After dinner my parents called so Alissa and I got to talk to them which was nice and than we just hung out and played some cards until we all passed out from being so full.
Anyway, hope everyone else had a wonderful christmas too!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The handing out of presents was about the craziest thing I have ever seen. We had picked out clothes for most of the kids who come here and they were all labled and ready to go, so that was good. What happend though is the room that we had stored all of these presents was mobbed by the group of kids (see picture), so while they were outside the door it was complete and total chaos. Just picture all these kids (a lot of whom were not SOS kids but some how found out
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
While we were putting gifts together the kids helped decorate a float which included a 10 or more foot christmas tree made out of cardboard and decorated with recyled bottles (which was freaking awesome). The whole float came together so nicely (unfortunatly itºs raining today--which i am a bit confused about-- so itºs not looking so good).
On Saturday we had the parade. I showed up at the park where we were starting (about a 3 minute walk from my house) at 9:30 as told. I waited about 20 minutes before I started to realize that I would be there for a while. At 10:30 on Saturdays I teach an English class at a local organization that helps local boys whose families canºt provide for them (kind of similar to the SOS), so I decided that since I was waiting I should walk over there (like a 15minute walk) just to let them know that I probably wasnºt going to be able to make it that day to do the class. When I got there they were decorating for Christmas and were pretty understanding as to why I would not be able to make it, and it was nice to get to wish them all a Merry Christmas since I wonºt be seeing them again until after Christmas.
Well, than i headed back to the park, to shockingly (not really, lateness is slowly but surely growing on me and it doesnºt shock me when people are late, 2 hours in this case!) There was a small group of kids who had made it there with a sos mother and I hung out with them and we played some games and it allowed the time to pass a bit.
A good while later some of the people who work at the SOS showed up (asked and lauged about how long I had been there) and we walked around to get Santa hats (I opted out, as I feel I stick out enough and donºt really need a Santa hat to help me with that any more). On our way back (around 11:45) the float arrived and behind it a truck with about a hundred kids (definatly not something you could ever get away with in the states but not a bad method to herd children. All the kids got out and than the parade began... well sort of. The had a woman who was on the float, along with the boys who live here (12 of them) and some sort of dance but not really dance group that was following the float and than the mob of children and parents. Well the float started going pretty fast... Iºm not quite sure what the driver was thinking, but it was funny to watch as these dancers are trying to catch up and dance and other people were yelling at the driver to slow down. Finally the driver figured it out and the parade really started. We walked all around the city, handing out fliers to people walking that gave some more information about the SOS, I believe so that people will give donations and stuff which would be nice. Of course there were a few mishaps including driving into CV telecomºs wires, but one of the boys saved the day by pushing up the wire as they drove under it with a banner, and the speakers at the end failed and we ended up hanging out in one of the praças for a good hour and a half (Iºm not totally sure if the stop itself was on purpose). After waiting around for a good while, the truck returned and all the kids made their way on (no ladder, some good old boosting and jumping up (the pictures will explain this a lot better ).
Thursday, December 11, 2008
One of the absolute highlights of the tour was the dinning hall where I saw soy sause and mentioned that you canºt get any here and (Telemax: I kid you not that is his first name)Morgan talked to a few people gave a slightly sob story about us being Peace Corps volunteers and than another guy appeared with two bottles of really good soy sause... which means I will make rice (something that I have done I think only twice since living with my hostfamily). I never thought that you could be so excited about such a little thing but really little things make such a big difference. When we were out with some sailors later they told us that we sound have gotten some heinz ketcup... dam!!! Ooo well it was still awesome.
Some other random highlights of the trip on the boat: seeing a sailor in his boxers, going into the high security places of the boat with cameras and all sorts of crazy things, walking up and down the stairs which are at a rediculous angel (to save space), seeing the SMALL thing that stears the ship (they donºt have a big whatever it is called to stear), walking past guys with VERY BIG guns, and hearing Americanºs speak.
As we were walking off the boat and thanking them for the awesomoe tour and dreading the long hot walk back, first I ran into the guys that I had met the night before and a whole bunch of them were wearing Cape Verde gear which was pretty rediculous and when I commented they said ´´hey we are just trying to fit in´´, haha. And than this guy Rank who I have been teaching English to (a rich guy who works for the gas company and who will hopefully help fund some projects I want to do) pulls up right next to us and drives us back home. Rank is a very funny man, it is mostly because of his English which isnºt too bad but when he says things they always just sound funnier than they are. And I run into him a good bit, other than just at class, like on random roads that I am walking on he will randomly pull up, anyway so he is a random guy but it is nice to get rides some places.
Later last night we went out to this bar that is on the beach for a couple of drinks with the boys that I had met the day before. I couldnºt exactly remember what they looked like and ended up walking up to other Americans and talking to them like I knew them, they were confused and boardline rude so than we sat somewhere else until the right boys came up to us. It was a good night and very nice to talk to them and see what they are doing on their 6month tour, sharing stories about eating crappy food and hearing about their lives.
Today I am heading to Praia (the capital) to hang out for a couple of days and pick up my sister Alissa at the airport. Although we had been talking about her coming here for a while it never really felt real, I donºt think it will until I see her walk out the gate. For the first 3 months we havenºt been able to leave the island of Sao Vicente and I understand the concept of the rule, but it will be so refreshing and I think good for me to get off and come back here more refreshed and with my sis!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
We cooked chicken, stuffing (which wasn't as good as my mom's but might have come in second place), baked some fresh rolls, and garlic mashed potatoes. And to drink we had tropical orange caparinha's (rum-grougue here, with sprite sugar and usually lime), which were delicious. It was really nice to be able to spend some time with them and get to have a really good thanksgiving away from home. Although it is obviously hard to be away from home for the holidays, I'm very thankful to be able to have met and hang around with some really great people who without coming here I would have never met.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
After getting an idea of what was going on we went down to the beach and went to a club. It was an interesting experience with lots of American music and people dancing away. As an interesting comparison, I found it very interesting that it seems like not all that many people were drinking (or at least not heavily, probably because the drinks were crazy expensive but also just because unlike in America where I feel like it usually takes a couple of drinks to get on the dance floor, people in Cape Verde genuinely love to dance and donºt need a drink in them to do it). So overall it was a pretty good time, it was a good experience to find out what a dance club really was all about, defiantly not my kind of scene (it had strobe lights and all), but it was something I feel like you just need to do at least once. We didnºt get back home until 530, which was really quite late (Iºm not sure if I will ever get used to the really late nights here) and really shot the whole next day, but it was a good Halloween despite not getting to see peopleºs creative costumes and maybe next year the Chinese lojas will have more luck with selling costumes similar to ours in the states.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
My other fun package was from Courtney Peanut Butter Raum, who sent me a whole ton of goodies, including a trashy novel (which was great and I finished in a couple of hours), peeps (which I LOVE) and other fun goodies to keep me going.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I also met this really nice girl on the beach and we ran together, she taught me some Kreolu and we are going to try to meet everyday (at 630). Thatºs all Iºve got for now...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So my host family had a cat named pingu-pingu (meaning polka dots *I named it myself*) and one day this skinny little cats appears with a baby kitten (who we later named pingu-pingu dodu *crazy*). I had found out a couple days earlier that Leah’s host family’s neighbor’s cat had kittens on their roof and that Kevi (her host brother) had dropped to kittens off in ribiera, I believe a couple of weeks after being born. Needless to say before I heard about these abandoned kittens I was skeptical that pingu-pingu had a litter of one. I’ve never heard of such a thing, please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong or if you’ve ever heard of such a thing. I explained to my host family about my skepticism, but they were convinced that pingu-pingu would never do such a thing and that it had litters of one in the past (hmm suspicious- a serial kitten robber). So despite my skepticism I tried to drop it. But pingu-pingu and pingu-pingu dodu weren’t interacting like mother and child. Pingu-pingu for one couldn’t carry pingu-pingu dodu by the neck and every time it tried it dropped it. Since I’m pretty sure that pingu-pingu wasn’t producing any milk (I never was fully able to determine this but I am pretty confident), pingu-pingu dodu wasn’t eating except for the small portions of rice that I would sneak it. I’m not sure if pingu-pingu dodu was a little off because pingu-pingu wasn’t its’ mom and therefore wasn’t getting any nutrients from milk or what, but it certainly wasn’t the smartest kitten in Ribiera Manuel. It would walk into my room and hiss at me, or hiss as things it knocked over, roll off of books it was climbing on and just cry. When I spoke to my host family last they said that pingu-pingu dodu was still alive and well but they also still continue to refuse to admit that their other cat stole it.
Katxupa: traditional Cape Verdean stew made with ground corn, beans and meat.
The process of making katxupa is a big task. Each member of my host family took a role in the making of it. I decided after failed attempts of helping that I would be official photographer for the day. The process begins with putting dried corn in a container and smashing it. This takes out a part of the corn that is white and hard and I’m not sure if inedible but regardless is regarded as a necessary step. To the left you can see my host brothers (Sondri and Kinu) doing such. This is a hard task, because not only do you ne