Saturday, June 28, 2008
it's a nawet (rainy season) miracle!
i woke up at 6:30 to the sound of rain and had a pot of tea while i waited for the sky to clear up. when it finally was reduced to a scarce drizzle i did my laundry and swept up my hut.
after breakfast, i went out to the pepineer and it was like a freakin' nawet miracle -- the pepineer is sprouting and totally reinvigorated by the downpour. because of the rain, the soil in the sacks was thoroughly dry, making it prime for stransplanting (transplanting = moving seedlings from sacks with more than one seedling to sacks with seeds that have no germinated). i spent the entire morning transplanting and exhilerated at the thought that my pepineer still has a chance. it got pretty humid and the clouds stayed ominously low and heavy and i sweated up a storm which was gross but also a good feeling.
when i was done -- around 11:30 -- i cleaned p and then helped aram cook lunch (she is finally better after being bedriddenly ill for like, 2 weeks). i chopped onions, sifted millet, cleaned rice, made the bissap sauce, and pounded spices -- overall pretty helpful and while being in the kitchen fulfills certain gender role expectations, i like helping and cooking.
we then had lunch and afterwards i went out to buy sugar for my soow (milk that has been set out in the heat for a day so that it sours and is then mixed with sugar) and gum for the wives and kids. i socialized and chatted and it was good to get out of the compound.
at 3, my 5 girls came for english lessons -- diarra, aida, dey fatou, fatou and ma'astou (mamasou/mame astou/whatever). they are such bright girls and are very serious about learning -- today they finished learning the whole alphabet (capital letters) and passed their exam with flying colors. aside from a few mix ups between S and C and J and G, they got them all right and i am so proud of them, especially considering that all of them but one girl have been educated in arabic school and have never learned to write or read letters. we will now start to learn how to put the sounds together and read. they are very excited.
the lessen ended at 5, just as the rain picked up again and we ran about putting out buckets for rain and i transplanted a few more trees -- taking advantage of not having to water with our salt infected water and letting the rain do the job for me.
then i cuddled up in my hut and while a cool wind came in along with the rain. i showered with soap and rain and felt refreshed and peaceful -- aside from the fact that the rain (for some reason) causes the male termites to emerge from the mound they built in my room and invade the walls and floor. i hid from them in my mosquito net but they weren't really as bad as the earwigs that fell from the roof yesterday.
to make the day even better, i asserted myself with talla and it actually worked! he went into my pepineer and saw me transplanting and started to do so as well, even though it was pouring rain and sent me inside. i despairingly watched from my door him do MY work and after a few minutes of hesitation i went over and asked him to leave it alone so that i could have work to do tomorrow. i explained that today i was really happy because i had work to do all morning in my pepineer and he laughed and actually stopped.
it was an incredibly good day and i felt so normal and busy and adjusted. i understood all the wolof that was spoken to me today and i felt like ME -- busy, social, even humorous (in wolof). it was one of the best days i've had here at site and its as if the rain brought in both a revitalization of my trees and my motivation.