Tag Archives: Frustration

August 12

Hopefully all of this rain today will wash some of the donkey dung from the road. With it being one of two market days for the month people were taking every donkey they had to pack whatever they bought back into the hills. I bought four big bangles that the warriors wear, but none of them will fit around my fat wrist. I might see if Sarah can make some that are larger.

I also got picked up from the market by Julius on his pikipiki  to go the Children’s Resque Center and meet four mzungus that just arrived from the Czech Republic. They told me about their program and opportunities to get more involved with it, all of which I will pass on to you in a specific post.

Today was a pretty solid day. I really enjoyed seeing everyone in action. I’m now realizing that Joseph is a little over protective (he got mad when Julius took me to the Resque center even though both of the boys knew where I was going). He sort of thinks everyone is out to get me, which they are with regard to my money but they aren’t going to rob me, just charge me higher prices; however, since I’ve been here two weeks I sort of know what is reasonable and what isn’t.

Another thing, they don’t really understand that everyone gets to make their own choices. Julius, for instance, was married and had a few kids (I don’t know the exact number), but now he is getting divorced and “running away with another woman.” But who told them this? Did he? They then question how he can still go to church having done that… Well Julius is one of the nicest people I have met here so if he was unhappy in his marriage then that’s his business; he had done nothing to me for me to think ill of him.

Okay, sorry about that rant…I just needed to get that off my chest.

Apparently there’s a Ranch Council meeting AND a wedding tomorrow so I’m off to bed.

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August 11

Let’s just start from the beginning…

Hot chapati and chai–this day has potential.

Washed the privates–this is going to be a great day.

Then it was off to Sarah’s to see some of the beadwork that she does. I left with four bracelets and one ring. That woman is the epitome of Maya Angelou’s “phenomenal woman.”

It was also a youth day so I spent the morning and afternoon in a meeting with them. I wanted to tell them more about myself and see if they had any questions for me. One boy said that he had heard in the news that gays and lesbians had equal rights in America and was curious if I agreed with that sentiment. I explained that yes I did agree with that and how the culture regarding those individuals was completely different in the States. A part of me thought he was hoping for that answer because he might be gay.  In Kenya, homosexuality is still believed to be a taboo invented by Western nations. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly to approach this situation.

We then went to play some volleyball and of course had to stop when our ball got punctured. I have bought four balls here and literally every one of them has gotten punctured.

Fundi, the repairman, known here as an engineer, is usually able to fix them, but he charges 100 Ksh. We decided to have a snack while we waited, but when we went back two hours later,it still wasn’t done. Oh, and it started pouring so we didn’t even play as a team. It had looked like it was going to rain all day so when Moses asked if we would play, I said “I am down to play as long as the rain doesn’t stop us.” He then looked to the sky and then said, “Me, I think it will rain at 4:00.”  Sure enough, right at 4:00 PM it poured buckets.

It turned out that most of team was there waiting for the ball to be repaired so we ran through the rain for some hot chai. Some of them of course tried to push their luck and order more than one tea, but this mzungu wasn’t having that.

Following tea, I was off to the home of Alpha and his family. They have one of the nicer houses I’ve seen in this area, but it was still very basic. They also built two traditional manyattas for visitors to stay in that were neat to see. Despite the rain, Alpha was all about playing football. I, of course, fell in the mud.

Franco and I walked home after saying our goodbyes and arranging a time to meet for tea and football the following day. Paulo had left before us but we found him at Penina’s family’s home and decided it was best not to interrupt–it may be about time to negotiate a bride price.

On the way home, we stopped to gather the roots of this bush that would be good for our colds. We cut it up and put it to boil and then mixed it with our chai. Man was it bitter…We’ll see if it works.

And with that Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m off to wash my feet and head to bed.

In other news:

  • An elephant was found dead so the Kenya Wildlife Service was all over it. However, if a human is killed by an elephant it takes months to have the case reviewed.
  • Some members of parliament are refusing to pay their taxes even though they were the ones who passed a bill saying everyone must pay taxes. The President has already paid his.
  • Two people came up to Joseph saying, “The white man brings kids to play football and volleyball on our land, he must pay!” Um, about eight of those kids are members of your family. I will not fuel your drinking problem. This frustrated me to no end.
  • Five people were trying to cross the seasonal river on the way out of town and were swept away. They formed a chain and three survived, one was found dead, and another is still missing.

Not even there yet…

I had quite the scare today. As I was emailing the contact person with the company I’m going through to ensure someone would be at the airport at 1:20 AM Friday to pick me up, he emailed me to say that my program placement had to be changed due to unforeseeable circumstances. Well, it’s two days out and I was amped and ready to go to Maasai land. I was mentally prepared to live in a village for a month. While I’m sure living closer to the city would have its pros, it’s just not something I’m interested in doing. I’ve emailed the company to convey my disappointment and interest in remaining in Maasai land because of the grant I received to do research as well as my personal interests in the area; I’m still waiting to hear back from them.

And I’m not even there yet…


Patience…

…is a virtue,

This I know…

but mine is wearing thin.

My opinion is that there are three stages to becoming an African at heart. 1) You’re a newbie so everything that could frustrate you, you excuse because it is a different culture. Stage 2) You still realize it’s a different culture but your frustrations are at an all-time high… 3) This stage is reserved for those who are aiming to live in Africa–for you there is no such thing as frustrations because you’ve adopted many of the native practices as your own.

I am clearly in Stage Two, but despite my frustrations I am still thoroughly enjoying myself.  A lot of my frustration comes from the fact that Ghana has rules that people are expected to abide by, but the enforcers choose when they want to enforce them.

The other day we were just trying to cross the street, but it wasn’t a cross walk because there are only crosswalks every like mile and the police were like turn around a go back where you came from; we’re trying to teach you. Bologna. Two hours later we were walking on this path that had been made in the grass and we get to this guy that says turn around and go back where you came from, you can’t walk here. Well clearly we were not the first people to walk here. He then wanted to charge us 20 GHC to pass there. I wasn’t paying his backpocket though…

Then later that night we were trying to go out and dance for someone’s birthday and we get to this place and everyone can get in except me because I am wearing shorts, nice shorts, though. My knickers were unacceptable… That was the final straw for me that day… Then some guy was like I’ll get you some pants and I said I’m not gonna pay you a lot of money for a pair of pants your friend is giving me. He said, “How much you pay?” Um, no more than 2 GHC. “Oh, that’s no good. Gimme 5 GHC.” Okay, fine… So he leaves and then 10 minutes later a different guy comes back wearing some pants that look like he just took from someone off the street and I just couldn’t do it… I’m sorry… So I just decided to sit outside under the steps and wait for the rest of them… They came out in like 45 minutes because they said it was super lame and just a bunch of wealthy Obrunis and Obibinis. We didn’t come to Ghana to associate with the elite group so we left… I probably wouldn’t have been so frustrated if we had just been able to get there but our taxi got a flat tire on the way there so I helped change that… That day was just like one thing right after the other. You know what I mean?

Yesterday we had a very relaxing day at the pool which we all needed very much. So today we woke up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Some people are going to the botanical gardens which I’m sure are gorgeous, but you could see those anywhere. I would much rather take in the culture in another way…


Sam G

I absolutely dig adventure and travel!

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Verbal tantrums of a writer & an anxious spectator of life.

Mathematical

Madison's renderings of teaching and learning