Monday, March 26, 2012

The Mokanji Life

Really I am enjoying it. The people are friendly and Sierra Leone is a very social culture of greeting everybody and just sitting around and talking. Since there are only 6 North Americans in Mokanji and we are the newest transplants and the only ones with kids we seem to get our fair share of visitors, although most of our visitors are kids. They eagerly wait for the kids to come out and play with them and during the afternoon while the kids are taking their afternoon quiet time/nap, they will hang around our porch and just watch Jeneson and I read or be on the computer. When they aren’t being social they are working. They have to work to get water from a hand pumped well every day, they have to gather wood to cook over a 3 stone fire or use coal in a coal pot, they do their laundry by hand; almost every task that Americans use a machine or appliance to do, the people in Mokanji do it the ‘old fashioned way’, by hand.

We are only about 150 yards away from one of the two hand pumped wells in the village, so during the day we get to hear a lot of talking, a lot of hand clapping and singing as the girls wait their turn in line, and the occasional fight. We also get the frequent visitors of ladies and kids selling various food stuffs out of buckets precariously balanced in their heads. There is even this sweet girl who walks from the next village over to sell me woven baskets that her Daddy weaves. These are great, quality baskets and she sells them for 1000 Leones ($1 ~ 4300 Leones). I usually give her 2000 Leones and don’t ask for change in addition to giving her a cup of water and a muffin if I have one around.
Less than 300 yards from our house is the Old Skool Nite Klub (yes, that is how it is spelled!). There may be no village electricity in Mokanji, but at least 3 or 4 times a week we hear the generator get fired up at about 8pm and instead of hearing native African drumming in the distance, we get to hear the latest in popular music in Sierra Leone.

Our evenings, after the kids are in bed, are often spent out on our front porch enjoying the cool, breezy Mokanji evening. Here we can process any events of the day, evaluate how we are adjusting, or just enjoy each other’s company. I usually get my chocolate fix in the evenings with a nice cup of hot chocolate.


Glenda W said...

It's great to read your updates and hear you are settling in. Praying for you all, Sandy!

Cindy said...

What is the language barrier like? Are you able to understand each other much?