Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Second Week at the Somali Home

As the title so suggests, this was my second week to go with Katie to help a few of the Somali families. My job really is "distract the kids so Katie (and now Nicole) can help the adults." With some occassional tutoring. Which is fine. Love it. I must admit that tonight the kids and I were slightly more distracting than we should have been, but we were having so much fun!

But here are two funny but slightly traumatic events of the evening that made the "germ-o-phobe" part of me cringe:

1. Ikra showed me how she could lick the bottom of her feet. When I asked Meghaney to PLEASE get one of the mom's lend some authority and tell Ikra to stop doing that, little Elmie and Mohamud decided to show me that they could do it, too. And they can.

2. Elmie (in kindergarten) pulls an old dried piece of chewed gum off of a bulletin board and proceeds to happily chew it in front of me. When I begged him to PLEASE not do that and get rid of it, he promptly obliged- by handing it to Mohamud, who then ALSO proceeds to chew it. Blech.

Katie says that compared to their old life, old chewed gum is really no big deal. True. Speaking of which, we played a game where the three boys (including me) sat on the floor while the two girls played something which seemed to be an African variant of " mother says to pick the best one and you are not IT!" Interesting enough, but another aspect of the game was to pretend to get food and immediately hide it so no one else knows you have it. I can't help but think this is a direct result of spending almost their whole lives in a refugee camp under harsh conditions. Sharing may not have been much of an option (though these families certainly do stick together). All cultural meaning aside, kids will still be kids, and when it came time to "examine the food," Meghaney informed me that I didn't actually have any food, but rather a big handfull of "doo-doo." Laughter ensued.


Chirping Octopus said...

This whole story is pretty funny. I wonder what fun you will have the next time.

(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

No fair posting the same blog twice in order to get blog-points

baldman76 said...

Huh. I didn't even notice that and I have no idea why it did that. SO I'm gonna delete the first one so that now these last few commenst will make no sense to any one who reads them after this.

Waldie's World said...


hmm, well anyway. i want to add that chris is quite a character for these little kids, and not just because he's a character in general, although that's also true. there's is a culture where the men work and really have very little to do with the kids, not to mention play with them. so even more laughter ensues from adults and children alike because i get the feeling that they've not seen many men like chris. (oh, and the fact that he has a bald head and a large adam's apple, which is pretty darn funny to them too!)

SLM er said...

Chris, this is Ali (from..... that service project you got me connected with.... I cant remember now)and St Thomas More

Anyway, this sounds cool!

Where do they live? How many Somali families are there? Do they all live in the same area?

You are a definite help for sure. I really tried to find some volunteers to come to my english class, but I never could. So all the kids either hung out in the classroom or in another playroom where they werent technically allowed to be alone. Then I would get in trouble when they drew on the walls. hehehe Good lUCk!!

(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

oooooh . . . you evil genius . . . Now I seem like the one who is nuts, even though I'm really NOT.