in Peace Corps we would say that yes all of the above are considered work, well there may be some debate on the last one, and even the smallest tasks like leaving your house take more effort than the 9-5 we once held.
At the moment I am finding myself doing anything but, including blogging, what I am supposed to be doing which is writing the lesson plans for the training sessions with my youth project. I thought it would be sort of an effortless task, not easy but surly not requiring this much concentration and premeditated thoughts. I actually Googled phrases such as “how to write a lesson plan” and “common lesson plan mistakes” before starting the process because I found myself stuck somewhere between naming the lesson and writing the objectives. I would like to use my phone-a-friend lifeline and call either Sarah Gunderson (previously Kvasnicka) or Erica Schumacher (previously Cain) (damn, all my friends are getting married and it is mildly depressing how life in America is moving along without me, I will have to touch on this in another post) who, I am pretty sure, could write a lesson plan in their sleep. I knew I should have paid attention while watching them write these things during our Bachelor/homework session nights in college. Anyway, I think they are coming along considerably more than when I first started. Who would have thought that when I applied to the Peace Corps I wanted to save babies and work with HIV/AIDS, got into Peace Corps thinking I was going to be working with economic development and arrived in Velingara, Senegal finding projects where I am acting as a teacher and translator.
I can officially, and finally, say that rainy season is officially here! With the rains come things such as mangoes, pleasant sleeping weather, flooded streets and grasshoppers (well they could be crickets, I honestly don’t know the difference). I have learned so many random facts while living here, the kind of facts that you blurt out at happy hour that strike a conversation ending with “how did we get on that topic?” and one of them was that grasshoppers are attracted to light. Well it was more of a life lesson. When trying to rid my room of the couple of grasshoppers before bed one night I noticed that my room quickly became infested with them hopping around. For every one that I got out of my room two more jumped in not having the common decency to at least not jump all over me. At one point I was literally laughing, sounding and looking like a crazy person I am sure, while they were seemingly attacking and throwing themselves at me as the kids in my family were just laughing from a distance because they were actually afraid of them. My brother rushed over, shut off my light, found a flashlight and started smashing them and throwing them out of my room. Who would have thought the only reason why they were in my room was because my door was open and a light was on, of course they felt welcomed. I have turned it into a game of sorts, catching them in my room and throwing them to the chickens that then chase them around like a chicken with their head cut off. Weird. I am hoping that in exchange for the free food that I am providing them they will stop pooping in front of my door because I really don’t appreciate it. Jordan, my sitemate, is convinced that they have no control over where they hop around considering they jump at our faces and into buckets of water and drown.
I received two more packages from my parents, and some lovely coconut peanut butter from Bird- thanks for that! I honestly don’t know what I would do without them, well I bet I would become one of those bitter volunteers that never receives packages or mail and thinks that their friends and family back home actually forgot that they up and left America to serve in a third world country. A few of the package contents included new toothbrushes (YAY!), candy (which I am bribing small children with and it is working), tuna packages (which I hated in America and now can’t seem to get enough of it- I put it on some bread, with some egg whites and mustard and it makes a great sandwich) clicky pens (no more loosing caps and the ink drying out, ever!), granola bars (always good for snacking or an easy breakfast and I don’t have to share because there is not nearly enough sugar in one for someone to actually want one) and underwear (a year in the heat and rain does some inconceivable damage on the delicates). Thanks again family, my first million will go to you!
It is about lunchtime so I am going to wrap up this chitchat session because the smell of fish balls (like meatballs but with fish) is wafting its way in my room and making me rather hungry. Stay classy America. xoxo


Anonymous said...

Hey love! I miss you SOOO much! I laughed when you were mentioning lesson planning because I'm working on the new curriculum for my department and in turn have to develop a new lesson plan format that will please 10 women (good luck right?). I'm sure you're doing wonderfully and I'm so proud of you! I always kinda thought you had many teacher qualities if you ever decide to give up corporate/non-profit dreams for an empty bank account, more children than you'd ever want, and the fulfillment of knowing you've made the future a little bit better by giving them the tools and hopefully (my main goal) make them respectful, caring members of our society. My four and five year olds think I'm crazy when I get frustrated and remind them constantly they'll get nowhere in life without manners. Yes please or no thank-you is the only way you eat snack in my class hahaha... Anywho we need to catch up soon. It's been far to long since our last chat.

Take care!

Erica Cain (I'm famous!) Schumacher

Curtis Blodgett said...

Stay strong, you are doing more than you think you are. Keeping up foreign relations is also work. You are never forgotten back home. We love you.



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