Friday, August 29, 2008

Baptism in Cape Verde

Today I went to a baptism which was pretty much like any baptism in the United States except they do like 20 kids at once and than have this crazy photo shoot with funny backdrops and all outside and than there is a festa. Before heading to the Festa we jumped in the Hillux with the godfather (leahºs host father) and drove around town picking up drinks (as that is the job of the godfather). Before we arrived at the party we also drove through the whole town honking to let everyone that we arrived. I certainly got a kick out of it. After picking up copious amounts of beer, soda and wine (the host family provided the grouge) we headed to the festa where I ate a rediculous amount of food. At all social functions there are a few staple foods that are served. Bongolong (which is a white bean dish with corn balls and some meat), Rice (of course) and Xarien (which is basically like a corn couscous type texture dish). For dessert they have lots of random sweet things, not too much chocolate which is unfortunate but ok, but than they throw in weird thhings that they feel should be served with dessert such as fish patties, but most certainly arenºt what you wnat when you are eating a piece of cake. One of those things you have to try and make the mistake once and never make again!

São Vicente

I found out that I will be living in Midello, São Vicente which is one of the northern islands in Cape Verde. Itºs a large port city and is about an hour boat ride from Santa Antao. I will be living with one other volunteer who is also from New York. Iºm very excited and I think it will be a great vacation spot for anyone considering coming to visit me!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So far so good

Hey, everyone! Sorry that I have not really written any posts since Iºve been here. It is definatly harder to get to the internet than i expected.
So i am living in a small town outside Assomada, on the island of Santiago. Itºs a pretty sweet village(Ribiera Manuel) and everyone is really awesome. I am living in a town with 3 other volunteers and they are each about a 3 minute walk. I am living with a really sweet host family. There are awesome, they love to laugh all the time and they crack me up. My host mother is a kindergarden teacher and is therefore very patient with my Kreole which is not so great at all. I am learning ways to explain things and I can express my basic needs. I also have two host brothers and a host dad, all who are really cool. I have a small room but itºs enough room for all my stuff and I donºt really hang out in it all that often anyway, so it doesnºt matter.

Itºs currently the rainy season here, its actually rained 4 days so far, which is awesome. Itºs also pretty humid, which i was definatly not expecting.

My host family works (mondaºs which is like hoeing the ground, i think) alot in their field and also on other peoples fields as well. Everyone grows corn (midju) and there are alot of dishes that have corn in them. The food is ok. Iºm not loving all of it but i donºt hate all of it either. its interesting. There is a lot of rice and beans just in different forms. The other night I was pretty desperate for spagetti though and they let me make it for them which was cool. It wasnºt as good as it could have been but I did use tomato paste because there is no sort of tomato sause.
Transportation is really funny here. There is a car called a Hillux, which is a brand of toyota. So itºs bascially a pick up truck with a cover over it and seats. They can jam alot of people into one and its a bumpy and interesting ride, but its an awesome cultural experience to say the least. Since all of our families know all the hillux drivers we donºt have to many problems with them.

The only rediculous thing that I am yet to get used to is the amount of stops that we make when ridding them. People just yell para and then get out and go to the store pick up some rice, maybe a goat, whatever they want and the driver will wait for them. So therefore it takes a really long time to go anywhere. We live about a 15minute hillux ride from Assomada but many days it can take us 45minutes with all the stops that we make. Time is one thing that I am definatly having some trouble with but Iºm trying to learn to embrace it and chill out a little about it.
Last weekend we went on this three hour hike through the Riberia to the beach, called Agus Belas. It was a very long walk and there were lots of rocks to twist your ankles on but once we got to the beach it was completly worth it. There was a Grotto there also, which was a beautiful cave. When I figure out how to upload pictures you will be amazing about how incredible it was. The beach wasnºt your typical sandy beach, it was a rock beach but equally cool. The Atlanic Ocean on this side is amazing. Itºs warm, a little rough, but really sweet. It was also a very clear day and we could see the island of Fogo, which is also a volcano and is really pretty. I got sick on our hike back but it luckily didnºt spoil my mood about the day. Thanks to our medical sessions Iºm starting to accept that I will get sick a good bit, with lots of fun stomach problems, but hopefully it will make my stomach stronger!

A few weekends ago we went to Tarrafal which is also a beach area and is beautiful.

Anway. Please send letters! Talk to you all soon!