So i'm trying to think of something entertaining thats happened since i last wrote. Its been a while. I never did find my pants. I've unwillingly given them up as a donation to the village. I ran over a snake with my bike. It was probably the most terrifying moment i've had here so far. &I have a chicken who lays eggs in my bathroom. Its a pretty hilarious scene for the villagers when i get up in the morning and go to the bathroom armed with a stick that i use to poke a squawking chicken until she inevitably flies out of the bathroom at my face. The good news is shes laid me 7 eggs. The bad news is i cant bring myself to eat something that was conceived in my bathroom.
Hot season has started here. Theres really only 3 seasons: rainy, "cold" & hot. And as much as i think cold season is a joke, theyre not kidding around with hot season. During the day its pretty intolerable (and i say this coming from california) but at night i feel like i'm being punished for everything wrong i've done in my life. The little breeze that flowed during the day stops and the result is awful, oppressive heat. I love october in the US. I do not love october in africa. I know i'll hate rainy season more but hot season is a close second.
Things here have been moving along. We've started term three of school. Well, by started i mean we're now more than halfway through. We're in week 8 of the term (out of 13) and its going well. I'm teaching grade 8 & 9 english again with a zambian co-teacher, Mrs. Daka. Coteaching is difficult because there isnt much in the way of a work ethic here - its difficult to get teachers to show up for school let alone take an interest in planning and teaching lessons with you - but i'm trying and i have a relatively good counterpart so we're making it work. My students are great &bear with me when i force them to use english only in class to their utter dismay &embarrassment. Most of them dont know english well and definitely dont use it at home so they hate me for it but all of the zambian ministry of education instituted exams are in english so i tell them to deal with it. &since i'm usually the one being laughed at, it provides me with some entertaining moments for a change. Like the other day, my pupils were forming sentences using the vocab words from our reading lesson. One kid had the word "invariably" which we defined as "always or without exception." He was having trouble forming a sentence but after we had gone through everyone else's, he came up with "i invariably go to the toilet!" Considering the fact that even excusing yourself to go to the bathroom is completely taboo in african culture, it was one of the more creative sentences.
Which reminds me...will someone send me an english pocket dictionary? Defining words off the top of my head for 9th graders makes me feel like i'm studying for the gre. They could all be wrong.
Other than that, i've started an afterschool english reading &writing program for my grade 8s that i'm hoping to turn into a library program at the school. We review basic english structure, grammer, punctuation, etc and they do practice exercises and then the kids get to read for the rest of the time. They really love it. To say theyre over zealous when it comes to picking out which books to read would be an understatement. My parents are going to be sending me books theyve collected to use for the program, so if you have any old kids books lying around that you want to donate, feel free. The kids would love it.
Travelling while school was out was great. Victoria falls and lake malawi are both beautiful places. Our next break is in december so over the christmas &new years holiday a group of us are planning to go to zanzibar - an island off the coast of tanzania. I'm so excited! All i'm going to do is swim and eat lobster. &they apparently have a really popular moonlight beach party for new years, so i may take a break from eating lobster to go to that.
Anyway, thats about it. Its weird that I've been here for just about 9 months, which means I'm 1/3 of the way through my service. It doesnt feel like it at all. Even in a place where time virtually doesnt exist, it still feels like its moving too fast. Then again, i do still have 18 more months to enjoy all the chickens in my chimbudzi, roadkill snakes and thieving children i can manage.