Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have made it to site. A little about Abunyanya: it's a small village of about 3,200 people broken up into two sections, Abunyanya 1 (mostly Christian) and Abunyanya 2 (mostly Muslim), comprised of the Kokumba, Fulani, Koticoli, and Basura tribes. There is no electricity or running water. It looks like what you might think of a village in Africa to look like; a lot of brown surrounded by lush green foliage. The only road, which the village is stretched out along, is of course dirt, the houses are made of mud bricks, most with thatch roofs (the fancy houses like my own have a thin layer of concrete over the mud bricks and have tin roofs), and the most popular places to hang out are under big shady trees where a bench or two has been carefully placed. My house is a 3 room L-shaped compound, which means all doors open to the outside. I have the 2 outer rooms that serve as my bedroom and my kitchen while the middle room is occupied by my landlord and his 2nd wife, both of whom are quite young, friendly, quiet, and helpful.

As exciting as it is to be living in West Africa, my life is pretty peaceful if not almost boring. I wake up at around 6:30 am after a good 9 hours or so of sleep and usually lie in bed and read for about an hour. I then sweep my room, again concrete floors get so dirty so quickly and then eat a small breakfast of bread with peanut butter and an orange. And so far these are the only constants in my daily life. Sometimes I fetch water (the borehole is a good 7 minute walk from the house. My skills in the carrying a bucket on my head department have improved greatly.) Sometimes I walk the entire lengh of Abunyanya which could take about 30 minutes, but I try to strecht it out by talking to as many people as possible. (This consists of my greating them and then nodding and smilling while they babble on in Likpakpan.) Sometimes I read for hours at a time. And somtimes I stare at my hand-made calender, listen to the BBC world news on my short-wave radio, and womder how long 2 years will take.

And I'm now running out of minutes at the internet cafe....this will have to be continued in a few weeks. Sorry!