…really. The bicycle that I bought is really nice, and it does some strange things. This is good, but also bad. Every time I leave it anywhere for any extended amount of time I come back to find it doing something weird (people like to mess with it.)
Last weekend I went to church to score some village points and to see what it is like. I went with my friend Deo. Deo is the friend of the volunteers that were in and around my village before me. I think he now hangs out with me out of pity. I don’t know what is happening around me about 85% of the time. He is the most patient person ever though, and just a downright nice guy.
So, I biked to Deo’s house in the morning, and we biked together to the Roman Catholic church. This church was built by the German’s in the 1800’s. It is huge and beautiful! We were half way to the church when Deo stopped and asked if I had a kitange. Kitange is this African cloth that all the women wear here. I didn’t and, apparently, (unbeknownst to me) I needed one. So we biked back to his house and I borrowed one from his wife. I wrapped it around myself like a skirt (what you are supposed to do). As it turns out I am awful at wrapping kitange, and it is difficult to ride in a skirt, so I had to stop at least 5 times on the short bike ride because it kept falling off!
Anyways, we finally made it to the church and I began to wish I had gone to church more in America. I think if I went to church in America I would have a lot of questions. When I barely understand the language though, I have millions! I didn’t really know what was happening. Everyone got up in the middle of the service and went to the front of the room. I was glad Deo slipped me some money right before we stood because I had no idea it was time to pay church fees.
Anyways, made it through the service–it was really cool to see. Tons of singing and dancing! I came out of the church to find my bike (which is hot pink, by the way) singing happy birthday. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t even know it could sing happy birthday. Anyways, I couldn’t get it to stop! So, to give you the full picture:
-It is the end of church service so the village is swarming with people.
-I am the only white person around for miles.
-I am riding a hot pink bike right through the center of my village.
-A hot pink bike which is singing happy birthday.
-And, to top it all off, my dang kitange keeps falling off!
I got a lot of laughs and strange looks, to say the least, as I am beating my bike to get it to stop singing as I ride (ha, if all else fails, hit it right?).
I started teaching. Teaching is going ok. I am teaching the entire school (500 students) chemistry. There are no schedules to speak of, which is a struggle for me. Finally, I just went ahead and made my own schedule (which made me much happier). The kids are really eager to learn though! It is great.
My form 1 students (basically like freshman in high school) barely speak English. They don’t even know numbers currently. I am not 100% sure how I am going to teach them chemistry, but I have a feeling my ability to draw pictures is going to improve significantly in the next 2 years. I will return to America, go to the Mac Grill, and wow everyone with my abilities.
It took me a good 35 minutes to teach them in broken Swahili/English how to play BINGO so they could learn their numbers. I don’t know, we will see.
I really wanted to post pictures of my bike, my site, and my dog, but my internet is not fast enough to upload the pictures, so I am sorry, maybe next time…