Thursday, June 16, 2011

East Africa Day 29 (Sat June 11): Happy Birthday, Andy!

Another pre-breakfast run was followed by work in the office. It was just me and the dogs for most of the day. (We had a rain storm with lightning and thunder this afternoon, and the dogs came inside to hang out with me.) I heard Tusker alert me that someone was at the door. I just assumed that it was a student or a staff member, looking for Mr. Wa, whose desk is across from mine. Everyone comes looking for Mr. Wa! They always knock before entering the office, and then I say “come in” and the person emerges from behind the bookcase that blocks my view of the doorway. So today, I thought it was strange that Tusker alerted me that someone was at the door, but I didn’t hear a knock at the door. But I was distractedly typing up my notes from yesterday’s interviews, and didn’t pay attention. Then I hear a crunching noise … I still think someone is about to walk into the office. I looked over my left shoulder towards the bookcase and door, and this is what I saw … WHATTT???!!! A cow eating a piece of paper out of the trash bin! I got up and walked closer for a closer photo, but it slowly walked out of the office door – no big deal here.

Today was Daraja Volunteer Coordinator Andy’s 26th Birthday. This evening Leila asked me if I’d seen Andy today. She said that she hadn’t seen him, and thought that he was hiding from the students. I learned that it’s Daraja tradition that the Birthday Person has water dumped on top of them, on their Birthday. Andy missed out today!

Saturday evenings at Daraja are dancing and movie night. As I’ve mentioned, the students use a smaller-sized TV and DVD player for their multi-purpose entertainment, in the dining hall after the plates are cleared away. Sue’s employer donated a projector, Sue donated a laptop, and purchased computer speakers in town last week. She taught Betty and Leila how to set up and operate the system, so that the students could watch their movies on a larger screen with the projector. We finally got it all set up, and all of the girls sat down, leaning forward towards the screen, waiting for the movie to begin. (They chose to watch The Social Network tonight.) But when the movie started, the girls couldn’t really hear the sound - even with the volume turned up all of the way. New speakers needed. In the meantime, back to the TV and DVD player. Sue brought the students candy – pop rocks, etc – which she passed out during the movie tonight. It was really cute!

She had also brought stamps and stickers, which the girls used tonight to make Andy Birthday cards. After the students started the movie, Sue and I went up to Jenni and Jason’s house for Andy’s Birthday Party. He loved his cards from the girls! Here are a few photos from the party. Happy Birthday, Andy!

Blue Sweater Book Club tomorrow!! Wish me luck!

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