Friday, November 11, 2005

'La Soiree!'

I spent a very good couple of days in Moutourwa last weekend. The school cooperative had been elected (they are the group of students who manage the budget for all the student club activities) and so Saturday was the official 'launch' of their activities. Festivities were programmed to start at 730am but as I am now getting more used to what's known as 'African time' I didn't bother turning up at the 'stadium' (the dust football pitch) until 9am just in time for the start of the action! First up was a speech by the president of the cooperative, before all the 'dignitaries' ie the President, the Principal, and myself (how I count as a bloody dignitary I'll never know!) were taken around the different stands of every club at the school. Amusingly enough, there is even an IT club, although apparently only one of the members has ever seen a computer! Hopefully this'll change when we get the computer room up and running!
This visit was followed by a football match for the girls. Thinking that I had fulfilled my 'dignitary' role of turning up I settled back in my shaded seat to enjoy the match. Little did I know that I was to be called upon to 'launch' the match ie. I had to walk into the centre of the pitch and kick the ball first to start the match. All very well apart from the fact that as soon as the ball moves off the centre spot, both teams come charging towards it whilst I'm attempting to leg it off the pitch in flip flops! I then discovered that I was a prime target for the students in the Radio club to come and interview me over the microphone during the course of the match – no rest for the wicked!

Due to the heat here the festivities were stopped at 1130 before recommencing at 1600 with the boys football match to give everyone the time to get indoors away from the heat and to have a siesta. No such siesta for me though now that our English club is in full swing. We meet twice weekly on a Wednesday and a Saturday so we headed directly to school from the stadium where we learnt the words to Westlife's Fool Again song which we then sang minimum 10 times! The boys and girls alike were up dancing and singing their hearts out – they love it!

After the second footie match, I went for a good feed at my friend’s house who thought this was necessary to stop me falling over at ‘la soiree’ in the evening where muchas beer would be consumed! Unfortunately my other friend clearly also had the same idea as just as I had finished eating as much as possible at Fodjo’s, my friend Sardi calls to tell me to come over to the house to eat! After two hefty dinners I wasn’t sure if I could actually fit any beer in especially considering that, like all drinks over here, everything is XXL so each beer is ¾ litre!! Fortunately all the dancing that I then undertook at the ‘soiree’ soon digested all that food and left sufficient space for litres of beer. Yet again, I didn’t get out of ‘opening’ the dance, although this time I was partnered up with a fellow teacher as opposed to a student so the embarrassment levels were slightly decreased! The flowing warm beer meant that I had no shame in getting the old ‘butterfly’ routine out. Those who have been fortunate/misfortunate enough to encounter my ‘special’ dance will probably be surprised to hear that it actually went down a treat and I think I have created a new following of butterfly dances in this part of the world :) Headed home around 430am, and after consuming a big bowl of semolina to curb the munchies, fell into bed.

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