Everything will change. A Ministry of WorldVenture.
So I've been living in my family for about three weeks now and I realized that in my last blog I described all my family members but I didn't tell everybody how day to day life works in my family and what things are the most different.
Every morning at 5:00 a.m. I wake up to the sound of the call to prayer coming from our neighborhood mosque. I don't really know how to describe the call to prayer but it is not a pleasant sound, especially at 5:00 in the morning. The first few days I remember being soooo angry that it woke me up because I was so tired and it's just really not what you want to hear when you first wake up! Now I don't notice it as much, and sometimes don't even wake up to it at all.
Then at night there's the traditional animistic music. One night my mom came into my room and woke me up to ask me if I could hear it. She explained that someone has come out of the sacred forest tonight wearing the mask that women aren't allowed to look at. They think that if a women looks at it, she'll die. She also explained that they believe that if a woman is pregnant and looks at any traditional mask, her baby will turn out to look like that mask. And then she said that none of that matters for us because Jesus is stronger than it all. And she is so right! The next morning, my little brother Alex showed me the sacred forest next to our house, and it's really not far at all! He told me about how he's scared of the sorcerer who lives in there. Those are the times when I really feel so far from America! Instead of hearing church bells ringing, I hear the Muslim call to prayer and animistic music.
Like I said before, there's not running water at my house, and honestly it's really not that difficult to live without when you know how to do it. Every evening, my sister, brother, and I get water from the well next door to us and fill up a big barrel in our back courtyard. Then throughout the day we use that water for various things. My family doesn't have a squatty-potty, we have a toilet so if I go to the bathroom I have to get a bucket of water to pour down the toilet to flush it. I also bath out of a bucket. And we do our laundry by hand with a washboard in big basins.
Right now my family doesn't really let me do a lot of chores since I'm still kind of new. They just started letting me help get water from the well and sweep my room. And I always help my mom cook. If it wasn't for that I'd go crazy not being able to help with anything. But I mostly just cut vegetables and stuff like that for her, sometimes I fry alloco on my own.
Since I've moved in, I've definitely gained weight! I eat sooo much and my parents still tell me I'm not eating enough! Here it's a good thing if you gain weight, it means you're healthy and they think it's more attractive so they're really feeding me a lot. Plus I just can't eat like Ivorians do, especially since I don't work hard like they do! So every day I have to explain to my mom that I don't finish my food because I have a small stomach not because I don't like her food. And if you know me well, you know that I don't eat small portions but here my family thinks I do! Most days I eat rice and sauce, but I'm lucky and my mom varies it up a bit with foutou banane and foufou, and she doesn't cook with fish powder, which I am so thankful for! And I eat alloco almost every day, which is awesome because it's delicious but I am actually getting kind of sick of it!
In other news, I got my hair braided. The braids were way tighter and smaller than I wanted them and it hurt like no other. Not a super cute look for me. They didn't last very long. Also for Christmas I got a wonderful present: amebiasis!