Down the Mountain (... and back up again)
Today, I decided to make a visit to the neighbouring village of Mountain Foot. As the name would suggest, it’s at the bottom of a mountain, and therefore takes a long time to get to. Mountain Foot is nice. It’s nestled in a valley, surrounded my jungley mountains and submerged in the jungle itself. We walked around for a bit, chatted to people and drank water from the village tap. The sun was hot and I’ve got no idea how I’m not burned again. It’s quite different from PK down there – there is no cool mountainous breeze, it’s all in the bush, there are few ‘upstairs’ houses (on stilts) and there is also much more fruit. Rosie and I went to visit one of our students and then headed back. As we began to scale the mountain, a lady called us back by asking if we liked bananas. Enthusiastically (and truthfully), we replied ‘awaik’. She then sold us some bananas and two delicious looking paw paws. We arranged to send the money down the mountain with someone as we’d brought none with us. £2.66 for two big bags of gigantic, flavoursome bananas and two paw paws. Not bad!
Rosie (mercifully) carried my bag, filled with these fruits up the mountain path whilst I struggled up the steep, dusty ground. I am probably the most unfit I have ever been, after all, teaching Engish doesn’t take much physical exertion. I must have been a bit dehydrated because by the time I got to the top of the mountain (crawling part of the way) I was feeling dizzy, sick and generally disorientated. I staggered home and drank two whole cassiri bowls of water, then a cup of tea. Although it felt like that slope was going to kill me, I had a great time – plus we got some fruit out of it!
On his staff visit, Chris (our DO) brought us some cucumbers. In a spontaneous move of excitement at being given a salad vegetable, I videoed myself eating it. After that, I decided that making videos is fun, and I’ve somehow managed to recruit Rosie into the whole thing, so now the two of us make strange videos – excellent fun!
Also, I’m starting two secondary projects next week: Computer Classes for Teachers on Monday and English Classes for Teachers on Thursday. I’m quite excited to begin this, because these are two areas where the teachers get a bit lost in. It will seem strange teaching teachers who have taught for many more years than me! Recently, I’ve also been in contact with my old school and I’ve set up a penpal system between my Grade 10s and KHS English Department. My students are very excited, especially the boys who want to ‘seduce’ the Scottish girls (I wish I’d never taught them that word!). I also need to get in contact with the Dorms Matron to set up a Rounders Club with the girls. Anyway, I’ll give you an update on all of these things as they progress.
As you can probably tell, I’m really getting into living in PK. Life here is as great as ever. This term I am really seeing everything in a whole new light. When I walk into the jungle, I feel more comfortable and less afraid. When the sound of forro music keeps me awake all night, I think about how much I will miss it when I’m gone. When we run out of fruit, I realise how sweet it will taste when we eventually get some again. When my student fail to understand something, I know what joy I will feel when they eventually learn it.
Things are good. I have no words to describe the love I feel for this place. It’s like I’ve stepped into a wardrobe and found some strange Narnian Jungle. I just wish I had longer to explore it.