Life is ambling along amazingly here on our currently green (because it´s the rainy season) rock in the Atlantic! Katarina and Andre and I have been hanging out in our village and becoming masters of `the chiga´. `The chiga´is a little visit that you are continuously doing throughout your community. As we walk along the cobbled main road of our village, we dutifully greet every person we pass. In doing so, we get a hefty number of `chiga´replies, which is a invitation to come in and chat for a minute, maybe an hour, or maybe someone will even hook up their generator, pump some jams, and we´ll get an afternoon dance lesson! (That´s only happened once so far.)
We´ve learned the language basics; how to say “What´s up?”, “Modi ki bu sta?”, stop a car and get a lift, “Oi! Para, o dexa-N li!”, and how to really complement Cape Verdean food, “Mmmm! Kumida sta sabe!” (elongating the “a” in “sabe” while pulling on your ear is the ultimate way to let the chef know you´ll quickly be gaining 10 pounds eating their tasty dishes!).
Aside from mastering the Kriolu language, we´ve been sweating buckets (no, I am still not adjusted to the heat, though I have gotten tan) while learning business basics for the technical aspect of our job. After a long day of sitting and feeling my brain wander to the breathtaking views out every window, I spend time with my family. My host family is great! Last Saturday I spent the whole morning cleaning the house with my oldest sister, and cooking a huge pot of Kongo (brown beans with a kollard greens type veggie and pork) over an open fire. Then, we packed up all of the food in two large baskets, and carried them (on our heads!) out to the rest of our family and friends. Everyone was working together (Djunta mo, or hands together) in the fields´of my host mom which were situated in a lush valley. We served up lunch, enjoyed the sun, and hiked back home to clean up house before all the exhausted workers got back. It was a tiring but beautiful day, and my head was only sore for a few hours after!
PST (Pre Service Training) is going great! Friday we are going to a festa for Nossa Senhora da Grasa and in the next few weeks we´ll be finding out where our actual site location for the next 2 years! Yipeee!