Monday, 5 March 2012


Gambian Kids:  Not the baby goat kind, those warrant a blog post of their own; the children kind.  The one thing I do remember my kindergarten teacher teaching me, Grandma Budde, is that a kid is a baby goat.  I know you are reading on Jesus' or Steve Jobs' personal iPad.  And it probably has an app where you can watch my doings live.

Anyway, back to the Gambian children.  For the most part, the little ones, especially the ones I know, are the favorite part of my day.  I'm pretty bad at hiding my favorites too, though I try.  Even on the worst days, the kids on my compound can make me crack a smile.  If there is one thing I have a lot of over here, it's thinking time.  Recently, that thinking time has been devoted to thinking about how the kids play.  Early on in my service, I had heard somebody say that Gambian kids don't often play or have fun.  However, the kids in my compound definitely play and have fun, especially the littlest ones.

Refreshing ways I have seen children playing over here:
  • Making Mudpies/ Sculptures
  • Pretending to cook
  • Playing and Building with the Jenga blocks (supplied by me)
Now, these are all familiar to parents and grown children all over the world.  Maybe even especially so before technology.  Another familiar game they play (and one of my personal favorites when I was younger) is playing school.  However, it takes on adifferent form that disturbs me a little bit.  As some of you reading already know, one of my big challenges in school is dealing with corporal punishment.   It becomes even more evident how ingrained when my 3 year old host brother, Ebrima, is playing teacher and has a small stick that he uses on his friends yelling 'keep quiet'.  When this happens, I usually take the stick away and say "Hani Butee-No beating"  Maybe, even if he doesn't remember me after I leave, the message will come across and he will one day be a teacher that doesn't beat.  All I can do is hope!

In other news:  Real life donkeys are more Eeyore, less Donkey (as in from Shrek).  That reference would flow a lot better if Eddie Murphy had insisted on a more creative character name.