Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sometime he go broke corn, give you

Ali came over yesterday. brought me names of the girls in school for the EDDI scholarships, insha'Allah. he stayed a while. there was a brief – very brief – moment when i was unsure what to talk about. i brought up the topic of the dead/dying chickens... that's all it took. 1 hour and 45 minutes later, with Ali talking and my occasional "na true - for sure - na so it be - that is it," we prayed dhuhur [midday prayer] and he left.

what did we discuss? everything! Ali was dropping knowledge. imparting wisdom. seriously. he get sense ya! and a way with words. can turn a phrase like nobody's business. pragmatic. unbiased. witty. honest/forthright. progressive. we/he talked about farmer-grazier conflicts, court-case corruption, endless/useless bribing, fulani-native relations, the Ardu [local Fulani chief] and his people, Ukpwa land issues...

Ali is open and honest. tells it like it is. he'll break down the issues but not leave it at that... he gives his opinion on solutions. what he would've done. simple but direct solutions. and i think that makes all the difference... someone who has the insight into problems but proposed solutions, as well. practical solutions. with compromise and understanding. gotta respect someone like that.

two things he said that i'm not trying to forget and thus practice, insha'Allah:
  1. power is with the majority, not the leader. it is with the people. (this was in reference to going to leaders to work out farmer-grazier conflicts instead of working them out as neighbors... with the people... i think???) a wise leader follows his people as much as they follow him.
  2. and strength is in family/community. nowhere else. a man with no family is without true allies. and often without strength.
let me end with a memorable quote, on the amicable solution to farmer-grazier issues based on working them out as neighbors – without involving the higher-ups. "you know, sometime he go broke corn, give you." [i.e. the farmer will share his corn with the grazier]. and that classic Ali laugh and wink.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

we just put the rain gauge up

  • string for magnet
  • ice-water
  • pH timer (20 secs)
  • beaker
  • significant digits: 0.0 or 0.00?
...this is the list of items for some GLOBE protocols. i met with a handful of students yesterday up at school. we installed the thermometer, rain gauge and took some cloud measurements. small is beautiful. students were saying that most of the m weren't around, and that we should postpone the meeting. i denied. 1st next week, then next month, then... you know how it is. just do it.

yeah... on that front. Maggie and i were contemplating the trek (Nkambe-Wum) as early as next week. before Ramadan. but i check say i no go walka [pidgin: i think i'm not going]. i'm afraid (and i know she's disappointed... a little) that i'm backing out. school commitments. i go shiddown fine for dis side [pidgin: i'm going to settle down here].

i've got books to mark before i go out to GHS [Govt High School] again to do GLOBE measurements. BTW, it stopped raining yesterday. well, at least it didn't rain for a day. the irony... we just put the rain gauge up.

Monday, June 13, 2011

a glimpse of leadership, and dead chickens

hmmm... thought that i'd not written in here for a while. not so. yesterday and today were long days. both good. the lecture [a pedagogic seminar that i helped organize and present on learning/teaching styles] went well yesterday. have not talked to Peter and Paul about it, but i imagine they also feel the same. the VP had nothing but praise for the effort.

in fact, he really surprised me yesterday. several of his comments were right on the mark, timely and helpful. explaining, emphasizing and even making missed points. he really did show a glimpse of what we need in our administration. insight. leadership. motivation. knowledge.

he said something to me about the fact that most teachers conveniently left before 1pm. he said that people who don't produce have a certain view on people who do. 'nough said. the VP... a man of 2 faces. if he just had some scruples. c'est dommage.

another dommage is "my" chicken. the one "Iron Lady" brought mama the night before she left. i gave it to Ibrahim to keep until... and the thought crossed my mind that "what if it dies?" BAD LUCK! it did. got sick and died. but it doesn't end there. 7 other chickens, all Abdou's [Ibrahim's brother], got sick. had to be slaughtered. and there are still 3 more sick chickens. subhan Allah!


GTTC 2002 Admissions #s
NWP [Northwest Province]
  • Bamenda = 46
  • Fundong = 23
  • Mbengwi* = 23
  • Nkambe* = 6
  • Wum* = 15
  • Ndop... new!
SWP [Southwest Province]
  • Buea = 76
  • Bangem = 24
  • Fontem* = 13
  • Kumba* = 56
  • Mamfe* = 14
  • Mundemba* = 14
  • Limbe... new!
[*GTTC's with PCVs holding teaching posts]