28 April 2009

Independence Day

27 April 2009

Last Wednesday, as a fun activity (and to get away from constantly talking about sex and AIDS) I directed Nouvelle Vie (the peer educators) to prepare a skit based on the story The Igname of Death. It was brilliant. I had a fever and was generally feeling sorry for myself to the point that I almost cancelled the meeting. I’m so glad I didn’t.
A couple months ago I found some terrific plush masks of animal faces in the ‘grab bin’ (that magical basket that overflows with junk and the occasional treasure left behind by PCVs when they finish their service). So I got the kids to pretend to “dress up” as an elephant, a lion, a monkey and a tiger – none of which are mentioned in the story, of course, so we had to adapt the characters slightly.
They particularly enjoyed pretending to be killed by Death – seems to be a universally fun thing to do. I got into it too, hamming it up so much that I scraped my knees like a little kid climbing trees when I fell to the dirt floor.

Today is Independence Day. There were absolutely no parties in my village, but planes flew overhead from Lomé all day, where there was a big parade. Da E says that before “la crise” they used to have a big parade and feast here in the village, too. Everything’s a bit more subdued now. The arrest of the President’s brother a couple weeks ago probably contributes to the cautious atmosphere I’m feeling right now.

The rainy season’s starting, meaning the days are frequently gray and the world is getting green again. My favorite bit is that the wind keep waking up at 1 or 2am, by ripping through the house – making my light curtains stand out perpendicular to the windows. It’s very exciting and so delightful to have a night so cool that I have to use a sheet – wonder of wonders. Plus, the mango season is almost upon us!

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