Monday 7 February 2011

Life in the Peace Corps - Youth Day

How I spent Youth Day...

At 10AM, Cyrus (another PCV who lives 5km from my site) and I headed off on a motocycle driven by Biya, his counterpart. In another lifetime, three people on one motorcycle would be unheard of, but now, it's all just apart of daily life.

We drove down a dirt road for about 30km closing our eyes and mouths to avoid the dust every time a truck drove by. We were headed to Maryang, a small village of less than 100 people where a former PCV had built a school. Cyrus would be making a speech to the village about the importance of education.

As we turned
onto a bumpier road full of rocks, a man started running toward us blowing a whistle. I turned to Cyrus and asked, "What's happening?" "I have no clue," he said.

Applauding started. The moto stopped. In front of us was a beautifully painted one-room school, a band of drummers, and an
entourage of children standing in front of the leaders of the village. We walked around to shake hands with everybody as they provided a standing ovation. Why, I thought. I didn't have too much time to think as the music started back up again and we were asked to dance to the cheers of the village. They love it when you dance.

It was soon time for Cyrus's speech and he spoke about the importance of education. The activities by the kids soon followed. They started with songs and games. And then skits and sports. I played the drums and danced.

We were invited to have lunch in a one-room mud hut. In the hut, t
here was simply a bed and the dining room was the ground that we sat on. Being dry season, the heat made me fall asleep after the meal of rice, meat, and cake. They were simply grateful for the school that was built. Before this, they held classes outside by a tree.

This is life.

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