Friday, February 12, 2010

Lucky the Giraffe

“God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things.” ~Pablo Picasso

So it's been a while since my last update with the Solar Eclipse pictures.
It seems to me that time continues to fly faster and faster as time passes.
This term (Jan-March) I am teaching several classes on top of what I've been teaching in the past:
I am teaching 5 computer applications classes (MS Office mostly), 2 Psychology classes (development and personality theories), and 1 HIV/AIDS class. The latter three classes are for Community Development courses (certificate and diploma; diploma here is the equivalent of an Associate's Degree in the US).

On top of the usual teaching, I continue to try to be an inspiration to the youth in my community to volunteer. As part of my assistance to the G-Youth Project, last month or so I had a chance to visit one of the villages on the outskirts of town and see what a 'bulla' is like (pronounced boura). On the visit, we met some of the local youth and explained about the aim of the project and the reason we were there (more info soon).

On the way back from the bulla I saw my first giraffe in Kenya. That's right, after about 13 or 14 months (not that it really matters how many...) I saw a giraffe for the first time. As we were driving back from the bulla towards town, we drove past the Giraffe Sanctuary (we drove past it on the way to the bulla also) and on the way back there was a giraffe just standing next to the road. It was a very neat sight. The following day, Rachel (the other PCV in town), and I were invited t0 join some of the G-Youth staff on a trip to see the giraffes the following morning (see picture on the left, more pics on Facebook).

Also during the last few months I've heard some statements I want to share with others:
When we went to the bulla, we asked the youth some questions and one of the questions asked was regarding illness. One youth told me he once had measles (I could be wrong on the illness itself, my memory is not the greatest) and that he was cured after a ceremony in which a sheep was slaughtered and he was wrapped in the sheep skin.

Another time, an mzee (elder) greeted me as I was walking and said "We used to pray together at this mosque. What happened? Why do you no longer pray with us?" My response "I have not prayed at this mosque before. Perhaps you are thinking of another person" Mzee: "Yes, you might be right". Then we proceeded to exchange work info and the mzee invited me to join them at this mosque (The main mosque in town) for prayers.

On several occasions, elders and locals have made comments about my skin color such as "You've been living here so long your skin color is becoming like ours!" or "How long have you been living here? Your skin color is becoming darker, one day you will look just like us."

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