To get to and from school we have to walk through a village which I love, it always makes me smile no matter how early it is in the morning. I’m going to do my best to describe the bits of the walk without the help of pictures... (I also know that is a rubbish heading but I can't think of a better one)
We start by walking up a main-ish road, one thing I have noticed all round Africa is that they are very proud of their environment, I have never seen people brushing dirt before but they do. They clear it of leaves and rubbish so their roads and in front of their homes always looks reasonably tidy; they appear to do this as a community al taking ownership for the place they live, something I feel we don’t have in England. (For example, outside The Flat in Newbury there were two trolleys that some drunken had pushed from Sainsbury’s , they were there for about a week before Jo, Canada and I decided to push they back- then we looked liked the drunken).
The village is full of little shops that look like houses with no front just a big door. You can barely see what is in there as it is so dark and crammed full of stuff. Protecting the front is a metal grid and they have a little door which they pass stuff to you. I think you can buy almost anything at some point, from fresh fruit to flip flop, rice to sweets. It took me quite a while to pluck up the courage and go and buy something but I needed crisps so craving for western food drove me to it. They were very helpful and I don’t know what I was worried about. On that note I TRIED CHAI! I would now rename is as sugar water; I swear it was just a cup of sugar with some warm water. However, I drank the whole thing and would drink it again if I didn’t care about my teeth.
Everyone tends to do everything outside, women cook and wash, children play, men chat or play chess, it is very much a community feeling. The children always greet us, normally practicing their English but saying ‘Good Morning’ in a very posh accent. I don’t have the heart to tell them it’s actually evening. The really little ones find us fascinating, they can spot us from a mile off and come running full pelt towards us yelling “Mzungu” at the top of their voices. Mzungu means white person or traveller, the children want to touch our skin or shake our hands, they are very sweet and funny. This one girl sounds like a fire alarm, another little boy can’t be any older than 1 or so, I don’t think he can even speak, but he still goes “MM-mmm-goo”- I definitely think it’s one of their first words. I can’t believe the colour of my skin can bring so much joy to these kids; sometimes they are ready for us because they know roughly what time we walk through.
There are one group of ladies who we always stop to talk to. They have two little boys with them; the youngest, Oman, must think we are aliens. When I first got here he wouldn’t even look at us, waddling away if we came near, now he is holding a finger. The ladies are very welcoming and know our names. Thank you for your messages, it is a shame Faye didn’t share her embarrassing story with you all, it was hilarious! Missing vegetables Jules including lettuce but eating better then I thought.. food maybe could be my next blog, by the way I have given up chocolate for the three months. Good to hear from you all, sorry I can't write a personal comment to you all but I cannot stress how nice it is knowing you are all interested in hearing my ramblings xxxxx