Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Sounds of Life

One thing that I have really learned to appreciate about Liberia are the simple sounds that make life so interesting. Our neighbors have a generator ( Liberia has no power source, so all energy in the country is produced from generators)and unfortunately it is very loud, but for the last week it has not been running, and i have had the chance to listen to everything around me. Starting at around 4 in the morning some of the neighbors begin to chop wood, at first the sound awakens me, but within a few minutes the consistent sound sends me back to sleep. Around 6 I can hear the distant beat of a drum and the buzz of the insects all around which is actually quite relaxing. As I try to pull myself out out of bed i can hear the neighbors pound the cassava so that they will have GB( almost like a paste made from boiled cassava then pounded) to eat for lunch. Then soon the neighborhood is full of noise, the radios come on, children are singing at the water pump, there are shouts and buzzes from the soccer games that constantly fill our front yard, and the constant sound of motorcycles buzzing past and honking the horn. As the sun sets things slowly settle down and the buzz of insects once again take over.
School started last week which has been quite interesting. My students who are in grades 10-12 have difficulties identifying the subject and the verbs in sentences, so I think that it is going to be a challenge teaching them how to write compositions over the next 6 months. As I was coming to use the internet today I had a wonderful old man as me if I was Peace Corps and he followed up by saying that he wanted to congratulate me because he has always loved Peace Corps and he is so happy to see us back in Sanniquellie.
This past weekend I had to go to the next town to go to the bank( we only have 1 in our county). On the journey there are check points that all public transport must go through, being that our taxi was overloaded, like all taxis are we had to pay what the driver referred to as a "service fee." This service fee is actually a bribe paid to the police so that the driver does not get a ticket for having an overloaded car. There was a small argument between the driver and the officer and the last comment from the officer basically summed up so much of the goings on in Africa. As the officer is taking the bribe from the driver he says "Don't try and condemn our government." Oh the joys of people abusing power! To end on a more positive note, when the principal introduced me to the students they were literally jumping up and down because they have a teacher who is from America.


Anonymous said... it has take me quite a while to figure out you have disappeared from the States, again. However, I am confident you will enjoy life in Africa. Don't you? I saw pictures of your nephew and he is so damn cute. Can't believe it's already been more than one year that we have met the last time. Take care, miss you.
Many hugs from Germany!

Caliph said...

"The Sounds of Life" On a quiet Sunny Sunday Morning at Penryn where we have English Mothering Sunday ~ It's U.K. Mother's Day. My thoughts turn to The Organisation of African Unity Memorial and as Saye Peter in Liberia, I am asking you to accept my best wishes now I have found you. The request I make is one where I ask you to post some PHOTOGRAPHS of the Commemorative Monument at Sanniquellie , please ... I grew-up at Bath Spa where Fairfield was the Home of Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen.
My wish is to say the Word is from Sanniquellie if we are ever to see Unity as Reality in crazy Africa.

I find the people so gentle in Yekepa and hope you are happy,I had to come away after two insect bites put me in The Univesity Medical Center for Tropical Diseases at Amsterdam. Dr. P. J. de Vries saved me from the dreaded Malaria Falciporum and I am stronger now, ready to love Liberia again, like a Lion !

best wishes from Peter Bradshaw by the Sea at Falmouth Cornwall where so many Ships come with the Liberian Lone Star Flag ~ Monrovia Registrations... we have a Local Community Radio online :
THE SOURCE 96.1FM Falmouth and Penryn Community Radio Station ...
let me know if you can pick up the music when you have a computer with some internet connection ! Culture !

Anonymous said...

hey there lindsay!hope all is going good for you all is well here.we r so excited we have sunny skys finally and NO rain so far 2day..very amazing hope it lasts at least 8months!ha.sounds like ur enjoying Africa again this round.nice2hear.if ur able 2blog photos we'd enjoy them;-)u take care&i best get on with my day=lots2do inside&out.Love Tami&All

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