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a (mon)day in the life of a ruby in a liberian village

30 Oct 16
Ruby Jones
4 comments

10-29-16
Hello dear friends and family!

Today I’d like to explain a little bit about everyday activities. Any given Monday, for example, here is what I generally experience: I wake up about 5:30am to the rooster and E-mom, crawl out of my mosquito net, throw on some clothes and head out to do my chores. My chores vary depending on the day of the week, but include drawing water for the bathroom, drawing water for the washing and drinking water, cleaning, sweeping, etc. Usually I finish by about 6 or 6:15 and then I go and get ready for school and eat. I try to leave the house by 7-7:15 to walk to school with Bintu or whoever else is ready to leave. I call Bintu “Ma” because her name is Bintu Ma Sowah Paye. Walking at a moderately fast pace it takes between 45 minutes and 1 hr.

When we reach school around 8, when school is supposed to start, we wait around for a while for a teacher to show up and unlock the doors. When we do get in, who knows what classes we’ll have or if we’ll even have any. There’s a lot of messing around with no real authority nearby to care. Sometimes if a teacher remembers to ring a bell we’ll go out for recess, when some people go home, and some stick around to see what class could possibly be next. I usually go down the road with my friends and get something to eat, or Ma brings bread for us from home. We come back in class a while later, (nothing is specific time wise. No one cares how long anything is in school.) and wait to see if a teacher will show up. If there is, we take notes, and rarely get homework that never gets collected or checked. I have all male teachers by the way. I have no idea why but there isn’t a single female employed at Kpekor Public School. At about 1pm we all leave and begin the trek home. If the sun is hot that day, when we reach home I look like someone wasted (poured) water on me. Soaked through my clothes with sweat.
At home I go change, sometimes bathe, and go in my moms’ room for a snack. Usually bread that she made that morning, or gari. Gari is my favorite snack that is made from ground casava stick. It looks like tiny white flecks which can be very messy. It goes in a cup with water, powdered milk, sugar, coconut, peanuts, whatever your heart so desires. It’s easy to fix and it’s sweet. After my gut is full or at least satisfied I go and do my washing if I need to.
Laundry washing is quite a task that has taken a lot of practice and that I’m continually getting better at. First I draw water and collect the materials I need: dirty clothes, soap packet, ball of soap, and chloride. These all go in the water and begin washing by hand. After washing and rinsing and hanging everything on the line, (this could take anywhere between 15 minutes and literally 6 hours depending on how much clothing need laundered) I’m finished.
Then I help make dinner or do homework, or read or play or whatever I feel like. Around 6pm someone rings a bell and we all gather in the back kitchen to pray over the food. Then we eat rice and soup and fruit. Every day. I am so much in love with this meal 🙂 Then I draw (pump) water and take my bath. It takes around 35 pumps to fill a bucket big enough for a bath and can take 1-5 minutes depending on if you’re me or Ivy. After I bathe I plait (brid) my hair or ask someone else to if I want more than two.
Devotional is at 8pm. On Mondays that means FHE which is a time where anyone who has a joke or a riddle or a skit or a song or dance can come share it. It’s our day of the week to share fun (make each other laugh). Then Tuesday through Thursday is regular devotional when two people gives talks like they would in sacrament meeting, and Friday and Saturday are movie night. Last week we watched Frozen, and I sang every single song. Not lying. Sunday night is testimony meeting. All of these nightly devotionals happen in the palaver house, behind the building we stay in.
Then I get ready for bed and crawl into my mosquito net. The end.
Life is different in such a good way. It’s less complicated. Less crowded. Less lonely. Less sad. Less monotonous. Even though every day here I’m doing mostly the same things, it feels different. It’s so much fun. 🙂 Love, Ruby Roo, Rubicks cube, rubizzlee, rubbles, and little sis Jones

 

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4 Comments

  1. Gramma Jones November 2, 2016 at 3:01 am Reply

    I love reading about your day. I am glad that you are not tired of it. I find it interesting about school. I wonder how the teachers get paid. I know it is from the government, but do they even know that the teachers don’t show about 1/4 of the time!! Sheesh!

    So, the snack sounds disgusting. But, on the other hand, when you are away from creature comforts and the comfort foods that you are familiar with, other foods become so much more tasty. I LOVED, LOVED the peanut candy that was made there by Vic. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I brought some home with me, saved it for a bit, and it wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered it to be when I ate it there.

    Keep sending more news. I so love you…Gramma

  2. Gramma Jones November 2, 2016 at 3:02 am Reply

    I love reading about your day. I am glad that you are not tired of it. I find it interesting about school. I wonder how the teachers get paid. I know it is from the government, but do they even know that the teachers don’t show about 1/4 of the time!! Sheesh!

    So, the snack sounds disgusting. But, on the other hand, when you are away from creature comforts and the comfort foods that you are familiar with, other foods become so much more tasty. I LOVED, LOVED the peanut candy that was made there by Vic. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I brought some home with me, saved it for a bit, and it wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered it to be when I ate it there.

    Keep sending more news. I so love you…Gramma Jones

  3. grandma thompson November 10, 2016 at 3:54 am Reply

    Dear Ruby do be do……
    LOVE YOU …. hope you had a wonderful birthday! and that your cough is better

    I am proud of you and the adjustments you have made to your life in an African village…. please write more (when you can)….take care….choose the right! gt

  4. Tawnya November 22, 2016 at 3:28 pm Reply

    Thanks for describing so well what a day in the life of Ruby in Africa is like. What an adventure! I’m glad you are enjoying it. I’m a little jealous of the routine and simplicity of it. – Not to say that it isn’t hard work, I’m still grateful for my modern conveniences. 😊 Looking forward to reading more.

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