Thursday, November 17, 2005

A letter from Eritrea

Hooray, hooray, hooray! Our very first letter from Africa arrived today. It's in one of those thin airmail mailers that you write on then seal up so the paper makes its own envelope. It was written on October 26. Here's a bit of what Barbara says:

The boys have....made some friends who want to hang out with them all the time. It's a huge relief as I was wondering if we'd make it to Christmas. It's nice to have kids playing around the house again! Kids play differently here - much rougher - and rock-throwing is a favourite pastime - but the boys have found some gentler friends who like to play soccer, basketball and Leggo (a big hit). Maya has one good friend and also likes to hang out with the VSO volunteers in their 20s who include her a lot. Our friend Saba is teaching her to make a purse. She's into crafts, so Maya likes to do things with her. Saba is also a famous poet. She's performed a couple of times for us. If you come, Sue, I'm sure you'll hit it off.

And this

A typical day in Keren: We're awakened throughout the night by Muslim prayers, which will hopefully tone down a bit after Ramadan. We're up at six to make tea and cut/fry bread (depending on how stale it its) for breakfast. The kids are off to school at 7:00, then Kim and I head off about 7:45 after tidying up (don't want food around for the bugs) and listening to BBC world service. We're off work around 12:00 then bike up the slow hill under the hot sun to our home at the top end of town. Sometimes we stop at the market on the way for fruit, vegis etc. Titi is our favourite vendor - our staples are onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, bananas (little ones), guava, hot peppers and pumpkin. We have rice, pasta and bread as our starches. You have to shop every few days as the fridge is small and things go bad fast.


New sights, nice people and everything being new makes every day an adventure. Today some goats got into the yard and started eating our guava tree.

It feels so good to hold a letter in my hand. I must write more often to them. I remember now: feeling and reading and smelling and carrying around something from someone you love who is far away is a powerful good feeling.

question: how soon will we see them again?

mompoet - loving long distance

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