Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
More Local Stats.
4 (Number of wives legally allowed here.)
"About three quarters" (Percentage of teachers, according to a group of upper basic students I met on the road, who beat them.)
8 (My estimate for how many people can fit around a food bowl before it starts getting uncomfortable)
80 (Percent of The Gambia's total exports of which peanuts comprise. Also the percentage of females reportedly circumsized in the Senegambia region)
100-200 (Death rate per thousand for children in TG)
60 Cents, US (Cost of filling a jar with local peanut butter at the market.)
78 or more (Percentage, estimated by local health worker, of all hospital and health clinic visits reported to be malaria. Actual percentage unknown since clinics do not test for Malaria in most cases.)
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
300 (Dalasi spent on rent in the same month)
25 (Percentage of eggs I crack open whose contents scream "Don't eat me!")
6 (Number of holes in my bicycle's tire tubes after returned from secretary)
0 (Number of times I will loan out my bike again)
1 (Minutes until they will "off the generator")
To be continued...
Friday, December 02, 2005
No one likes the blue
Sometimes I wake up
Africa now." My second thought is often, "What is crawling on my leg?" or "Is that a baby crying, or a goat?" I give my mind some time to re-form, to recognize my surroundings, to connect to my limbs and senses, and wait for some other sign of morning as I know it, be it light, rice pounding, the sound of the pump. There's no sense in missing the sunrise when you're already awake, so I usually pull myself out of my netted cocoon, coax the spiders out of my sneakers, and make my way out of the village. My neighbors yell to me as I pass, greeting me in no less than four languages. They've been up for hours, praying, working, trying to keep ahead of the sun. Still, I'm a curiosity, going out just to go, no bucket or bundle or machete in tow, just me, roaming, me, trying to sneak away for a bit, looking for that perfect space in the day when no one notices the Toubab brushing past on her way to nowhere. It's a strange hobby, being an individual in a communal society.