Sunday, February 26, 2012

Not to be dramatic...

So lately, I’ve felt like I’m living in a scary movie. But we’re at the beginning of the movie, where the scary part hasn’t happened yet. Like when the music is eery and the girl hears the rattling in the basement and she grabs the door handle to open it, and the whole audience starts screaming,  “NOOO! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?! TURN BACKKK!!! YOU‘LL DIE!!!” 

Here, that scary thing is a lil somethin’ people call 'hot season'. Like right now, the temperature reaches 100, I’m sweating off three nalgenes, and people still say “in a few weeks, you’ll be begging for this weather”. Cue in scary music. Or a student still shows up to school wearing a sweater to class?! Scary music building. People use phrases like “oh ya, during hot season, we did this or that…JUST TO SURVIVE.” And I’m thinking, oh my gosh, we’re all gonna die.

I think my survival tactics will be sleeping a lot, allowing myself to have no personality, walking around naked, and cursing frequently under my breath. Like any good missionary would.

That or maybe I’ll start filming everything that happens and get some big bucks making a movie or t.v. series similar to Survivor or Lost. I’ll probably play the role of the character who everyone labels as ‘she deserved to die, how did she not see that coming?’

Thursday, February 23, 2012

85%, who knew?!

Instead of having the typical ‘the-conversation-just-ended’ awkward silence today, I had the ‘oh-right-we-both-only-know-like-17-words-in-each other’s-language’ awkward silence.  It was with my two favorite Nigerien nurses in the hospital. And I found myself questioning mid-moment of silence what we had  been doing for the past 15 minutes if it hadn’t been speaking the same language.

I was thrilled to see them because I didn’t visit them last week and was in Niamey the past few days, so that makes almost two weeks (about how long it‘s been since I last blogged…see, didn‘t you miss me too?). So I guess there were a few minutes of me bounding in screaming and leaping on both of them (is that culturally acceptable?…I dunno, but I kept my skirt on). And I guess a few minutes to go through the Hausa greetings, but I’m not really sure what happened after that.

I thought we had a conversation about how my trip was and what I brought them back and how now one of them worked in a different area of the hospital and how we missed each other and no, I didn‘t find a husband in Niamey. I honestly felt like we had been chatting it up like excited school girls after summer break.

But it dawned on me in that silent moment that I don’t know that many Hausa words. I think we must have just been rapidly blurting words in English, Hausa, and maybe French, (that’s how much I know of the two languages…sometimes I can’t even tell them apart) and a LOT of gestures....but it still worked. Weird, right?!

Someone told me the other day that 85% of communication is body language (or something like that) true! Thank goodness! Heck, I'd need that even if I wasn't living in Niger!

And also, I think 85% of people can tell if you enjoy them. That’s usually when I feel most loved by Jesus, when He tells me how much He really enjoys me. So it makes sense that having an "I like you" spirit (which these two women are the bomb at having) around a person is powerful enough to travel across cultural barriers and actually communicate. And thank ya, Lord, for that!... (cuz otherwise I'd be such a mute).

I think someone should write a book about how liking people crosses cultural barriers. And if someone already has then it should be recommended to me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

B is for Booger

Today the kindergartener I work with starting humming the Indiana Jones theme song mid-worksheet. And I was like “uhhh, why did we start humming so loudly?’ And he replied, “I can tell the next part is going to be harder.” 

Last week, while I was gathering his work so he could go home, he decided the floor in the room was lava.  I had to place the mats over to the door so that he could get to  his “lava shoes”. …‘when did everything start being lava?!’ …”When I got bored”.

(Is providing background music for your own life and self-spicing up dull moments a sign of immaturity?! Doubt it.)

I get to hear about anything and everything that is going on in his nose…including but not limited to the location of his boogers and conversations such as “my nose is SO sore!”..why?…”because I pick it SO much!” (Got to appreciate his honesty). 

We are often easily side tracked with realizations like the letter 'f' starts the word fart and 'w' sometimes looks like a butt.

There are wasp nests and preying mantises brought to my desk instead of apples, a constant flow of written sight words (wrapped in paper as gifts) on my home doorstep, and the never ending supply of creative pictures, such as people blowing up trees with dynamite...

*** I admire the perseverance of this girl because, while her hair is clearly being blown away, she has decided that putting on that last ornament is more important than retreating.

Needless to say, the world’s days are being relieved and refreshed, one spectacularly awesome kid at a time.

  (...and I can’t wait to meet this kindermister as the grown-up, brilliant, Jesus-following man he is sure to be and ask if 'f' still stands for fart? and remember when we used to discuss your boogers?)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Still no zebras BUT...

 This little guy showed up on the INSIDE of my mosquito net twice this week.

...he's that shadowy dragon-like structure...
First night, I had Tarzan catch him for me because he was just too fast. But last night, I went all African warrior princess on him and caught him myself.

I choose to believe it has been the same lizard both times. I've also decided that if he shows up again, he will be named Pet and he will be mine.  Speaking of pets, I’d just like to let my parents know that there are plenty of other fish in the sea, as far as pets go, to replace the miniature dachshund (as if a regular dachshund wasn't miniature enough) that taunts and tortures me whenever I'm at home.

And even though I am sure I’ve accumulated treasures in heaven because I have never punted the little turd across the yard (...drop kicked her over the fence, run over her in the alley, etc.) when she was yapping her head off at me, I would be more than happy to replace Dinky (yes, folks, her name is Dinky...I know...I know...) with one of the many animals we have PLENTY of around here...


#1. Hedgehog...Great pet, WHO KNEW?! This one is named Snuffles...


#2. Orrrrrr how cute is he snuggling with Sir Quaker Oat?!
i was obsessed with this lil dude.
i think it may have been the obsessiveness that killed him.
R.I.P. Squishy

#3. Tortoise?? makin' a run for it...
 (unlike Dinky's frequent freedom breaks into our neighbors yards, this guy does it in slow mo)

#4. Small dinosaur...

#5. So cool to look at, yet conveniently easy to ignore...

#6. He lives outside my back door and I think he'd be a keeper (because I'm certain people would ask if he was spray painted and maybe sometimes you could say yes...)

#7. Snake...?

#8. or large rat?? ...haha, sorry, that's kind of gross...even Dinky would be
#9. MouseNOT AN OPTION…NOT AN OPTION…they reproduce like crazy and then their newly formed army proceeds to poop all over your house and eat all your possessions... no cute Ratatouille-cooking or Cinderella-gown-sewing mice on this planet... dream on, Disney...

I would throw out more ideas but...I would have to be patient enough to upload more photos....

Still. Plenty of other fish in the sea (...animals in the desert...whatever phrase pleases you)
....don't even get me started on the bug options...

Don't get me wrong, I’m not saying kill the runt and traumatize the kids for life…but...(…make it look like an accident)...think about your options....