warm welcome

i’m now a week and a half into a much-needed vacation and have finally managed to slough off the stress of the last term and find the comedy in it all – enough to share a few tidbits with my faithful readers. check out the latest Adventures of Alicia in Africa : massacre in musha!, the man in white, anything for a ride, and can you see that giraffe behind that enormous cloud of dust? plus pictures of our trek into the rainforest.

but first a thanks to the folks from apagie for the warm welcome they offered my sister on arrival. amanda and i did our part by crafting and decorating newspaper hats and wearing them to and from the airport. as the three of us traipsed up the hill in our hats, the locals weren’t sure what to do (are these a joke or are they some kind of traditional mazungu welcoming garb?). even the children gave us a quizzical look after hugging and christening sara with snotty noses in her crotch. once home, we had christmas in july with all the presents she brought – chocolate and sour patch kids and a thousand kinds of herbal tea and spices and real sponges and a printer and two flash disks and movies and a loofah. merry christmas everyone. woohoo.

sisterly love with hats with hats and amatunda

the next day i showed her around and introduced her to students and teachers and the director. the director invited us out for dinner (but didn’t say when, then showed up at the house at 9:45pm by which point we had given up and were making our own. he stuck his head in the back window where i was cooking and said ‘you are cooking’ and i said ‘yes’ and he said ‘you have bees’ and pointed to the bees swarming to get into the house – so they could die and be swept back out again – and i said ‘yes’ which is how most of our conversations go).

the students invited us first to come into study hour (where they asked her if she was married or had a boyfriend or wanted one and tried to get her to sing and dance) then to dinner in the refectory to experience gahunga (a.k.a. ugali or fufu, a typical african food made of maize that tastes like cardboard and has the consistency of heavy bread dough but drier) and to breakfast to taste porridge (made of the same stuff but runnier – like tasteless cream of wheat). i had never done meals with the stduents and it was loads of fun – everyone eating with their hands and making a big mess. sara was a big hit. students said things like ‘your sister is beautiful’, ‘sara i need you’, and our favorite:

‘but i love your sister. i don’t know when i will see her again so tell her i love her. ok.’

they also tied two banana leaves and some bougainvillea to the tree outside our house, which i’m pretty sure wasn’t for me.

sara and eric sara and the gang merry christmas everyone

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~ by aliciawolcott on August 2, 2007.

3 Responses to “warm welcome”

  1. there were no hats on my arrival to the united states. VERY disappointing.

  2. that was one was from me. sorry, i just got too excited to click “submit.” wait for it…

  3. Hey Lisi! I just caught myself up on all your entries from this summer. Sounds really exciting! I’ve been peer-pressuring Sara into making a slide show of her pictures to present at her graduation party this weekend. I can’t wait to see them all, the few that you put up were great.
    We’ll all miss you at the party. I’ll be making about a million pierogis for the occasion. Hopefully they will get a passing grade from Gram, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Love from the DeLuca clan!

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