Friday, December 26, 2008

Our apartment in Freetown and living without power

We were lucky to find a nice clean, modern two bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood. It only has the very basic furniture but it is enough. So far the only piece we have added is a desk for Bob. You can see though that it looks like we camping out as the only decoration so far is some of my pictures on the wall. Somehow I just have not had the energy to do anymore decorating. Unfortunately there are not a lot of beautiful things, other than cloth, to buy like you find in other African countries. Or maybe I have just not found the right places to shop. But the best thing is still watching the sunsets from our balcony!

One thing we still miss living here is not having reliable power. It seems to be a pattern that we have lights from about 7pm to 7am three nights a week. On those nights we run our AC and we sleep really well. On the nights that we do not have power we run our generator until the fuel runs out and that lasts about two hours, if we don’t run too many things, like the A/C or hot water heater. It is time enough to get our computers and cell phones recharged and if we are lucky enough, time to watch a movie. I have found some rechargeable lights that work pretty well to help provide light. But mostly we live by candlelight and have romantic dinners every night.

The other day I returned to the apartment and found only half of the lights. The first time that happened I thought it was a problem with the fuses and called the landlord to fix the electrical problem. Later the staff carefully explained to me that, yes, the national power company sometimes is only on “half” or phased power. The problem with that is that the refrigerator now didn’t work. And I have had enough problems already with food spoiling. It took another day, and it was a suggestion from one of our amazing taxi drivers, to figure out that we needed to move the refrigerator to another power outlet. Fortunately we just needed to move it across the room to work. But actually the fridge is pretty useless when it is only on, maybe 12 hours out of 48 as I have learned the hard way. Now we only cook enough for 1 or two days but that also means I need to shop almost every day. And I can’t buy any refrigerated items that I can’t finish in a day or two. This has not been easy for me to learn and so I have thrown out a lot of good food due to spoiling… and in a country where many people do not have enough to eat. Now today we learned that it was really an electrical problem within the building. So much for blaming everything on the national power company!!

Scholarships needed for these children

If any of you would like to help, these four children need scholarships in order for them to continue going to Cardiff Preparatory School.  Each term costs about $60 and there are three terms.  So I am trying to raise some money to keep these children in school.  They really love going to school. Anything that you contribute would go directly to paying their school fees.  The headmistress is a lovely person and she really tries to keep her students in school if at all possible.

Sarah (4) lost her mother and is now being cared for by her elderly her grandmother

Sarah playing with Jestina.
   Jestina (4) lost her father and her mother has a      hard time supporting the family.

Top: Isata  Kamara (fifth grade) comes from a very poor family where here parents break stones for a very meager living.

Bottom: Minkiale Barrie (5) lost his father and his mother has a hard time paying school fees.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas program at Cardiff Preparatory School

As I wrote earlier I took pictures at a private school nearby called Cardiff Preparatory School. Since it so nearby I sometimes just stop by to say hello to Florence Kamara, the head mistress. She is really loving, caring person and so energetic. And the kids are always great. They come up to shake my hand or to give me a hug. They call me “auntie Betty”.

Today was their Christmas program. Christmas is a big holiday in Sierra Leone. People started wishing me Happy Christmas back mid-November. There are lots of carnivals and parties being advertised.

The program was supposed to start at noon. And I kind of thought that it would start late but then I thought if the parents were invited it might actually start on time. So I arrived at about 12:20 to find everyone still setting up. It was obvious it wouldn’t start for a while but I didn’t feel like climbing back up the hill to our apartment. And it was fun watching the kids run around waiting for the program to get organized. The ice cream man arrived and he must have sold a hundred or so small ice cream cones to the kids. That made for good pictures as you will see. So even though the program started late everyone was enjoying them selves and no one really minded.

All the desks from the classrooms were brought out into the schoolyard. A bamboo structure was partially built to give the audience some shade but it didn’t get finished. Parents, mostly mothers, started to arrive and still the program seemed a long way from starting. I got a typed program so I could see that a lot of thought and preparation had been made. There was a very scratchy, loud sound system with a DJ that played local pop music while things were getting ready. Finally around 2:30 it got started.

The program consisted of singing some very familiar carols, at least the words were familiar, but the tunes were not. The keyboard that accompanied the singing was hooked up to the sound system. So what would have been some lovely singing to listen to, because the students obviously loved to sing, was masked by a lot of static. The Christmas story was acted out and narrated by older students, all of whom performed with great confidence shouting into the microphone. The baby Jesus was a two-year-old boy who let himself be wrapped up into a white sheet and held by a young girl, playing Mary. The angel walked around in a blue choir robe waving his arms. But the most unusual part of the skit was the narration of Herod telling his soldiers to kill all the children less than two years of age. To act this out several girls were sitting on the ground with some dolls and some boys as soldiers attacked the girls snatching the dolls and acting like they were killing them. I know that is part of the Christmas story but I have never seen it acted out in our Christmas programs. So that took me by surprise.

All in all it was a very lively program, with all the students really participating with singing, acting and narrating. And they loved using the microphone, which was passed around to each performer.

The cutest part of the program, of course like all children’s programs, was when the nursery students sang and danced. Even two year old “Jesus” was up there holding the microphone and dancing.

And for the audience to show their appreciation for various performances there was a box placed on a small table in front of the “stage” where people could come up and throw in money. Mothers were especially appreciative when their children performed well. This is a way for the school to raise extra funds.

All in all this event seemed to really tell me a lot about Sierra Leonean culture and to note the differences to the way we do things. In this school many of the students are Muslim yet they were acting out a Christian story and for the most part Christians and Muslims are very tolerant of each other here. Also, though what I saw seemed to be total chaos, in terms of getting the program started, it was well planned out judging by the printed program and later the program itself. And everyone really enjoyed themselves in ways I don’t think you really see in our Christmas programs. The programs here are definitely livelier for both the students and the audience. And the acting out of the King Herod story, though very violent in my way of looking at it, is part of the story and it isn’t ignored.

So four hours later I was back home in our quiet apartment ready to watch another beautiful sunset. It’s hard to get the Christmas spirit without some cold weather. But we are heading to London soon and I am sure then we will wish we were back here!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting a mosquito net

Getting a mosquito net and frame for our bed turned into a major project taking about 10 days to get in place. And though it seemed really tedious and frustrating if I tried to do this in the USA it would also not have been that easy and would been a lot more expensive. It’s like you can do most anything you want here but you just have to be a little more creative.

Even though we live on top of a hill and we get some good breezes we still have been having a lot of mosquitoes. It got really tiresome to always burn coils and after awhile the fumes were starting to get to us. Our neighbor has a really good design for a canopy frame around his bed and a mosquito net to fit over it. So we decided to copy his design. So off we went to a nearby carpenter to have the frame made. The carpenter did not understand what we wanted, even with the drawing that I had made. He said he understood but he really didn't. Finally I made a model of the frame from rolled up paper, which helped him visualize it, and he started getting together the poles to make the frame. It took several trips to finally get what we wanted. And the last time I went back I found that he had actually made almost enough pieces to fit frames for 3-4 beds all in different stages of completion.
Communication is really difficult especially since we don’t know Krio. Fortunately the carpenter was nearby so I could get there with a local taxi and even walk if I had to. This last trip I could see that he finally had something that we could work with and so I just stayed there until it was finished. Then the pieces of the frame were too big to load into a taxi so I hired two young boys to walk them to our place, about a mile. On the way with the boys a policeman started hollering at us from the security gate of the Presidential Lodge (like our White House) because I had walked on the road leading to the gate. It seems that this is the Procession Road that only the President’s motorcade can drive on but there wasn’t any sign to inform me of this. I had to go up to the guard's gate to see what was the matter. He was really angry with me and I was pretty uncomfortable as he harangued me for several minutes, suggesting that he could arrest me. I kept saying I was sorry and I didn’t know that I couldn’t walk on that road. So I was kind of shaky as I left to finish the walk home. I also didn’t want to get the two boys into trouble because they had followed me. Anyway we got back to the apartment without further incident and we were able to get the pieces of the frame inside. Fortunately we were able to fit the frame back together around the bed.

Now we had to get a mosquito net to fit the around the frame. Farah, our taxi driver (or our personal assistant as I like to call him as he does so much more than just drive us around), took us to a place to have a mosquito net made. Unfortunately though the tailor was cheap he got the dimensions wrong and made it too small. Also his shop was in the market area where we had to park a long way away and walk to it. At that time that was very tiring for me. Fortunately I had Farah go back and pick it up by himself so I didn’t have to go again. So now we were ready to put it over the frame and though it fit the frame the net was not long enough. The idea is to make the net so long it that it bunches up on the floor and prevents from mosquitoes from coming in under the bed into the enclosure. So we had to go back to the shop downtown and go through this whole thing again but, at least this time, he only had to add some additional cloth to the bottom to make it long enough. And each time I had to pay a bit more for the guy to buy more material and also pay Farah for his time to take me there and pick it up when finished. So what was only going to cost about $8 ended up costing several times more in money and time. But now that it is finished it is so nice! Well, but it wouldn’t win any interior decorating awards! When we crawl into bed it’s like entering a safe cocoon of white gauze. Fortunately we live on top of a hill where we get some good breezes because, though a net is safe and cozy, it can also be oppressively hot. And that’s why a lot of people here don’t use them and risk having malaria frequently.

Now I think I will have a canopy cover and matching bedspread made from some the beautiful tye and dye fabric that they make here. Explaining the canopy top to a tailor might take some time but it would look really nice. Maybe that would win me some interior design awards as well!!!!!

Cardiff Preparatory School Visit

Cardiff Preparatory School
As I started to get back into the world of photography I decided to start with a local school, the Cardiff Preparatory School that we drive or walk by every day. The children’s school uniform is hot pink shirts with black slacks or skirts. And most of the school’s buildings are painted pink. The head mistress said I could take pictures but since it is a private school she also hoped I could help with some assistance for the school. The school consists of a nursery and six years of elementary school. Though the nursery is very crowded and confining for the little ones with more than 40 students aged 3-6 the other classes are relatively small in size. They go to school from 8 to about 2:30 with the nursery ones leaving at 12:30. This is in comparison to most government schools which have class sizes of 40 or more and either go in the morning or afternoon for about 4 hours a day. And since for very little money you can send a child to school I said I would try to help. So I am hoping I can interest some of you in helping to sponsor some of these children…but more about that later. I had a great time taking pictures and fortunately all my back pains seemed insignificant. The light was really lovely and the children seemed to be eager learners. Several days later I took my computer back to the school to show what I had taken. The students had a great time seeing themselves in the pictures as you can see.

Obama fascination continues

Meanwhile the Obama fascination goes on. Lots of people are buying Obama T-shirts, you see lots of car stickers, and you can buy Obama posters like the one shown. I bought one for Bob and he loves it. It is very amusing because of all the mistakes on it, i.e. McCain is spelled Mac Caine and Harvard is spelled Harvald. People still yell Obama to us as we walk through out neighborhood. Today I found a shop selling Obama t-shirts. The women are from Sierra Leone but they live in the USA. They had a good idea to buy all sorts of Obama items to sell in Sierra Leone and they are doing a very good business here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Former Sierra Leone Child Soldier tells his story

Former boy soldier in Sierra Leone tells of ravages of war
Samara Kalk Derby
December 9, 2008
After escaping the war zone that was his country, former child soldier Ishmael Beah, now a best-selling author, had forgotten many simple things.
"I had forgotten how to sleep. I had forgotten how to trust people. I had forgotten how to be happy. I had forgotten how to sit in one place more than a few seconds. I was very restless," the Sierra Leone native told a near-capacity crowd of more than 1,000 people Monday night in the Wisconsin Union Theater during his Distinguished Lecture Series talk.
Adding to the problem, he said, was that he was withdrawing from the drugs that he was forced to use -- marijuana, amphetamines and a mix of cocaine and gunpowder, according to published accounts.
Sierra Leone's civil war lasted between 1991 and 2000. Beah lost all four members of his immediate family, his mother and father and both his older and younger brothers. He was conscripted into the war at age 13.
Beah, now 28, fought for almost three years before being rescued by UNICEF. Originally from the countryside, in 1998 he fled the capital, Freetown, and made his way to New York City, where he lived with Laura Simms, a Brooklyn-born white Jewish-American who became his foster mother.
In New York, Beah did two years of high school at the United Nations International School. He went to Oberlin College and graduated in 2004 with a degree in politics.
In 2007, he wrote "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," which Time magazine described as a "breathtaking and unself-pitying account of how a gentle spirit survives a childhood from which all innocence has suddenly been sucked out. It's a truly riveting memoir."
Scott Straus, an African international relations and human rights professor at UW-Madison, who introduced Beah Monday night, called "A Long Way Gone" an "absolutely fascinating and important book about his experiences in a civil war that destroyed Sierra Leone."
Straus said that in a decade that saw many civil wars around the world, the war in Sierra Leone and its neighbor, Liberia, was one of the worst.
It's "a war that defies our imagination as we sit here in this room in Madison," Straus said, adding that "ordinary people can come to do horrible things to each other."
When he first learned about the war in 1991, Beah said he couldn't believe what he was hearing from people in the eastern part of his country: How their families had been killed, their houses burned, and their children dragged into the fighting.
"We couldn't believe it because we grew up in a society that had such a respect for human life. And we couldn't believe that this was possible until the war actually reached us," he said.
He began to see women carrying their dead children on their backs, he said. He began seeing people who had been struck by stray bullets on various parts of the body. The river where he used to swim had dead bodies floating in it and was filled with blood.
Before the war, the innocence of children was celebrated, Beah said. But after the war started, children became deeply feared. Children were sometimes forced to kill their own family members as a way of indoctrinating them to the violence, he said.
"Once the war reached us, we went straight from being children to being adults. We had to determine which way to run and how to save our own lives."
Beah said he learned to go hungry from days without eating.
He and some friends went to a military base, thinking it would be the safest place to go. But instead it was where they were forced to become soldiers. They were trained in less than a week and learned how to shoot AK-47s, he said.
Besides the coercion and the drugs that were forced upon him, there was also the rhetoric of revenge, Beah said. He was told that the rebels were responsible for what had happened to him and that by going after them and killing them it would prevent what happened to him from happening to other children.
"At that point I believed this tremendously," he said.
In the beginning it was difficult to function as a soldier, Beah said. But as time went on it became normalized. He and his fellow child soldiers lost the ability to experience human emotions, he said.
"It was either kill or be killed, even by your own commanders," he said.
One of the things he wanted to do with the book was write about how he felt while he was in the war, not how he felt about it afterward.
"Because I wanted people to come to this landscape to see, hear, smell and be a part of the experience," he said.
Return to story is operated by Capital Newspapers, publishers of the Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Times, Agri-View and Apartment Showcase. All contents Copyright ©2008, Capital Newspapers. All rights reserved.

U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone on HIV & AIDS

Dec 12, 2008 Freetown — United States ambassador to Sierra Leone has said that HIV status is not a stigma.
June Carter Perry made this statement whilst pledging her country's support to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the world in commemoration of world AIDS day.
She said: "We should ensure that those with HIV/AIDS are respected for their courage to be open about their status rather than been shunned by their communities"
She said the nation should be gratified by what they have accomplished, but to also acknowledge that they are nowhere near where they want to be in terms of protecting young and old, treating those who need it.
"I am convinced that with their commitment and the support of the international community, they can eliminate stigma, treat those individuals already affected by HIV, and decrease in the number of people with AIDS in Sierra Leone."
June Carter Perry said despite the progress that has been made, the latest statistics from the United Nations and World Health Organization suggest that the overall rate of infection has been climbing continuously since 1990.
"As much as HIV/AIDS is an issue that evokes compassion and empathy, we must also look at the issue as it relates to more pragmatic concerns about national reconstruction and economic growth," said Perry.
Relevant Links
• West Africa
• HIV-Aids and STDs
• Health and Medicine
• Sierra Leone
• United States, Canada and Africa
She said US Congress has authorized up to $48 billion to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria over the next five years. Through that legislation, US will be able to increase the number of individuals being treated from 1.7 to 3 million people worldwide, and provide care for 12 million others.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone has given over 17 billion dollars to fight AIDS through education, provision of basic health services, sanitation, and other projects through local NGO partners.
Copyright © 2008 Concord Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

sad postlude to a wedding

The brother of the bride whose wedding we attended recently was killed the same day, accused by a mob of being a thief. He was, according to a close friend of the bride, seized, beaten, and injected with acid. His funeral is today (Dec. 8, 2008). Apparently this happens with some regularity: vigilantism by citizens who have little faith in official justice. The use of acid is something I have not heard of before. That, too, is not so unusual, according to the same source. The police did arrive, but too late. The man died at the hospital.

In Bo, the country’s second largest town, a resident says that vigilantism after the long civil war (1991-2002) was widespread. Civilians targeted those they felt betrayed them during the conflict. Some of that continues today, he said.

Meat, music and other events just outside our wall

Just a few yards from our apartment balcony, on the grass in the adjacent apartment, several men are cutting open the neck of a small brown cow they are holding down. A small crowd is watching, including Betty and I, while a woman in a full dress and head scarf is shouting into a hand-held megaphone. It is a Moslem holiday today (Dec 8, 2008) and this is part of the celebration for the family.

The cow has stopped its quivering. Now a man with a machete is very neatly cutting it up into pieces. The intestines have been removed and placed in a plastic bucket; a small section of the ground is soaked in blood. Most of the small crowd has dispersed. We’ve gone back to work: (Betty) editing photographs from our recent trip to Bo (Sierra Leone’s second largest city) and (Bob) transcribing an interview as part of research on human rights in this country.

I’ve never visited a slaughter house in the U.S., though I have watched butchers neatly cutting up cows parts in super markets.
A few days later, also just behind our apartment complex wall, in front of a tin shack on a grassy slope, a crowd gathered for the newly-appointed local chief to address people in the area. Several women with singers and dancers and a man with a drum provided music and earned tips. I enjoyed sitting among the crowd for a while and meeting a few people. The lead singer, using a hand held loud speaker, led a short song for me when I donated 2,000 Leones, about 65 cents.
A Christian revivalist further down the hill has been filling the whole area with songs and sermons shouted out over a loud speaker. It’s been going on for a week. I’d like to pull the plug on their speaker system. I’m not sure why religious groups have to be so loud. One Moslem sitting at the gathering for the chief said he didn’t like the noise.
Holiday moment
Two doors away from our apartment in Freetown, a large house is being constructed. The roof is still not finished, but the massive cement bloc walls stand out like a fort overlooking the valley below. In the backyard, under a tin roof, a family who works as guard for the construction eat around a wood cook fire most nights. A woman prepares cassava leaves daily, pounding them in a wooden mortar with a tall wooden pounding stick. You can hear the sounds before dawn. They live in a tin shack just behind the new house.
Today, a Moslem holiday (Dec 8, 2008), dressed in a long skirt and a white bra for the top, one of the women, barefoot, is pounding. A second woman, also barefoot, sings a repetitive (I think) song with a high-pitched voice in a popular West African traditional style, swaying to the rhythm of the cassava leaf pounding. Then the first woman stops her chore and joins in the singing and dancing. For a moment they dance together, then the first woman returns to her pounding, laughing. Suddenly the songs and dances are over and both women go back to work, preparing the evening meal.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Locked toilets on a college campus

At Fourah Bay College here, one of the most guarded sites are toilets. It took me a while to locate them and then a while longer to discover who had the keys. There is one in my office, though it doesn’t work. There’s another one in the basement of the library and a longtime staff person showed me where the key is kept. When the electric power is off, which happens frequently, you reach that one through a darkened storage room.

There’s yet another toilet in an Administrative/classroom building. The custodian has a key; so does at least one of the Administration officials. None of these appear to be available to students who would normally have access to the hostels, but they were damaged during violence following student elections earlier this year (2008).

Remembering John F. Kennedy in Sierra Leone

One of the most prominent buildings on the skyline overlooking the capitol of Freetown is an eight-story building on the Fourah Bay College campus, a campus beautifully situated on a mountain ridge at the edge of the city. It was built with U.S. funding some 40 years ago and named after the late President. His bust appears in a small patio just outside the structure. But over the years the building became run down. Recently the building was rededicated after the U.S. government paid for its renovation. After the ceremony, we got to the second floor for a reception. The Department of Social Sciences and Law which I teach in is supposed to occupy the building.

But there’s a catch. There’s no furniture or functioning elevator in the building. So far none of the officials on campus I’ve spoken with know what the plan is to furnish the building. And no one mentions any contract to get the elevator operating. Let’s hope both these issues are addressed. More on this later, I hope.

Thanksgiving in Africa - SUVs and plenty of food

Thanksgiving was approaching and we had no invitations to join anyone in the small American community here to celebrate – until an email notice came about a Thanksgiving gathering sponsored by the International Visitors Council, a program of Sierra Leoneans started with the encouragement of the American Embassy. Betty and I have been hosts numerous times over the years to international visitors in the United States; now we were the recipients of such hospitality.

We saw a side of Sierra Leone we had only caught glimpses of. It wasn’t just the SUVs in the spacious parking area around the large two-story home with its very nice, large outdoor balcony where we ate. It was the good food piled high on large plates on a dining table (various kinds of fresh fish, meat and vegetables); it was also the titles of the individuals who were our hosts, including the manager of a large bank. Another runs a care facility. Another woman had just come back from a trip abroad. When the national power cut off, which is a frequent happening here, the family’s large generator kicked in, illuminating the house and attractive garden. The talk was almost all in Krio (the local language based on English). We’ve taken some lessons, but we could only catch some of it. Our hosts were most gracious and friendly and made our Thanksgiving away from home special.

And their professional work is helping this nation grow.

Strikes on a college campus

Strike at Fourah Bay
The staff went on a strike a few weeks ago to demand back pay, settling recently for part of what they sought, to be paid over a period of time. Then the faculty went on strike for non-payment and benefits. One university official says the state has not only been slow to pay employees at the university, but also to pay students their scholarships, which dragged out enrollment for weeks, causing many students to miss the start of classes.

To honor the strike but still honor students’ need for education, I offered to show up at our regular times for a free “tutorial” and not a class. I announced attendance would not be taken, nor tests given until regular classes resumed. Roughly 20-50 percent of my students have continued coming to these informal sessions at which we have been having good discussions. In my large (130+) freshman class we have spent a good deal of time discussing research methods since they have to complete a research paper (the first ever for most of them) and do ten hours community service (teaching human rights in local schools and other institutions).

One student in that class asked a very basic and important question: “How do I learn.” So I spent some time with him suggesting ways to get more out of the assigned readings. It has made me rethink how I present materials. My students have gotten me to shift my approach slightly to first preview readings before holding them responsible for knowing the material. It gives them some study questions and points to ponder, which I hope will help address that question: how do I learn?

Class update: in a recent session of my freshman class on human rights, where we focused on civil rights, including the life of Malcom X, two female and one male student presented the topic in such marvelous detail and context that I applauded their example. In my third year class, student teams have been presenting the week’s theme with great skill and fielding touch questions from the class. These students are not only eager but very capable.

Church visits -African flavor

We were invited to a wedding here that opened another window on local culture. Held in a Methodist church in downtown Freetown, it looked like most American weddings – until the pastor pronounced the couple man and wife. Then the music picked up; a chorus sang, and people got up and danced in the aisles in a long line toward the newlyweds who stood at the front of the church. Each person got a big hug from the bride and the groom, then danced or walked back to their seats. I joined in the routine. Men wore suits or sport shirts, but women wore full length, brightly colored dresses of local designs, many with large head scarves. The godmother of the bride purchased the expensive dresses of the bride and her entourage in the U.S. Weddings here, as in many countries, are expensive. Never mind that this is the poorest country in Africa, and perhaps the world.

Church in an historic village for freed slaves.
St. Andrews Anglican church in the village of Gloucester near the capitol of Freetown held its annual celebration of the founding of the church (1820). Gloucester is one of five villages behind the tall mountain/hills of Freetown; a place for slaves recaptured at sea and freed here. According to local explanations, the villages offered some protection from the raids of other Africans living in this area and of those returning from Jamaica, the U.K. or Nova Scotia.
Their church, according to program notes at the service, was founded as a modest wooden building in 1820, nearly destroyed by a fierce storm in 1975, but quickly rebuilt with contributions. Today it has a pipe organ and large stained glass window, a balcony, and small adjoining rooms for the pastor and another for the choir changing room.
At the three-hour service we attended, a chorus in red gowns, and joined by the congregation, sang their way through many hymns. The sermon was on being “Awake,” so no parishioner dared slip into slumber, though some of the very patient children did just that. There were three offerings, with separate collections for men and women each time: donations were announced by gender (the men only slightly out gave the women).
We hope to revisit this village and get to know the other four settler settlements.