This is the first we've heard from Amy since she arrived in Anker on Jan 7.
I am back in the land of the connected for a day. It's the end of the month and teachers get paid on the 20 th, so it was pretty easy to find a ride in to Kamanjab. It also means that everyone is running out of food. Some of the kids who come and hang around my house have been asking me for food. It's hard, because I know they're hungry, but I can't give out food because I have to live here for two more years and if I start giving out food, word will get around and pretty soon I'll be feeding half the kids in town.
I know I wrote a few weeks ago that the "rainy" season was sort of a misnomer. I stand corrected. We just hadn't reached the rainy season yet. It has rained an enormous amount the last two weeks, pouring gallons of water on the flowers in my backyard and allowing two donkeys to get into my neighbor's garden a couple of nights ago (keeping me awake much of the night.) Unfortunately, that means I'm a bit isolated. Anker is generally a bit isolated. It never has cell coverage but the rains took out the landline phones here for a week. Also the rivers are sometimes running. There aren't bridges over most of the rivers here and they're dangerous to cross, so when they're running you are stranded on whatever side of the river you are on. To get to Kamanjab you have to cross two major rivers; the Okanguati, and the Kanjuan (I'm not so sure on those spellings-it's an oral culture.) Sometimes people sleep at the river in their cars, waiting for the water to recede so they can go home. Anyway, that's why it's been a while since I wrote.
The isolation does have its positive sides, though. In the past two weeks I've finished five books (A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Bella Canto by Anne Sexton, All's Well That Ends Well by good old Bill, Notes From a Big Country by Bill Bryson, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown) and started a sixth (Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.) Most of them were pretty good. Angels and Demons was, not surprisingly, infuriatingly predictable (How we are supposed to believe that the main character, a Harvard prof, is so stupid that he can't pick out what I can see from a mile away, is beyond me) but it was exciting and, living without television for the most part, I need a little escapism in my literature.
I have to say I was a little disappointed by the end of All's Well That Ends Well. If you haven't read the play, this will entirely ruin it for you, but it's Shakespeare so it's not like the plot is original anyway. There's this wonderful woman in the play named Helena, who is amazing in pretty much every way you can be amazing. She is clever, brave, and humble, not to mention she has a beautiful turn of phrase. She falls in love with a noble named Bertram and convinces the king to have them married. Bertram then spends the rest of the play proving himself to be a complete ass. I'm OK with that, I mean when do we fall in love with people because they're good for us. This is my problem; he basically tries to ruin Helena 's life in every way possible and is happy when he thinks she's dead and in the end they end up together. Now, I'm probably not one to question the bard, but if I had been writing the play I'd have ended it with something satisfying, like Helena marrying someone new (and better) and Bertram ending up at the receiving end of a painful and embarrassing plague of boils or something, but that's probably because I'm a little vengeful.
Along with this email I'm sending an email I wrote about two weeks ago, just a day or two into my stay in Anker, because I don't want to write everything over again. My first few weeks of school have been busy, but good. Here's a basic overview of my day that I wrote last week.