I have decided that I am a terrible blogger. I put my pictures on Facebook where ya’ll can’t see ‘em, ha! And I get here to Lilongwe and totally don’t know what to say. A lot has happened this week. A lot a lot. And I’m pretty exhausted. I’m still sick. Can’t seem to shake this flu-ish thing.
I haven't had a phone since Tuesday because electricity has been out and my phone died and now I have left my phone at home by accident.
Monday I walked out of my Form II math class after a really good lesson and I found almost all of the Form III boys surrounding this one Form I boy, William. They were yelling, in Chichewa, obviously teasing him. I stepped between the Form III boys and William and got them to stop. William told me what happened and other students who were there told me what they were saying. It was absolutely terrible. I got the names of the three boys who were the ringleaders. I walked into the staff room and asked the teachers what they do at this school for bullying. Half said expulsion, half said suspension…so what do they give as punishment to the three boys? Slashing grass. I was PISSED. I realize that I am underrated as a 22 year old at that school. I should be in Form III at that age. And I realize that I’m just the “azungu” to some of the teachers there, but slashing grass after I told them exactly what witnesses told me had happened and William? Why? I don’t know. Even Bonface who was one of the ringleaders who was upset I caught him told me what happened.
That started my week of coming to understand what this school is all about. I’m not supposed to speak ill of my coworkers and school. I am just very frustrated this week.
However, Tuesday and Wednesday made up for it. Tuesday afternoon, Joe came over while some of my students were over doing some work. He told me that on Wednesday he was going to call me about a certain “function.” And I was reminded by that smirk on his face that Wednesday was his birthday and I completely forgot. More on that later.
Tuesday night I had a conversation that gave me clarity of what I want and need in my life and what I want to give to one person more than anyone. I could talk for hours, for days, for months, for a long time in that sense. It helped me, too, you know. And I just want to be good enough for me and good enough for you.
Wednesday after school, I had a few students over again, as always, and they were asking me very serious questions about pregnancy and abortion when Joe comes over and tells me to get my bag, “We’re going shopping.” I told my students we’d continue the conversation in Life Skills or after school on Thursday and I followed orders. He took me to the market to buy certain things for this “function” and all the while, I was asking him what he was doing to celebrate. He started telling me he’ll be eating chicken and celebrating with his family and friend Ken. Then he started asking me questions about how I like to cook my chicken, etc. I was very confused. We bought fantas, bisquits, salt, and oil. We walked around the market to wasted time before the “function” and finally ended up in front of my house. “I’ll go see if Ken can get the powers and I’ll meet you here. Start the fire. We have to kill the chicken.” WHAT? At my house, apparently we were having the function. Thankfully it ended up just being me, Joe, and Ken. We killed the chicken (oh god…what can I say about this?...not a fan…), and I cooked TERRIBLE rice. Of course on his birthday, I make terrible rice. And it takes us FOREVER to cook the chicken so we don’t eat until 9. Then we have powers shots and fantas. My night guard at the school must be spreading rumors about me already. Honestly, after what was happening at my school this week, I could care less. But two men at my house past sunset? Oh, heavens.
Thursday I have a drunk man on my stoop proposing to me. A teacher from the primary school asking me if I "practice" with my chibwenzi (boy/girlfriend). I have gotten many proposals from men here in many different ways…but this was incredible. Funny and terrible. I kept telling him it was not a conversation I wanted to have with him and he kept insisting that the Americans have invented condoms so Africans can practice before getting married. It was terrible. Talking about the “dirty disease” that is killing so many of his friends, but he was happy because condoms would help him. Not okay. But thankfully my tactic of telling him my chibwenzi is a heavyweight boxer (aren’t you something like that?) got him a little scared and he left.
Friday: school cleaning the first few periods. My students found a sick baby outside the school. I was leaving for Lilongwe and they found a man to take him to the hospital with me. Starving. Sick. Weeping. Hardly holding up his head. I don’t know what to say about it.
Rough week at school, but I’m better now. I’ll be okay. Just need some rest, I think.
I came to Lilongwe for internet, money, shopping, and mail. Mail. Mail. Mail. I got Christmas packages and pictures, and cookies, and fiber, and jerky, and laundry sheets, and speakers, and letters from my loves, and mix cds, and just lovely lovely things. The Christmas pictures made me cry, as funny as they were.
I miss you guys.