8pm Thursday, October 15 – 9th day – The Fish and the Water
I think I know why it can still be hard for me to be here. Because I’m always the outsider. I’m musungu, which is what they call white people here. It’s not that there aren’t white people. I’d guess that maybe .5% of the people I see are white, maybe? Its just that when you’re walking kids to school, and little kids laugh and call out to you, and then shriek and shy away when you turn… well, it weighs on you. But whatever. It’s part of the fish out of water.
This morning I had to go into the center of town to get money and Dorcas took me and we stopped in at the grocery store. Lo and behold it felt just like home! I mean, it was set up exactly like you’d expect. There were some differences, like all the prices are in Kwacha, the local currency. It’s about 4500 Kwacha to a dollar, so all the prices are in the tens of thousands.
Driving back to the orphanage, we passed an enormous market, the central market of Kitwe, and there were endless stalls and stalls of products you could buy. A giant farmer’s market where everyone can sell their goods. I’m hoping to go back into town sometime next week to walk through it and take pictures.
So the kids have two computer lessons a week, where Sam shows up and teaches them computer basics. Well last night he was showing them Word and gave them the assignment that everyone type something in Word for the next class. Sam doesn’t really strike me as doing a great job with kids, so I told them that if anyone needed help they could ask me and I’d help them.
Today, a group of the kids asked me for help! I showed them how to open Word again and had them all type some stuff. It was awesome just to see them grasping it and imparting some sort of knowledge on them, whatever bit I could. Funny side note: they call a period a “full stop.” Those British influences, I swear.
After that I taught the adults more about using the camera software for editing together movies. The hardest part is waiting for the computers to catch up, but I think they’re getting it, overall. Masautso is a born teacher, so he likes to put in his explanations for me, which helps me a lot because sometimes I’m not sure if they’re understanding me or just nodding along. It just feels like an amazing step toward something, giving them whatever I can.
I have just under a week and a half left here, and I’m getting the feeling it will be as hard to leave as it was to stay. Kids have a way of wrapping themselves around your heart, and these kids are no different. I’ve got to make the most of it while I can, right?