Reflections of Africa to a newcomer


The weather is wicked humid. I take a bucket bath and dry off. Before I can get dressed I am drenched again. It is not from sweat but from the humidity. I am always dripping. I feel so miserable being wet. The sheets on my bed mat does not stay in place and I cannot sleep. Having a sinus infection has not helped the sleep matter much. I am so totally sick of fish I want to gag. Luckily the last two days I have been sick and I leave it behind saying that it upsets my tummy.


In the market I actually saw garlic, which I intend on using intensely to rid myself of mosquitos. I am not as eaten up as some of the trainees, but I have my fair share of bites. I avoided my bug net the last two nights. It is like sleeping in a hotbox. With my sinus issues, I felt that giving myself time to just sleep was needed. I did put this nasty spray on, and I still cannot figure out why I am being bitten with the spray, it is 40% DEET! I really just want to rub myself down with garlic.


Friday I was taken to Monrovia to see the doctor. It seems I have a sinus infection, which I suspected. I was given horsepills to take for the next 14 days twice a day. I feel better today, but I am still coughing up nastiness.


Two years is a very long time to live away from family and friends. I am just starting to feel a little homesick. Mostly because I really want to have a nice steaming bowl of Pho and take some Nyquil and sleep. I am starting to understand some of the language and the cultural norms. Frankly what I really want is a nice pot of fried cabbage and onions. Tonight I have collard greens, but I am certain there will be fish involved. Seriously the fish is staring at me, I cannot eat that!


I am also saddened by Richard’s loneliness and his problems with the neighbor. You cannot expect someone to be totally silent living upstairs from you. They guy complains 3-5 times so far and apparently he is not supposed to be living there! Richard took his rent check in on Saturday and informed the management that this guy was complaining almost weekly. They said he is not on the register to live there, so I am thinking this guy is going to be in some trouble. When he complained to me he kept saying he has this 3 year old kid, I have never seen said child, nor do they have a car seat in the car. Oh and they smoke pot heavily, so you know!


I don’t think about home or family too much. I have been in school and trying to get homework done and sick for the most part. Family life is not so difficult for me, minus the fact that Madelin is basically a house servant. I thought she was a granddaughter, but that is not correct. Her mother left here with Ma Pauline to help put her in school. In return she is basically a servant. The language barrier makes it feel as though Madelin is always being yelled at. Other than this, homelife is fine. My language instructor has taken a special interest in me, I guess. He has been to my home 4 times since Wednesday. I do not know if it is because I have been sick or if it is because I am not getting on in the language. I hope to speak well enough to get by. This language is very unlike English. It is more like Jamaican English. The accent is strong and the words are butchered and are not used appropriately. Religion seems to be a high priority with Liberians as well. I was warned not to say I was an Atheist at all. By claiming Buddhism, I was accepted. Buddhism is a general practice that I do try to incorporate in my life.


The worst part of this ordeal for me is the weather. It is getting better, but man if I had a fan over my bed at night, life would be sweet! I did finally meet my “Pa” last night. His name is Kingsly. Nice enough gentleman. It seems that although Liberians put men higher than women, the women are in charge. They run the households, they have all the say.

Today I got home while Madelin was fetching water. When she saw me she smiled and said “ChaCha! Hello!” This is progress! I left her some orange soda last night on the table. I think she liked it, I know she liked the chocolate from last week. Maybe later this week I will give her some Pringles and more soda!


It is starting to feel more like home now. I asked for no fish. I told “ma” rice and beans are my favorite. I got rice and beans tonight and they were delicious. I also got bananas and mangoes (plums) and some monkey berries (Lychee). I was asked today what my favorite part was in Africa and hands down I have to say the fruit.


I put a buzz in Sam’s ear today about wanting a site on the ocean. Sam is in charge of placement and he takes our personal desires into account. I have heard that both Buchanan and Robertsport are coming open. Either of those would be fantastic. To be able to swim in the ocean before bed each night would be heaven.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s