Monday, May 14, 2012

Walk To Water

As the well was bubbling up water was dripping down my legs we had our pasha and started walking.  I had gotten to the well earlier than most people because I walked there from the rose garden near the mission.  I chose to walk barefoot because it would be more realistic.  The walk was from Rocky Nook park to school.  It was a hard and tough hike, especially because I didn't have shoes.  That day I could only use water that I had collected in the containers. It was hard to not be able to flush the toilet.  I feel that the activity taught me what it was like to be in Africa and collecting water.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day One With Athok Alauk

Athok Alauk
Sudanese Tomato Salad (Salata Tomatim Bel Daqua). Photo by morgainegeiserToday I arrived at the JUB airport I took a cab to Langber Bor where Athok Alauk lives.  The streets where very dusty and there were lots of stalls on the side, so we stopped at one of them and got something to eat.    We drove for a few more hours and then got to the village that she lives in.  When I got to the village I could see lots of people in the center of the village, they were all dancing and singing.  I was surprised and realized it was a small greeting ceremony.  After the small ceremony I met Athok.  She is thirty five, married and has five children.  Once we met she showed me her small store.  It was nice and it looked like there were a lot more items in it than some of the pictures she sent me of it.  It was later in the afternoon so we decided to start making tomato salad or salata tomatim bel daqua for dinner.  First we got out the 5 tomatoes and diced and seeded them.  Then we diced 4 green onions.  After dicing the onions we took the seeds out of a green chili pepper.  We used 1/4 cup of italion parsley and diced it.  We also used 1/3 cup oil, 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter, 2 juiced limes and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  We then combined tomatoes, green onions, chili pepper and parsley in large bowl.  We whisked oil and peanut butter together until smooth.  Then we stirred in lime juice and seasoned with salt.  We then used a wooden spoon, and gently stirred dressing into the tomato mixture until it was lightly coated.  After we had finished we shared the meal.  It was good and the combination of lime and peanut butter was a unusual, yet  flavorful taste.  After we ate I got out my sleeping bag that I had brought with me and put it on the little cot that she had for me.  It took a while for me to go to bed becauseI usually see Santa Barbara.  It was amazing!

Day Two With Athok Alauk

Today when I woke up I got out my alien bike tool that I had brought and made a sign saying that I would fix bikes for free.  I got out all of my other bike parts and got ready.  I asked Athok if she wanted to help fix bikes with me and she said yes.  The first person that came was a little 5 or so year old boy.  He had a small bike that had no gears.  He seemed nervous and a one of his friends had stayed back and watched  He handed the bike to me and I asked what was wrong with it.  He said that it was hard to pedal and I knew that he probably had a stiff link.  I got out the tool and started fixing it.  After I had fixed it I lubed the chain then cleaned of some of the grime on the chain rings.  After I gave the bike back the the kid I let him test it out.  I could tell that the problem was solved when he came up to me with a big smile.  I felt really happy and decided to fix bikes the whole day.  Before he left I gave him a tiny thing of tri-flow and taught him how to put it on.  After the boy left,   lots more people started coming and I kept on fixing bikes with Athok.  We kept on fixing bikes until the day was over.  That day was really meaningful to me.

Day Three With Athok Alauk

On day three I woke up and had a regular Sudanese breakfast of bread and goat milk.  After eating I went to the store that Athok owned and met her there.  We had decided that I would work there with her for part of the day.  People started to come in earlier than I expected.  There were lots of people that came in. The big difference that I could see from the little store to an American one is that all the people that came into it were happy.  It was nice to see that everyone was so happy,  even though they were in a harder situation than in America.  During the second half of the day, I played soccer with Athok and her kids.  Later I also had fun learning how to bake one type of traditional bread they eat.  It was made of ran just water, salt and grain and was really hard.  After we played soccer for a while I got out my camera and showed them different things on it.  I also got out my iPod and showed them the games and videos on it and they were amazed by what it could do.  The kids watched the videos for thirty minutes until the battery died.  Then Athok took me to a small restaurant that made food for us, the food was tangy and usually had peanuts mixed in it somewhere.  I got one dish that had chicken and beef in it.  It had a sweet aroma that smelled like pineapple.  After dinner Athok took me back to her house and I said my goodbyes.  I would be leaving the next morning really early so I wouldn't be able to say goodbye then.  I had such a wonderful time and I a had a great time fixing bikes and helping with the store.

Currency Exchange

The currency of South Sudan is South Sudan Pounds
Each dollar is worth 2.6715 Pounds.
Here are some of the conversions from dollars to SDG or Sudan pounds.
$5 = 13.3575 SDG
$10 = 26.715 SDG
$20 = 53.43 SDG
$100 = 267.15 SDG

getting to south sudan

I will be getting to South Sudan by plane.  The flight will leave at 14:55 at LAX and will fly to JUB in South Sudan with two stops in FRA and ADD.  The flight will take 35h and 35m.  I will then drive to the town that Athok Alauk lives in.  I will be leaving 4 days after the flight to take the same flight with two different stops Cairo international in Egypt. and MUC.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How dog got his tail.
One day dog was eating an apple.  He was thinking about the golden apple that was in king Raccoons palace.  He wanted to eat it but it was forbidden to everyone. when he saw the king leaving.  Dog asked king raccoon why he was going.  Raccoon told him that he was leaving to a feast that he had been invited to at the village where Tiger ruled.  Dog had an idea.  He wanted to steal the apple while dog was gone.  But then he thought twice, maybe someone would catch dog.  Dog thought it was worth the risk so he planed to sneak into the castle and steal the apple at night.  The night came and dog when to the palace.  He entered through the window.  And snuck to the room that had the apple in.  When he lifted the case an alarm went off so he ran.  Once he got to the courtyard he eat the apple.  It was great.  Out of no where snake came and bit his but.  Dog was punished by his robbery by Raccoon.  Snake was ordered to hold on to dog forever.  That is why dogs have a tail and to this day dogs try to bite it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

visit with Maruge 6 and 7

Today is my last full day so we wanted to do something special.  In school we played games and flew kites.  There were only 5 kites so we all had to share.  After break we all sat down and a few of the kids gave me some presents.  After school ended we had to go back to Maruge's house.  I had to start packing and getting ready to leave because my plane flight was the next day.  My last day arrived an me and Maruge said our goodbyes.  We talked about how much of a good time he had with me and how much of a good time I had had with him.  He gave me a small fare for the bus and I left.  He waved to me as I left in the buss.  During the bus ride, I decided that when I got back home that I would send some ingredient for chocolate chip cookies to Maruge.

Monday, January 23, 2012

visit with Maruge day 4 and 5

Today we went back to school because it was a Monday.  We learned more addition and started with the concept of subtracting.  There was one boy named Abasi that couldn't get the concept of subtracting.  He kept telling me that he didn't want to have less numbers.  I thought that was funny and I told him that it's ok if he has less numbers.  When school got out some of the kids wanted us to play hide and seek with them.  We said yes and followed them.  We all went to a plain with lots of skinny trees that felt like smooth wood and smelled like mint.  The kids said they were really fun to climb on so we did that for a while.  The next day we ran to school.  We did some more subtraction and writing.  After school Maruge decided he wanted to go to the city to get something but he said he couldn't tell me what it was.  Once we got to the city we went to a small shop.  Maruge bought a small pin that said education counts on it in big red, green and black writing, which are the colors of the Kenyan flag.  He gave it to me as a present and told me that what it said was very important.  When we got back to Maruge's house we went to sleep.  The next day we woke up early and walked to the small lake.  When we got to the lake we bathed and washed our selves with some soap he had.  The soap was not very strong so I had to scrub really hard.  Once we washed ourselves we dried ourselves off with a towel that was really small.  We walked back to Maruge's house and put on some clean clothes.  We then rushed off to school to learn knew things.

visit with Margue 3

Today I woke up to a truck driving away.  There was a package on the front step.  It was from my mom again.  There we're bowls in it and other cooking stuff in it.   We decided to make the cookies today.  We started by making the mix.  The mix was really easy to make.  The hard part was baking the cookies.  We put them on the cookie sheet and put them in Maruge's clay oven.  We had to put a cookie sheet in front so it would be able to get to the right temperature.  I had to constantly check the oven because I didn't know how long it would take.  It took about 40 min.  After we took the sheet out with a glove we let the cookies cool on top of the clay oven.  Once we waited of about 10 minutes we took off the cookies.  They were crunchy on the bottom but nice soft and warm on the inside, that is just the way I like them.

Visit with Margue 2

Today I woke up with Maruge washing his face with water.  I then washed my face with water because it had gotten dirty from all the dust.  After we had washed our faces and had some goat milk and veggies for breakfast we walked to school.  His school was 3 miles away so it took a while to walk there.  There were some kids waiting for me and him at school.  They were really happy to see me and Maruge.  Once we started class I stood by and helped teach.  It was really cool to be able to teach other people and gave me self fulfillment.  After I helped teach how to spell some 4 and 3 letter words we all went to break.  There was some juice to drink.  Me and Maruge gave ours to other people because there wasn't enough to go around.  After everyone had juice we went back inside to learn how to add.  It was fun to teach the kids because this was an entirely new concept to them.  After school ended we went back to maruges house.  There was a package waiting there.  It was for me.  My mom had sent some ingredients for chocolate chip cookies.  I thought that was really nice if her.  Me and Maruge decided to try to make cookies when I was there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Visit with Margue 1

Today I got to Maruges village. He was still in school so I decided to surprise him with some cookies that i had brought.  Once he got out of school he came home and we had goats milk and cookies.  He said it was a strange taste and said maisha ni tamu  I asked him what that meant and he said it meant life is sweet.  I really beleve that because it is true.  Once we finished eating the cookies he asked what they were made of and how they were cooked.  I told maruge that the main ingredients were chocolate chips, flour, butter, eggs, and brown sugar.  I also told him that they were baked.  He had no idea what most  of the ingredients were.  I told him flower was ground wheat and chocolate was something that they make out of different parts of the cocoa tree.  After I told him how to make chocolate chip cookies he showed me around his home.  He had a little garden that had some squash like vegetable growing.  He also had a goat.  He told me that was where he got the milk.  Once he showed me where he lived, Maruge taught me how to milk a goat.  It was funny to learn how to milk a goat because I never thought I would do that.  The goats utters were suprisingly warm.  He told me that he did this every day.  Milking the goat was surprisingly tiring so I went to bed after.  Margue let me sleep on a little bed that he had.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Stop in Eldoret, Kenya

On my way from Sudan, I stopped in Kenya.  I was invited to the village of Eldoret.

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