Monday, July 11, 2011

day 1, fasting

11/5/2002:
day 1, fasting. insha'Allah the rest of the family is, too. they didn't call. we, on our part, did not sight the moon. but Cameroon and Nigeria say the did. so we fast... i wonder. we always argue about seeing the hilal [crescent moon, in Arabic]. i have faith that our people saw it not too far from us. but we, here [in Wum], did not.

the thought occurred to me this morning as i looked up and saw an overcast sky. Ramadan is here and the rain is still falling. but i'm no longer carrying the raincoat or the nalgene. and i like this journal.

i gave 3A [3rd year students] Paul's test today. then used his second period with them to read the bushmeat/SIV article. they listened but also talked, whined, groaned, and slept. i just about lost my temper. then i asked the question, "why are you here?"

they answered. and laughed. and squirmed. my people have a saying, شر البلية ما يضحك = at the worst of times, we laugh. we laugh to keep from crying. we laugh when we should be crying.

my students' answers to the question:
  • for a job
  • to be a teacher
  • a last resort
  • running away from responsibility
  • for money
  • etc. etc. etc.
i asked the question again. "why are you here?" then asked them to think about and answer it themselves. i think the school needs to reassess its commitment to being here. everyone... students, teachers and administration.

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