Wednesday, May 12, 2004

May 12, 2004


The rainy season is ON! And let me say that although there
are times when I have thought to be in a heavy downfall in
the states, my mind has now been changed. It doesn't
necessarily rain all day, but it is intermittent heavy rain
throughout with occasional absolute dumps. One minute the
sun is blazing down on you and the next you are in a heavy
downfall and the place is muddy and wet. You definitely
cannot go around anywhere right now without carrying an
umbrella. It is really used just about all the time,
though, rainy season or not, just to keep the sweltering
sun off your skin. Even as my skin has a really golden
bronze and my hair is bleached out, I still have to wear
plenty of sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat and use the
umbrella all the time. It is either that, or I hope the
Peace Corps pays for skin cancer treatment for the future!
I have kept quite busy in my projects and things are
really starting to unfold here in Linden. I am getting much
more involved at the clinic seeing patients and doing the
consultation and have now started a stretching/yoga type
class for my pregnant mothers and an elderly club. It is
almost crazy to see the pregnant moms in the yoga 'warrior
pose' as just behind them I see through the screenless
windows cattle on the road, people canoeing by on the river
coming to open market and rundown homes and buildings and
such on the other side. I have really had a lot of those
"moments" in the last few weeks with my projects to bring a
big smile to my face. Another one of those moments has come
with the addition of me beginning to teach 17 classes
(about 550 total kids) of primary students at Regma Primary
for what is essentially K-5 or 1-6 (I haven't quite figured
that out yet). They are so very cute and I guess you can
say that I think I know what Jesus felt like riding the
donkey into town on Palm Sunday as everytime I come down
the road to the school, the kids come running, yelling
"miss, miss, or teacher kristen" in their cute accents
trying to get my attention, wave or grab my hand. I am
teaching PE for all of them and it is funny that when we
have class, most of the kids take their shoes off, as they
don't want to ruin what is most likely their only pair. So,
as I am in the blazing heat, I smile as I see these
children of all beautiful shades of color in their uniforms
running barefoot around cones, or playing cricket, futbol
or basketball, or just doing jumping jacks with huge smiles
on their faces. It is definitely a busy, but very
fullfilling project and I hope to get them all some
t-shirts printed for Regma Primary PE for the future.
I am continuing to learn all sorts of fun new recipes with
the numerous fruits and vegetables from the market. One
thing that you can say without a doubt, is that everything
is a process here. If you are hungry, you don't really have
things to just 'grab' and eat unless you are willing to
chance something from a shop on the road (not advisable
unless you have a port-a-potty in your bag). You have to
plan and cook enough food the day before for leftovers for
the next day or two or just plan on cooking for a couple
hours each day. Not only is cooking a process, but it is
something that can be said for most things...
transportation, washing, bathing, shopping in the
market...there really is no fast anything here (except
maybe how fast the minibuses drive). For instance, if you
are going to town or need to cross the river on a boat, you
sit and wait until the bus or boat is totally crammed full
before you leave. If it is 2 minutes, or two hours, you sit
and wait sweating and crammed on top of others. Being hot
and sweating is really just a part of the life whether you
like it or not.
I have still continued to find new hiking spots and meet
new people around town. I even had the chance to have some
Kenyan VSOs make a traditional Kenyan meal for myself and
some friends last weekend. Just a few more things to add to
the growing menu of things to cook.
As always, keep the emails and things coming. It really
does keep me going when I have one of those blah days or I
ask myself why I am here. They are few and far between, but
there all the same. Thanks for all the support!
I will try to keep dry...love, kristen tews