Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Today I joined Sr. Matilda for her weekly visit to Kindy. It started raining on our walk over, but I’ve learned to always carry my umbrella with me for the sporadic showers. The two of us arrived early, so I played with a few of the kids who were dropped off early. One boy Joseph carried every single toy on the shelf over to me, so I was almost buried alive in old stuffed animals and blocks that were straight from a tree trunk. I observed most of the class and helped with the young students. After they had a snack, the teacher asked if I could teach them a few songs and rhymes. Thirty adorable, wide-eyed children were soon singing the Barney theme song and The Itsy Bitsy Spider with gestures and accents. The teachers were so happy to learn new songs. I never thought my pre-school knowledge would come in handy. It’s incredible how such little things make a big difference here. By the time class ended, there were ten pickininnies at my heels poking me with books and toys to play with them. They are all so eager and energetic. I’m so glad I got a chance to spend time with them.
Sr. Matilda and I walked home in the rain, and I threw together a quick lunch before going to Aligegeo for the afternoon. I helped a few Form 6 students with their essays for the speech contest on Friday. Their work was impressive, considering English is their third language. I feel spoiled and ignorant that I only speak English. Language defines the people in Solomon Islands, and there are countless dialects throughout the country. I typed their work on the school’s one computer and dazzled the teachers and students in the room with my typing abilities. Computers are rarely used because they are scarce. Typing is a hassle for them, so I offered my typing services to the teachers while I’m here. It was funny how baffled they were.
I left school around 4:00, and came home to an empty house. I found Sr. Loretta and Agatha in the outdoor kitchen preparing the legendary pudding they’ve been talking about. The process is involved but so interesting. First, casava (like potatoes) is shredded by hand on a big grater. The sisters grow casava in their garden. Agatha milked the coconuts and heated stones on a crackling fire. We lined a pan with large palm leaves then layered the casava and coconut milk. More leaves were put on top, and we were ready to cook it. The pan was placed on the coals and the heated stones were put on top of the leaves. It heated for about and hour into the most delicious, satisfying pudding. Agatha joined us for dinner and we feasted on our hard work.
We just watched a movie together, and I’m exhausted. Aligegeo students are preparing to sing the liturgy on Sunday, so I will fall asleep to their music and singing.