Saturday, December 16, 2006

so this is christmas, and another new year

Whew doggie, I don’t know where to start. Ok.. well HOLY COW its Christmas time again! Another year away from so many friends and family! I MISS YOU GUYS. I have been in country for 18 months now…wow. When I was in costa rica I told myself that if I missed Christmas with the family I should at least be snorkeling and while I was able to uphold that last year, I will very far inland this Christmas. My friend Amanda has invited about 20 of us to her house for Christmas. We are cooking a feast and it should be a blast! Then a low key new years in my village perhaps and then my birthday. I’ll be honest, for the first time, i think I might be getting…well older. Maybe one day I will grow up…but I will fight it for as long as I can!

So what updates? In one week, I fell asleep on a bus and woke up to my phone being gone, my bike caught on fire and my ipod stopped working. The next week I lost my cool at the district government official, but will the consecutive bad weeks all was put in perspective when MY HOUSEGIRL GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTENING!!!! She is fine now but here’s the story. Her sister comes by house telling me that stakia (my housegirl) had burnt her hand badly and was at the hospital and they might have to remove it. I thought wow, that is a bad burn. The next day my counterpart (ponsiano) comes over:

P: you hear the news?
J: yes
P: yeah some else got struck by lightening yesterday.
J: oh well that..WHAT? LIGHTENLING? Someone got struck by lightening?
P: yeah stakia was in the field with her hoe and lightening struck the metal end of her hoe while it was in the air. And then someone up the road got struck by lightening but it just messed with his head a little, he will be fine.

Well needless to say that my poor Swahili missed that detail the day before. Wow. She s fine and she has regained use of her hand but still having to go the hospital every couple of days to have the bandages changed and is on house rest as she is prone to infection with the 3rd degree burn on her hands and arms. We are very luck to have a great private hospital near by that is free to all employees of the unilever company (lipton teas) and their families (and since there are only five last names in the village, well I will just say that everyone is family)

So you might ask how one’s bike catches fire…while I was in dar for thanksgiving I left my bike at ponsiano’s storage room. His kids were chasing rats with burning sticks in the storage room and must have dropped some of the embers in the room and few hours later they heard a loud POP. They saw the that the store room had caught a smoldering fire and slowly melted my tires then one of my tubes popped alerting them to situation. Hee hee. I wish I had been there to see their faces! Ponsiano was so scared I was going to make him pay for new tires. And he felt crappy since he knows how I much I use my bike. But peace corps takes care of things like this…new tires should be in the mail soon.

What else….the ipod. Well that still hurts too much to talk about. Though we will see how long before jane goes insane with out music!!!! I will say it involved a long long journey…in the rain.
Work: well i am somehow proud to say that I have some very strong minded female pigs. One in particular has refused to mate and injuring 2 out of 3 of our male pigs. (twice her size) the feminist side of me says: rock on sister! The pig breeder side of me says: invite company for dinner. But before that, we have a few more tricks up our sleeves.

Next the orphans school. This is where is lost my cool. I know hard to believe that this red headed French german girl could do so, but it happened. The district government is responsible for supplying us with transportation for projects. I had had put a month advance notice in for a car for a certain date to go and pick up all the materials for the school (about 2 million shillings worth of stuff ranging from nails to sewing machines). So went to get the car (after several follow up confirmation calls) and it was not there. This is usually the case and well I must have had some pinned up frustration somewhere since I digressed to being a two year and threw a hissy fit. While I cant say recommend this, I will say that two days later the car was there. So in the end, I got all the materials and they are now in the village and school is all set for a grand opening in January. Yay!

The fishies, well after some car issues and an infamous hissy fit, they started their journey from their hatchery to the lake today. (or so I am told) it will take 5 days to put all 10,000 fingerlings into the lake. We have a big training seminar for the fishermen on Dec 29th and then hope to start plant the trees in January.

Both of the projects should be finished by the end of January, well my end of it, the rest is left up to the village for the continuation of the projects. What’s left? Well I hope to have a field day between mine and a neighboring village for the elementary schools to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. Low rope games and soccer match with different organizations coming in giving seminars on HIV/AIDS. Then I really want to start an outdoor classroom for the new secondary school for trees. Plant all different types of indigenous trees with signs explaining their uses. But I am afraid the rains will have stopped by the time I can get funding for that…we shall see. And then perhaps one big project left. Either a sunflower press to start a sunflower oil business for the village or milk cows for the elementary school. I have not decided which or if either are possible. I might do this as an outside project without peace corps assistance. Still looking for funding, time is ticking!

What else, its fruit season!!! Yay!!! I never thought I would get so happy about a mango or some plums…but well when you only get them for a couple of months a year, you get quite emotional upon their return!

Well I hope everyone is having a great winter. If you see my mom and dad, please give them a hug for me. I never thought I could miss someone so much as I do them.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jane. I found your website via a PC chat group. I'm leaving for Tanzania in June as a health volunteer and was hoping you'd be willing to answer some of my questions. Thanks for your time!

4:15 PM  

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