day two with electricity
One thing that I am not sure if I have discussed is foodbowl. This is one of the most important parts of my day in village - twice a day actually. At lunchtime I eat with the other trainees and our language instructor, and at dinner I eat with my host family. We eat from a communal bowl, using our hands. I almost always get rice, with some sort of sauce on it. The lunchtime foodbowl is supplemented by peace corps, and included chicken and some vegetables every day. I LOVE foodbowl, especially since I started my program to put back on some weight that evaporated when I was sick. I have regained six of the fifteen pounds, and will continue to work hard and encourage everyone at lunch to pull together and finish all the rice - a feat we have only accomplished once, when we had a guest at foodbowl with us.
As I am now a professional sweater, and working on my instructor qualification in sweating, I will start sweating at lunchtime almost every day. This is one of the ways I know I am working hard. I also know because I tend to get dirty - I am not as talented as Gambians at eating with my hand - right hand only (if you don't know why, you might not want to). So foodbowl is a lot of fun.
Another highlight of my day in village is bathing - I take three or four baths a day, standing up, pouring water from a bucket. I love bathing. I have a smallish "backyard" space behind my house (which is also very small) in which I have my toilet area - a concrete pad with a hole cut in it. I won't get into a discussion of the best shape of that hole, but it's an important hole in my life. More important is the concrete, and the relative cleanliness this provides for taking my beloved baths. One in the morning, one in the early evening, one before bed, and often times one in the afternoon at some point. I can get four baths from a 12 liter bucket, unless I have to wash underwear. I am not very good at washing my own clothes - and my host sister washes most of them to be honest - so I waste some water. I also think I need another bucket so that I can have a soapy water bucket and a clean water bucket for washing, but that's a topic for another day. Bathing, being wet with water instead of sweat, and cooling off with good old evaporation are all daily doses of heaven. And recently I have come to enjoy fetching water from the pump, so I could even bath more often if I wanted - but I am not sure I could find the time. Hopefully in Fara Fenni my schedule will be a little less full and I can take as many baths as I want. I am probably cleaner here than I was in the States, on the average. Strange how life works.
That's all from me now, more in a few weeks, including pictures ning ala sonta.