Sunday, January 24, 2010

My friends so far in Uis

So far, my friends in Uis range from age 6 to 14. My learners come to visit almost every day and I know that it will keep me busy and from becoming to anxious or lonely so we spend a lot of time together. I taught them swap (a game similar to uno) and they love it. We also spend a lot of time teaching eachother games from our respective cultures- lots of hand clapping songs and games involving standing in a circle and dancing. My favorite one so far (which isn’t just gibberish) goes as follows:
Down in the jungle where nobody goes
There’s a big fat mama washing her clothes
Something something about the noises she makes? And then some random sounds (icki icki shi shi) while you dance.
I usually have anywhere from 2 to about 10 kids on my porch and they rotate through. Also, I don’t think I have ever been touched this much in my life. They love playing with (and braiding and pulling) my hair and think it’s incredible that my skin leaves a white print when you touch it that disappears so they pinch me a lot. As I said it has been good for keeping me busy and we all know I enjoy acting like a 12 year-old (and this time I’m the cool kid ☺), but at times it feels a bit like I’m running a daycare so even as we speak I had to go tell the girls who have been lounging on my porch for a half an hour that I need a bit of time to myself. This might be partly because I’m still worn out from last night when they took me to a show. I know in retrospect that I was kind of a chaperone, but the really wanted me to go see a concert at the local high school and assured me it was for adults as well. In fact, I was one of about 5 adults and the show took forever. Despite the ticket saying “starts promptly at 7:30” the performance began at about 9:15 and waiting around involved a lot of dancing. It was interesting to see how much teenage behavior is universal, or at least it was until I realized it’s just the really obnoxious parts, like running around giggling about a boy who just walked by who may or may not be someone’s boyfriend even though they’ve never spoken. Maybe I was just tired and cranky but this got old very, very fast.
At least the performance itself was mostly good, it was mainly dancing and it seems everyone here is a good dancer (I would get schooled by most 6 year olds). The concert itself was an initiation for new students at the school and as part of it they had to crossdress with the boys wearing the blue school skirts and the girls wearing pants and ties. My students were scandalized. They kept freaking out and laughing and saying “that’s a boy in the skirt” to which I had to reply “I know, I know” over and over and restrain myself from launching into a lecture about American culture and crossdressing. Today the plan is just to spend most of the morning and early afternoon by myself and finish lesson planning for the week, hope everyone back home is having a fabulous weekend!

p.s. they’re also teaching me some quequevongo and I can almost get it, but there’s one click I need to practice so I’ll be doing that a bit today too…

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