Monday, May 23, 2011

East Africa Day 9: A Quiet Sunday

Today was a laid back Sunday for the students and I. I attended the Catholic students' two-hour services this morning after breakfast. (I attended the Protestant students' services last Sunday, so I thought I'd change things up.) Services are held in the classrooms. The Catholic students stood in the front of the classroom, facing the desks (where I sat and observed) and proceeded to sing (in Swahili) and dance for close to two hours. It was a lot of fun to watch, because the students were obviously having so much fun:) About three quarters of the way through the services, a student gave a short sermon on how to get to Heaven. When I asked her about it afterwards she said that few students are comfortable speaking in front of the group, so she just volunteered at the last minute this morning. I really enjoy the singing and dancing because the students are very animated and most of the students sing loudly, in sharp contrast to their soft speaking voices.

I spent most of the mid-day reading my Kenya book, lying on a bench underneath a tree, in the center of the classroom quad.

INSERT PHOTO UNDER TREE.

Leila walked by carrying an armload of her books, and I snapped these two photos.

INSERT LEILA PHOTO.


When Maria passed by I stopped her for this portrait.


INSERT MARIA PHOTO.


Maria is a student at the University of California at San Diego, and is here working on her thesis. She's also helping a UCSD professor with some research. She's so awesome and is a great resource. Including birds ... she told me that there are a few different birds that build nests like these.


INSERT NEST PHOTOS.


In the afternoon I joined the students in the library for Recreational Reading Time. They curl up on the floor, chairs and other furniture with books, magazines or newspapers and quietly read. I snapped this photo of a few of the students sitting on the library door stoop, braiding each other's hair. They looked so pretty sitting there - I had to snap this one.


INSERT GIRLS BRAIDING HAIR PHOTO.


Reading Time evolved into Computer Time. A former volunteer brought these netbooks, which the students love to use, even though they are not connected to the internet. I was still sitting next to them reading, and heard them listening to Rhianna, Justin Bieber, and a boy band that I used to listen to when I lived in London spring 2002 - my London flatmate Emily Tran knows that CD well:)


It rained again this afternoon, but the sun came back out and relatively dried everything up. I went for a short run down the driveway to the Daraja rock, and then up to Jason and Jenni's house, running along the inside perimeter of the fence. It is amazing how much the altitude puts a cramp in my running style. I'm challenging myself to see if I can get relatively used to it, by the time I leave campus on June 15. Wish me luck!!


Cali is curled up on the bed while I type and listen to Taylor Swift. Lesley and Joe, I am taking care of her specifically in your honor:)

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