November 14, 2007

More Q & A

I have been shamefully behind on answering questions from my pen pals in second grade in South Carolina. So here’s an attempt to answer some more questions, many of which are quite perceptive and open up a lot of big issues.

Do they have cobras there?
Yes! There are a lot of snakes in Africa and I learned a lot about them at a snake farm I visited about two months ago. Here’s a picture of a cobra I took and another picture of me with some terribly deadly and poisonous snake whose name I forget. (I may have learned a lot but I promptly forget it all.)

How much food do they have?
The short answer is not a lot. For many people, it seems to me their major challenge every day is finding enough food to eat since they don’t necessarily know where it will come from. I could write on and on about this question but instead I’ll just tell one story. The other day I was talking with some young girls (ages 10 to 12 or so). We were having a pleasant time talking about this and that. Then one of the girls saw in the trunk of my car and saw I had some bananas. Suddenly, that was all they could talk about. They kept saying how hungry they were and how they wanted my bananas. So I opened the trunk and gave them the bananas and they were hardly out of my hands before the girls had eaten them. They just gobbled them down they were so hungry.

Do they have doors to the restrooms? What are the restrooms like?
It depends on where you live. For instance, I have a perfectly normal and large bathroom that reminds me a lot of any other bathroom I’ve ever had. But in Itipini, people just kind of go to the bathroom wherever they find a place. When the pre-school children ask the teacher to go to the bathroom, they walk outside, walk to the end of the concrete porch, and go. One common sight when you drive around the region is men standing on the side of the road peeing (I’m sure second-graders will love this). I really admire their lack of inhibition. I haven’t quite figured out how to take a picture of it without looking a bit weird, though.

How big will your library be?
As big as it needs to be to hold all the books I have. Right now, that’s not too many but a lot of people have been very generous and promised to send me a lot more.


Michelle said...

Is there a way for me to help with the library? I'm not sure it's necessarily viable to send books, but I'm wondering how best I might help in helping your library grow...even if it's just by a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Books are coming - one way or the other ... we're doing a collection at my church - can probably only afford one box ... but it will be one box -- Jane