Friday, July 17, 2009

A Typical Day in Sahn

Heavy rains, strong winds, lightning, thunder, the sound of crickets and frogs, normally rule night-time in Sahn Malen. What normally starts off as a decent night with almost no disturbances after the noisy generator is off will certainly turn into a mozzie carnival once our bodies dissipate heat enough to agitate them. It is not unusual to hear one or two buzzing mozzies at 3am even after a pre-slumber raid with “shell-tox”-the wonderful insect killer spray.
A silent night is normally disturbed by one or two flashlights and the sound of buckets of water aimed at the toilet. The word “flooding” has become a household phenomenon. I coined the word “flooding” to describe a condition known to medical professionals as diarrhea. With limited knowledge on the prognosis of our condition, we are yet to devise a strategy to circumvent this problem even with the intervention of our mini CVS which boasts Imodium and other anti-diarrheals. What started out with one individual has now circulated the whole camp with only two strong survivor strains failing to contract the disease. It might be time to call FEMA.
“Cokorioko”- the cock crow commences around 6am. One or two GMin members wake up and inform every other member that it is now dawn-time to wake up and get ready for the day trip to the neighboring villages. Dress up, get some food, do some packing, upload-the morning briefing- and take the road. Myself and Faaez get to stay back and enjoy the cool morning breeze, the silence after the noisy crowd departs, and maybe a few pages from “The Ascent of Money” by Naill Fergusson and “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell.
Take a few stretches, run around the house, hit the bathroom, get some more food, and walk briskly though the soccer field to the Roman Catholic and Islamic primary schools together with Faaez. Meet with stakeholders-teachers for classes four and five, and the head masters- and finalize the list for the kids getting XOs. Get back to base after the morning rounds and patiently wait for 3pm to start the peer-tutoring session. In the meanwhile, the porch will be occasionally flooded with kids screaming “fiba babu, malaria fiba babu wu wu” krio for look like a baboon, malaria looks like a baboon, boo boo: this is a famous line in the kick-out Malaria soccer tournament song composed by Sao.
Tutoring session starts about 3pm, and it becomes another problem to get the kids who are not in the program to leave the veranda. Get the generator started, fix the extensions, get the XOs charging and get the tutors to fidget them while they figure out what program they want to mess with. Steal some time and browse the internet before the malaria team gets back. Jake arrives, get soccer balls and bibs, and head-off to the soccer touch to get the games started.
The team arrives in packs of threes and fours and scramble their ways through the door just to stare at the table and cupboard in search of food. Get some food, head to the field and enjoy the soccer game of the day while some stay back to enter data or get some rest. Game finishes, everyone is home. It is now time for the pineapple. After Sam takes out his dagger and shave-off the pineapple’s skin, David can’t help but bully everyone to get the juice.
Dinner arrives, get our grub on, and get ready for download. Talk about the day’s event and plan the next day. Clem takes minutes and pastes the activity list behind the door for the eye seeing of all campers. Spray the rooms will shell-tox and get ready for bed.
Good night.

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