Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
So it's about 9:30 p.m., which is my bed time. Yes, I go to bed incredibly early here. And when I go to site I imagine I'll be going to bed even earlier. Between waking up at sunrise, and the fact that washing laundry is as exhausting as running a few miles, I'm pretty exhausted at night. Also, when I get to site and have no electricity much of the time, there won't be a whole lot to do after 7:00, sunset.
Right now reggae music is blasting, which strangely enough is part of a week and a half long funeral in my community. I think this is the last of the events (at least for now). It's been really intense and crazy. It started a few days after she died when we had to clean around the funeral house, which I already wrote about. Then, last Saturday the body was brought to the town from the city. The city swelled to about twice its usual population. That day everyone gathered and cried and danced. The next day I think there was a break. Then, Monday was bookode. I had come back from our 4th of July celebrations (pool party at the Ambassador's house!) that day and it was super overwhelming to have so many people in the village. Two host-relatives were visiting and staying in my house, which put us at 11 people living in this 25' by 15' house. That night I finished washing up at about 6:00 and went in the house. The kids locked the door behind me and told me that I couldn't go outside anymore. They seemed kind of scared and anxious and it sounded super crazy outside, with lots of running and shouting. I just figured it was a cultural thing with the funeral and didn't worry too much. Finally, my language teacher came and got me. We stood on the porch and watched everything for awhile. All the men of the town were running around with machetes, bricks, stones and sticks. Basically, anything they could find. If they found a rooster out of the chicken pen, they would throw things at it to kill it. They were killing all the roosters they could find in the village. Also, if they found a child outside they would chase the kid, catch him and bring him to the casket to scare the crap out of the kid. I realized that's why they told me I couldn't go outside; the kids think I'm a kid. They don't really realize that I'm actually older than their mom. I walked around for awhile that night and it was pretty crazy. They were cooking a ton of food and the men were running all around. They stayed up dancing and playing music all night that night. By the way, during all of this I was really sick. Not a great time to be sick, when there's a week of all-night parties that can't be avoided.
The next day was the burial. The morning was full of traditional music and dancing, which was pretty cool. Then all the adults went to bury the body. They made a ton of food that day called toowe nyannyan = "throwaway food". They dig a big hole and throw a ton of food in it. The last two nights have seemed to just be all-night music. Thank god for sleeping pills.
Today my little 2-year-old brother was walking around in rain boots with a foot-long knife. They're really not concerned with kids having knives here. It was pretty cute, though. He had two of his little buddies with him, and they were all sharing one sucker. I'll try to post a picture of them. Despite their super snotty, disease-spreading noses, they're adorable.