Friday, April 16, 2010
"The Honeymoon Phase," or "New Things"
The delicate art of driving a very old car, without power steering, on the left side of “road” (potholes with patches of road), with a manual transmission (a 70 year old nun gave me a one hour lesson)… yikes. I should also mention that thousands of children and livestock may be walking alongside or in front of you as you navigate on said tortuous “roads.”
Living in an isolated farming community and imagining which animal or insect is creating the creepy noise outside my window at night.
Spending quality time with nuns everyday... I love it.
Bucket baths. They’re much easier than I’d imagined.
The expression “I’m coming now!” It is frequently said when the speaking party is walking away from you and could return in five minutes or five hours. I miss “I’ll be right back,” if only because it typically signifies that a person will in fact be right back.
Barefoot children everywhere. Black or white, a child under the age of 10 need not wear shoes anywhere, ever. I grew up in the wrong two countries.
Biting ants crawling up your legs when you stand in one place too long.
Staring blankly when someone walks up to me and begins speaking in Afrikaans because, well, I’m white.
Serious sunburns in March.
Watching tiny women carry massive bags of flour and rice (sometimes both at the same time) on their heads.
The expression “You really tried.” Typically used by Nigerians, this expression signifies a job well done. Example: Kelly and I walked to and around town during one of our first days to get acquainted. Sister Obehi applauded us for “really trying,” and Kelly and I looked swapped a puzzled look. “Didn’t we succeed?”
Wild peacocks. I no longer believe God made them just for zoos.
Cow shin stew. It’s really not as bad as it sounds.
“So are celebrities just walking around everywhere in America?” “Which famous person lives next door to you?” Anyone under the age of 25 will inevitably asks me a question of these sorts during our first five minutes of conversation. My first day teaching 9th graders, I bribed them into behaving for the entire day with the promise I’d tell them about meeting Usher in Atlanta when I was twelve. You could have heard a pin drop from that moment on.
Posted by Sarah Moran at 8:24 AM