Friday, October 12, 2007
Shhhhhh - it's quiet!
This past week the students have all been away for the midterm break so we've been enjoying a quiet campus and free time. We've been working to get the school ready for a teacher's conference that's happening tomorrow, but we also had plenty of time to go relax by the pool and watch movies, as you can see.
On a more sad note, Neda left to go back home so now we are down by one volunteer, leaving 5 of us to forge ahead. We had a really nice going-away dinner for her though, a braai (bbq) and a slideshow/movie of pictures and songs about her (to the tune 'Wimbawe': "To the island, the tiny island, Neda soon returns... etc... Weeeee will always keep you in our hearts)
When we dropped her at the airport, we stayed in Lusaka for 2 nights with a family we know, the Alavians. Being away from campus for a while was really great: we did some shopping, went to markets, saw the current and the new Baha'i centers in Lusaka, went to a devotional meeting at the Baha'i center and even saw a movie! It was actually the first time the 5 of us got to hang out and laugh and laugh and have fun together. It was really nice and I think we'll all remember the funny moments we had. I actually made Rae keep a note of all the funny things I said... for instance, while discussing how the travel channel always advises tourists to take the only means of transportation there is (ex: India, tourists should stick to taxis, rickshaws and trains) I said "apparently the hovercrafts aren't very good..." ok. you had to be there.
We took a very full bus back to the school on Monday - I was so squished we almost had to amputate my let... it was close.
We've been cooking for ourselves this week, which has been niee because we can eat what we feel like and not what the dining hall serves, but tricky as well because our stove only has the temperatures "on" and "off" and the oven is too small to fit a dish of longed-after brownies. Hurray for improvisation! We have also been perfecting our techniques of floating on three kick-boards at once to make up for the loss of inflatable pool toys.
When we were at the Baha'i center in Lusaka, I met a woman named Cathy who works for an aid organisation (I think USAID) and I hope to see her again and maybe visit her office and see what she does! After our trip to Children in Need, I've been really keen to learn more about aid work in Zambia!
A funny story: in one of the pictures you will see me apparently scratching a palm tree with a pool tool. Correction: I am strategically using the pool tool to retrieve papayas from a papaya tree! This is how we get our food at Banani. And we also made a mulberry crumble from mulberries that we picked ourselves from a tree outside... it's a do-it-yourself mentality.
The other pictures are Neda's party, hanging out at the Alavians, squished in the bus, retrieving papayas and floating in the pool. If they don't upload now, I'll try again tomorrow.
And great news! I finally received the packages that my family sent from home - computer accessories and clothes I'd forgotten, flaxseed oil and calcium and a few other surprises I wasn't expecting. It was like Christmas or Ayyam-i-Ha, getting to open boxes and have treats inside!
I hope everyone in Canada is enjoying the cooler weather - it's the hottest month now and only one room in the school has air-conditionning!