Monday, May 2, 2011


** Have pictures but can't get them to load. Sorry : (

We went to Manfred’s church Sunday morning. There was a wedding and a graduation ceremony. Well, as it turns out the graduates were actually the choir, but what choir wears mortar boards and graduation robes? Come on now, how was I supposed to know? We arrived late, and left early, so we were there for only two hours of what I can only imagine was a ten hour ser v ice. I’m telling you these people could put the Baptists to shame. There were several times that they had some serious dancing going down. It was awesome.

The wedding part was interesting, but even though English is the official language they actually speak something else, so we had no idea of what was being said through most of it.

For lunch we went to Manfred’s childhood home. It is probably middle class for them. OH WOW. Very, very small. Corollary of lesson 3 is drinking water is necessarily because you sweat your ass off, but man, peeing is a problem courtesy of the toilets or lack thereof. Used the restroom there, but no way to flush. Nifty.

It was 700 square feet? Main room , bedroom, small kitchen (more of a counter really) and a bathroom (toilet, tile floor, no shower, just a shower head, so when I went to use the restroom everything was wet. God I hope it was from someone taking a shower.

While at Manfreds I went down and got some pictures of the area. There was an outdoor oven that was shared by everyone? And there was a place to grind corn. We ate the rice, pasta combo that is their mainstay. There was some fish mixed in. The meal set my lips on fire (they like their spices).

After lunch we went to Manfred’s wife’s “compound.” He had told us her family was royalty. So, I guess they are upper class…again. A shock to the system to see how very different things are here.

Our next stop was the post office. Sure, you might think why would you see a post office, but turns out when you live on top of each other mail delivery is a problem, so there are hundreds of PO boxes, and people have to get to them to get their mail.

We met up with Isaac, another guy from the school district and split our happy group up. Admittedly we had 7 people in one car meant for 4. Yes, we looked like clowns in a volkswagon getting out.

Then we went to the palace. It was your basic colonial style home. The English built it to make up for being jerks at some point. Some where along the way we gained more people. I swear we were picking up cars and people as we went.

After that we made a visit to the hospital. Justina, Mandred’s wife worked in the children’s ward. The main hospital is really old, like what we would imagine a pre-war building. No AC, high ceilings, people everywhere. I got a cut on my heel on Saturday (no idea of how) then I wore shoes Sunday that really rubbed it. Glad we went by the hospital because Justina put a bandage on me. : )

We left the main hospital, but one of the girls made a mistake about commenting on the conditions (we are learning there are things that we need to keep to ourselves because they feel an intense need to show us anything we ask about. Not a problem for me because I never ask questions but I’m telling you Andrea and Edna ask a gazillion questions. At any rate, they decided we really needed to see the new high-tech emergency center. It was guarded by some sort of hospital security who were convinced to let us in to see it all. They were going to take us to the zoo next, but thank God Edna caboshed that. So, we finally got back to the hotel at about 5pm. We then had a huge discussion and meeting about the reserve they wanted to take us to today. IT was going to require waking up at 3am driving 3 hours (remember the roads now….) and then driving back. Edna caboshed that too. She was great. We needed to rest. Everything is exhausting. It’s hot, and we still hadn’t gotten great sleep.

We met with Manfred, Andrews, and Manfred’s brother to show them what we had brought and discuss the plan etc. I was beyond hungry at this point. They finally left and we ate at about 7:30pm. Then back to our rooms. We went to bed and slept hard. Our electricity went off at about 9am which woke Andrea and I up (Edna’s in a different room), so we slept for 10 hours. It was awesome.

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