Monday, September 24, 2012

Baby days

I had no idea that my neighbor was 9 mos along until her baby-hump tummy hurt the other night. Its bad luck and nearly taboo to talk about unborn children. My brother in the hut on the opposite side of hers told me about the delivery complications of her first tiny tot. They took her to the closest hospital, 2 hours away on a lucky day, only to find that they had to backtrack to the regional hospital 110km to the west. I have no idea how they found transportation, came up with the fare, and covered all of that ground before she went into labor, but hes now 2 and playing hide-and-seek at every opportunity.

After a speedy  village delivery by Gods grace, a 3 kilo little girl increased the population count of Sare Meta. Tiny feet to tiny toes with teeny tiny nails. Nails! She is beautiful with a thick sea of hair and a song of sleepy peeps. I admit that I am a girl with hormones guiding my actions, so I nearly cried when I first saw her lost lost in the blanket bundle... (nearly because that degree of emotion is not publicly displayed).

This weekend was her "dennabo"/naming ceremony. The family is responsible for throwing the celebration complete with cheb/oily rice, a goat, and music! I dont know why it took the women three times longer to cook when its still just rice, but at least they got a social day in the cooking hut. stretched across my compound 12 kids crowded one bowl of cheb, old men circled on a floor mat with playing cards, a possee of boys took over my sitting area with a radio, and women cycled between the cooking hut and "Boomba"/womens' hut.

I officially have a namesake, perhaps bringing the name "Homa" up to the 2nd least popular in the country. She was washed and her head traditionally shaved, families gave their blessings and a "fabaday"/ceremony gift, and I was commanded to dance all day for my namesake and happiness.

Monday, September 17, 2012

PC Vest!

Early on in village I asked how to make the delicious yogurt-like Kosam, but regret immediately fell in with the answers simplicity.
Set the bowl of fresh milk in your nice, warm room overnight. Voila.
Alrighty. Well, Ive finally earned my kosam badge! Ive colonized, I mean, made my own during the hours of my slumber from powder milk and a scoop of set aside sour goodness. My PC vest should fill out quite well with the things Ive learned and come to appreciate.
Sour milk=delicious. who knew. Secondly, I'd like to reward myself the Garage Badge. I have earned one of the nightmare stories of paused transit at the Tamba garage. An early morning usually kicks off a smooth travel day, but it made no difference last weekend. I arrived at 8 telling a neighboring volunteer that i usually wait an hour for the car to fill. So the first hour passed with small talk and the second set in with slight irritation. We had 3 out of 7 passengers. The three hour mark pushed me and my antsy button to ask when we would leave if the car did not fill. Four hours later, my patience returned with the refusal of a refund, a pb and banana sandwich, and 5 little boys eager to go to France. Five hours in, the ticket desk was probably as happy as we were that the car was finally full. It took me ten hours to travel 115 km/80 miles. Cause this is Africa.