Hello friends! I’m going to use some of the Liberian vocabulary words and common sayings I’ve learned and use often. The definition is in parentheses.
This has been a crazy week! On Monday I wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t go to school. On Tuesday we came home early because no teachers showed up. On Wednesday, same thing. We found out the teachers were on strike, so we didn’t even go to school on Thursday and Friday. Which is good, because I’m ruining shoes just walking to and from school! Two pairs were trashed just last week. I’ve said before that I LOVE the walk to school, and it never fails to interest me. On Friday, just for fun, my best bud Leo (14) says “Ruby I’m tired. Come tow me.”(carry on your back) We were just messing around, but there was no way I would mean him. (deny) So I handed my backpack off to Morris and carried Leo until I my body gave up. Just as a side note, the sun was flogging us. (SO hot and humid) Then, to be fair, he towed me for a little. Then I towed Diamond, Bintu, and Morris. I was shocked when I put Morris on my back! This 19 year old guy was about as heavy as Charlie. He is super short, and built of muscle. He’s called “Gospel” because he is strong and can use tools. It was plenty fun and even though I was dangerously overheated, it was an enjoyable workout.
I spent most of my week with Leo and Diamond. They taught me a ton of games: Police, African Tic Tac Toe, G, and they even tried to teach me a Liberian rap that I now love. I don’t know if you can look it up, but you should try. It’s called Unto You I Give My Praise by Soulfresh. Leo tried to teach me how to cut a coconut, but I couldn’t have failed harder haha 🙂 I nearly cut my finger off. A machete is harder to aim with than I thought. My dad taught Leo and I how to play a rythem on the new djembes, so he and I played almost every day. Diamond started teaching me how to sew, and that is thanks to Grandma Jones, who taught him. I had a great time doing that.
Just outside the fence, behind the kitchen, under the big mango tree, there is a bamboo bench in the shade. This is my happy place. I bring my book out there and lay down looking up at the inside of the beautiful tree, watching the same small spider spinning it’s web and catching its meal. For some reason this is a really peaceful place for me to go and relax, most times taking a nap. Usually when I’m there, Leo will come and sit with me and we talk. Even though I’m a person that seriously needs alone time, I always love talking with Leo. He said “Nobody on earth wants to be alone.” He’s a gentleman and my best friend so far, so he keeps me company when I’m alone or troubled.
Last night I ate sugar cane for the first time. It’s just a stick that has bark on it. I’m not entirely sure I was eating it right, but what I did was bite off the bark a bit at a time and suck on it for a bit. Then I took bites of the core and suck on that. It is sweet! When it lost the flavor I chunked it. (chucked, or threw) I also ate pig feet, condensed milk on bread, and chicken. When I say chicken, I mean everyone in my family got a drumstick and I ate my chicken. And my bone. And my moms’ bone. And my dads’ bone. And then my teeth hurt from all the intense crunching.
I finished my book this week!!! Loved it! Thank you Britanny! The Secret Garden is going on my long list of favorites.
We went to the beach yesterday, and I held a crab! Last week I accidentily made it known that crabs freak me out, so the boys entertained themselves by trying to force me to hold one. Not fun. However, yesterday Leo showed me how to find them, safely hold them, and even remove the claws so they can’t burn you. (pinch) It was actually enjoyable after that. I held a few dead baby crabs, a few living, and even a huge harmless one. As we were about to leave Leo came to me with one in his hand that he wanted me to hold. I asked “Is it big? Did you rip off the claws?” but he just smiled, didn’t answer, and handed me a medium size crab with its pincers!! It burned me a few times and I dropped it. I was kinda mad at him for that, but he caught it again before it could get away, and I held it again, more careful this time. I don’t want to dig for them yet, but at least I’m not as scared of them anymore, so I’m proud of myself 🙂
I love it here, I love my life, and I love the Lord, who made this beautiful journey possible. I have made an effort to memorize a few hymns that I like. So far I have Lord I Would Follow Thee and I’m familiar with The Lord Is My Light. The first week I was here I was actually scared that I would wake up from this living dream to my less challenging life on Cavallo Drive. I love hearing from you all, and I hope some of you will consider or further look into visiting Liberia!
your buddy, Ruby Jones
P.S. in the picture, it’s me, Ivy, Leo, and Diamond. Sorry the light isn’t very good 🙂