it seems that i am no good at webpages and other such things, so i am going to say my pictures are on facebook, if you have not yet seen them please friend me or find a friend with facebook to friend me. i would love for everyone to see them through this blog, but today i am not able to make this happen. in the future, perhaps i will find someone savvy and get them linked up.
things are slowly taking shape at my site, i am getting to know the village and the people. i am working on some small things right now, at the school and with some societies that are already established. i am fortunate to be living in such a beautiful place, the tourists who come here appreciate it so much they keep coming back to help it. i am about to spend my first night away from site since swear-in, and, away from my new roomate, a 2 month old cat named baby monkey.
my family called him baby monkey after another cat who used to come around, and there was really no arguing with it. i am not a cat person as such, but this one needed a home and i suppose if he keeps the mice away, we can work something out. he is not exactly cute, he has a very small head and his third eyelid protrudes a little too much, but he is endearing all the same. he is also really, really vocal. he talks all the time. my family is looking after him, my host father is quite fond of him, which is good because left to his own devices, baby monkey sleeps on my father's bed or plays under the banana tree in his private bathing area. luckily they are friends, and my host father really enjoys draping his prayer beads around baby monkey's neck and watching him paw his way free. then they meow at each other. i think he may be more of a part of the family than i am when i return.
but these days i am taking it slow, talking to lots of people and just trying to figure my village out. i think i am going to learn bee-keeping, which is fascinating but a little scary, considering all the bad press african bees get. i will have to wear layers. i also got to visit the folonko, which is a holy place on the edge of my village where people come from all over to pray. it is a sacred pool where crocodiles are said to live. it is very picturesque, with lily pads and low-hanging tree branches dipping into the water on all sides. the crocodiles are believed to be a link to the God, you pray to them about your problems and they speak to the all-knowing on your behalf. then you wash your hands and feet with water from the pool. i did this, and it was a little unnerving, dipping a can into a pool of crocs. but they did not stir. later i heard that they (the crocs)are rumored to have left the pool to move to the pits where the sand-mining (a horrible, illegal practice) had taken place, where there is more food for them. so maybe the prayers fall to the frogs, who frolic on the banks of the pool oblivious to the sacredness of their home. either way, it is a beautiful place and i'm glad to live so near to it.
i can not believe it's already february, i feel like time is slipping by almost without my noticing. i just woke up one day and my house was a home, my cat was pawing at the back door, and my brothers were all ready to walk to school with me. i feel the settling in sometimes, when my language trips me up or i find myself wandering down the wrong village path, but overall the sun is shining, the moon is waxing and waning, the stars are many, and i am learning how to live here on my own.