Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rivervalley Campsite (aka Language School)

I made it to Language School! I've been here for two weeks, and have been able to get online a bit on my phone to share pictures HERE, but this is the first time I've been able to sit in town at a coffee shop and use real internet on my real computer.  It's crazy how much little things like typing on a real keyboard make me happy!  Anyway, since this place is a bit different from some of my previous homes, I thought I'd share a few pictures and a bit of what life is like here for me these days.
This is the pathway up to my tent... along with a couple of bandas (bigger structures where families are living) and 2 other tents.  The Gerths (the family from Holland, MI) are up here too, but to the left!
My home.  In a nutshell.  It has a real foam mattress and bed in it and some cubbies for my clothes, and I can fully stand up in the middle.  Electricity is a little sketchy and it gets dark at night but... I'm thankful I'm not on the hard ground for sure!
 I meant to take some pictures of things like the shower/toilets down the way (behind me in the first picture) and how they heat the water (sticking long logs into the boiler and slowly putting them further in as they burn), but I'll have to work on that for another day. 

There are lots of boulders around the campsite, to my heart's delight!  I haven't actually "rock climbed" any yet but I'd love to hook up some supports on top and wish I had my climbing harness!  Oh well.  In the meantime, I've been hiking a lot.  And climbing rocks.  There's a little path up to a high spot on the campsite that the kids have taken to calling "Little Kilimanjaro," and we took a few fun pics there. 
A couple of the kids I had at orientation, with Jeannette Gerth.  Love these girls!
A view of the campsite from Little Kili
This place is a kid's playland.  There are fun things to do, rocks to climb, sticks to pick up and keep, holes to fall into... dirt to cover you from head to toe... everywhere!  :)
Kara was practicing tying her kanga (the cloth) to hold her babydoll,
just like all the mama's do with their babies!
Her brother was diligently feeding the termites (in the big holes) this morning. 
I'm sure they were glad for the free meal and the welcome to stay at the campsite.
Just in case you're tempted to think all we do is play... here's a look at what we do every day from 8:30-1:30.  It seems like it might be better to do more school in the afternoon, but by after lunch our brains are fried!  We use the time to do homework, eat meals, go to town occasionally, take naps, play with kids, all sorts of normal everyday life activities.
The Gerths in front of their classroom banda
Me trying to write a story in Swahili on a boulder.  This was in the afternoon.
I sit here most mornings before class starts, soaking up the sun... it's cold first thing and at night!!!

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