Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Charcoal and KitKats

Life is good so far. I have only had a few down moments. For example, yesterday, I was helping my host family with dinner and neighbor children were over. I was just sitting there and all three of them were just staring at me. I was going a bit bonkers so I decided to hightail it to my room for some privacy before dinner. Other than that, it´s just been some language setbacks and homesickness. It really helps having Americans around though.

I´ll break down some things for you:
1 - I eat rice...and I mean A LOT of rice
2 - They have delicious bread here
3 - You can´t spit without hitting a mango or papaya tree
4 - Women can carry a helluva lot of stuff on their person. I saw one woman with a baby tied to her back and carrying a bag with a crate of 24 full bottles (not cans) of pop on her head
5 - Roosters crow here at 2 in the morning and do a call and response with each other for as long as they want
6 - People stare and you have to get used to it since there´s no way of blending in

I was in a storeroom with my 18-year old brother, helping him sort empty bottles of Fanta and Coke and this large rat or mouse scurried down the side of the building. I freaked out and jumped out of the room and he just laughed. We had talked about the cartoon Tom and Jerry before and now we refer to the storeroom as "a casa de Jerry."

I was helping my sister and brother with a meal and we were breaking apart clumps of charcoal for the burners. My hands were pure black so to goof around I did a McCauley Culkin with my hands and they were horrified. Cleanliness is such a huge thing here. I was late leaving for school this morning and my host mother was like "your sandals are dirty!" I was just like "nao tenho uma problema con isto para agora." I don´t have a problem with this for now. My sorry portuguese. And I washed my clothes with her the other day and she and their neighbor laughed at my technique. Washing clothes is using four different buckets filled with different amount of water and detergent. And that´s all I´ve got for now. I found KitKat bars at the market today and I am going to go home and savor every last bit of it like a weirdo, as long as it doesn´t melt.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ola, oi, bom dia...etc.

So we have internet here! Hooray! I am really liking my fam. They are great. I have two brothers. One who is 2 and one who is 18. And then two sisters who are both about 12 or 13. The girls are SO quiet. I put eyeshadow on them the other day and they thought that was hilarious. They work so hard! I have my own room in my house which makes me feel bad because then the two girls, the 2 year old and the parents all share one room. I feel like such a jerk but I think that peace corps required that it be that way. I have a cell phone! I really only use it for text messages and for people to call me because it´s hella expensive to call the US. It´s funny here because I wake up to rapping by Busta Rhymes or to a rooster. I have wanted to strangle the roosters by my house. They start crowing at like 2 am and do this call and response with each other. Today, when I woke up, my brother was playing Shania Twain. And I went over to his mom´s house the other day and we watched music videos. And in response to Kara´s comment on the last post, yes, they LOVE Justin Timberlake. I went over to my friend´s family´s house the other day and they were watching JT´s music video. I taught my brother Sudoku puzzles and he copied some to take to school to do when he gets bored. It wasn´t that difficult to explain how to do sudoku puzzles in my sorry portuguese surprisingly. I have also shared the wonders of my digital camera and iPod with my family. They even changed their clothes to have their picture taken.

Language training is a bit arduous. It´s for the entire morning every day of the week and it makes the morning move incredibly slow. Otherwise, I like my group and it´s nice to have fellow PCTs suffering under learning a new lanugage with me. I suppose I should scoot. My brother has sat here, waiting for me for about 45 minutes and I feel bad for him. He has even been looking at the telephone book. Ate logo para agora!