Sunday, January 31, 2010

We all blow our tops sometimes

Today we went to 'Quiz Night' again which of course still needs a new name.  Anyway this week we had some new comers.  One of which I doubt will ever be coming again, in fact, he stated a few times that he wouldn't be, before he spilled his beer, said many curse words and left because he threw a hissy fit over getting a question wrong when he answered the question, "who wrote the Canterbury Tales?" and his answer was written Wm. Chaucer.  Well, it's not Wm. Chaucer.  The correct answer is:  Chaucer, G. Chaucer, Geoffrey Chaucer, etc.  But Wm. Chaucer.  He freaked out and threatened to never come back.  Two questions later the question was "Who wrote Babbitt?" and he shouted out that if everyone did not know the answer he would leave.  Well, firstly there were some 'children' in the room, most of the room is non-American, and still this is just for fun for social activity.  So, he did not even wait to hear the answer of Sinclair Lewis, which he had, and he stormed out of the house, but spilling his beer of course first, then ran off.  Within one minute he was back and we thought he had had a change of heart, well, no he had forgotten his bag and then stormed off. 

Anyway, never a dull moment around here in Yola or AUN.  Anyway, so I have written off this Prof for good now because he's said to me at least three times 'that I'm trying to hard' when I answer a question.  So whatever.  My mum-in-law is his boss and since I've met him I know that he won't last around her for long or my poppy-in-law either.  So whatever! 

Once again, everyone that does not need to be up early is in bed.  Oh, but on a good note, found both of the missing books.  The Red Pony by Steinbeck has been found as well as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by LeCarre has too!  Yay! 

We had quite the weekend.  Friday we went to Pizza night at the club, but as a prequel played 'keep away' and '500' in the pool with the boys, afterwards we headed to Fire Service for drinks, fish and chats.    Saturday, we shopped, saw Sir Sesugh do his comedian routine, and afterwards headed to Aisha.  Today, Sunday, we all slept in, Bushong took Kabiru swimming,  Lord Banji swam as well, and I worked and ate.  Afterwards we did the quiz night thang followed by Shawarma, then Keeping up with the Kardashians, a bath and now some blogging.

Good night all.  Once again another weekend has come and gone.  Until next weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weight on my shoulders

I wrote and am sending out a bunch of post cards today.  I'm actually kind of feeling down today.  Not exactly sure why.   I am trying to bring myself up a bit, but it doesn't seem to be working.  The above picture is one of the few pictures taken of both of us together in Egypt.  It's at Giza. 

I've been thinking a lot about summer but it's kind of bringing me down a bit because nothing really ever seems to go as planned.  But anyway, I really want to do some indoor climbing this summer and found this rock gym in Boston.  So I am hoping we'll get a membership and hang out a lot there.   I also hope I can join a crew team however temporary it might be.  I've also never been to Cape Cod and really hoping to head there as well.   Fortunately I may be going anyway for one of my classes because of a field trip.

The RISK game continued last night.  Steph seems like she's going to take over the world, but who knows I may have a comeback.

Anyway, got a lot on my mind at the moment. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the Prof and the baby lion

Here is a photo of the Prof and a baby lion at a buffet restaurant just outside of Memphis/Cairo area.  The food was okay but it was interesting to be at a restaurant and someone just hanging out asking for money to pet a baby lion.  The owner kept kissing the lion and it just would purr like Lucky or Einstein but with a just a tad of a fright to it.  Very interesting.  This was one of many interesting and bizarre experiences in Egypt.  However, we both loved Egypt.  A LOT!  We would go back in a heart beat.  

Man, I'm beat.  It's day three in RISK night playing.  I was in the lead with the new game tonight, but Sir Sesugh is doing his darndest to kick my butt.  Errr.  Not happy at all!  If I am just one thing, it is competitive with a Capital C.

By the way, I thought of my other NYR, it was KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT!  I am going to only be talking to those in the inner Katya sanctum about certain matters.  This will be difficult.  But I seem to be having success in the area of keeping my distance and putting up boundaries, which I have not been so good at before.  So, I think I can keep on working at it.

Oh and by the way, I attempted to eat my Captain Crunch for breakie breakie this morning, but darn it to hell, the milk went bad in the meantime.  Darn it, Darn it, Darn it! 

Tomorrow Steph and Labaran are off to the lumber yard and other stores to attempt shelf building.  We'll take pictures in advance to show you the chaos in advance.  Let's hope organization takes shape!



This is a photo of me before I got my haircut at Saqqara.  For some reason
I look really short and stout in this picture. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

football on the Nile


A photo from the cruise, this was common along the Nile, children playing soccer/football.  I mean, do you know a better place to play this lovely game on other than the Nile River?   So surreal.  I'll try and add a photo a day. 

Sir Sesugh

Tonight we finished the RISK game in a miraculous two nights!  Seriously.  'Sir' Sesugh won, we did not play the full version, we are working our way up to that, but he won.  It was basically going to come down to me and him and he won!  No fair. 

Anyway, now I am up writing the last of my Call of the Wild exam, listening to most recent episode of This American Life, listening to Beowulf lick the floor, and thinking about this summer. 

I'm debating about a few things.  Do I travel out West and go visit Seattle for real, not just a driveby in a Greyhound on the way to Alaska, then take a ferry up to Juneau to show it to my hubby and eat Waffles at Southeast Alaska Waffle Company and visit Steph and Jill?  Do I go to the Memoir workshop with Rebecca Walker in Maui?  Do I take a class that I don't really need at Harvard since my class isn't offered this summer?  This is going to be a most likely thing to happen, but still.  There will be some overlap in these which causes some of the debate. 

Anyway, got a lot to ponder.  Also, I had a new New Year's Resolution earlier but I forgot it.  It had something to do with being positive but I cannot remember it.  I guess it wasn't good enough to be remembered or it doesn't matter all that much to me.  I keep hearing a loud roar of cheering right now, over This American Life in my ears (wearing headphones) which is quite loud itself.  I am assuming it's from the Egypt-Cameroun game that folks are watching at the Lamido Cinema across the street. 

Anyway, life is good.  I just might be to bed by midnight!  Got 45 minutes to finish this darn exam!  Come on Katya, write your vocabulary questions.  You can do it!  Chugga Chugga, you can do it!  If Thomas can, so can you!  It was Thomas the train right?

Anyway I leave you with this photo from where I lived on Eagle Beach in Juneau, Alaska, near the end of the road.  This is what I want to share with my hubby, the Prof this summer.  Yep, sometimes I have talent.  This is not one those times.  Alaska is just this gorgeous that you can't get a bad shot!

life during school times

Today I taught about the Songhai Empire and about the Green Revolution.  However, I did not talk about the Green Revolution in the same light that the book did.  The book in most cases is quite good.  But I consider myself part of the Vandana Shiva good those ecofeminists, damn them!  Anyway, so I had Bryan read a recent article by her and watch part of the film One Water.  This is the part of teaching I just love.  The power was going up and down all day.  Which is actually unusual in this dorm I work in.  Which made it a bit of a hassle to teach with power points which is what I've been doing this semester which has taken a load of my back, the students seem to enjoy it and it seems to be less stressful for me as well.  Although, not necessarily the most environmentally friendly thing to be doing. 

I'm looking forward to Risk part two tonight.  Hoping that the falafel doesn't flop.  Also, hoping I get to sleep before midnight tonight.  We shall see. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

failed falafel

So we had some success in the kitchen department and some failures.  The falafel was a flop because I forgot to add baking powder.  I've gotta dig around and find it in the kitchen and add it in and see if it makes a difference.  I hope so because I have a ginormous batch in the fridge ready to be fried sans baking powder.  We began a game of Risk tonight at Charles' house that just might be a week long game, although I hope not.  But I'm going to try again with the falafel tomorrow to try and bring them there. 

Tonight we ate guacamole, salsa, home made tortilla chips, and my spinach dip that was also kinda a flop, but c'est la vie! 

I'm pooped now.  off to bed, work tomorrow with the kiddos. 

so you want to send me books or something?!?

If you have any interest in donating books to my school, or the local library, or anything really, please e-mail me and I'll send you to mailing options.  We are glad to accept donations of books and magazines.  You can send anything really and I am sure I will find a new happy owner. 

Seriously, send me a line and we'll love to take your old books and things!


I read a decent number of books while on holiday in Egypt.  Well, I read two.  They were both previews for school, but I read them nonetheless. 

First, I read the Call of the Wild by Jack London which we just finished on Friday in school.  This book is available on Project Gutenberg which I love because we are in Nigeria and don't really have access to many books here other than our wonderful AUN library.  I enjoyed the book, even though it was quite depressing since I've both lived in Alaska and have a dog who is like my child.  It was fun teaching it because I've seen many of the places in the book and could share and reflect on this with my students.

Secondly, I read the Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.  I finished it while in Sharm el-Sheikh and found it kind of disturbing and depressing, especially when you take it into context of modern day life situations like the Nigerian kid who tried to blow up the plane is just like another Holden Caulfield.  This one we will not be reading.  Also, the reading I did about Salinger disturbed me. 

Currently, I am reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre.  I'm about 100 pages in and so far so good.  I'm a fan of John Le Carre so I know I will like it, plus, it's a trilogy and I love books that never end. 

We bought a ton of books while we were in Egypt, especially thanks to Diwan bookshop.  Anyway, I've been thinking of re-reading some books that touched me and I found a new Nigerian author as well that I plan on having my students read. 

So I plan on re-reading Baby Love by Rebecca Walker which I read in like a day a couple of August's ago.  However, I highly recommend reading Black White and Jewish by Rebecca as well.  The reason I want to read BL again is because I constantly have this battle of when to start a family and why.  I remember reading that and it raised some unique questions and thoughts in my mind when I read it, so I shall again, but I'll have to have the Prof by me a copy in the states because I gave mine to a friend long ago and she probably lent it out to someone else and that person to someone else, as books should be.  So the Prof will have to procure one for me in February in DC. 

The other book and author that I haven't read the book yet but have been intrigued by her blog is Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich.  Her book is called 8th Grade Super Zero.  You can read her blog on the blogroll to the right. 

Anyway, we are about to begin reading the Diary of Anne Frank this week as well.  Grade 7 will be reading the actual diary and Grades 8 and 9 will be reading the play.  This shall be interesting and of  course depressing.  Why aren't there more happy and upbeat books out there?  Tell me why?

What books are you reading and what do you recommend?

sunday and I've got powdered milk in my coffee

This morning as I lie in bed and write this I decided to post an Egypt photo.  This photo was taken at Philae temple in Aswan, this day was one of my favorites in Egypt.  I really love Aswan.  I love all the Nubian people, the water and boats, and the entire atmosphere and ambience of Aswan.  Now, we have very few pictures together, the Prof and me.  This is definitely not one of our best, but it's maybe one of five from our trip. 

So this morning I totally forgot about the fresh milk in the fridge.  It's kind of funny really because we even went to the farm on Friday to see where they milk the cows.  I used to buy milk about every three to four days last spring but once our power situation detiorated to the point where we rarely had enough power during the day to make the milk last I stopped buying.  So this morning when I made my coffee I totally forgot I could have fresh milk instead of Peak powdered milk.  Also, I forgot that I could actually have the Captain Crunch I bought and lugged all the from Cairo.  Gobe, gobe, I'll have it gobe.  Gobe means tomorrow in Hausa. 

Last night we went to our usual dance club in Jimeta,  Aisha.  We brought Steph on her first excursion there and even brought another Aisha Virgin.  Steph had no problem peeing on the ground in a big enclosed tin room, but Professor L sure did.  She didn't quite take to the local way.  Anyway, a good time was had by all, as the Prof likes to say.  We danced the night away while star gazing. 

Today, the Prof, Dr. Rama, Steph and Prof L were all supposed to go to the Lava Beds just north of FUTY on hike but that got canceled.  This afternoon we are going to Prof Charles to play risk.  I am going to make some goods to eat.  We are going to make tortilla chips, salsa, guac, falafel and spinach artichoke crab dip.  We are going to snack well.  Not too mention we'll have the usual wine and other drinks. 

The semester seems to be going well.  Dr. Kalifornia thinks I seem more stressed out this semester.   I feel the opposite.  I feel like I am doing a better job at picking and choosing my battles.  But we'll see what time and the future brings.  However, I really hope I can continue the calm I feel I have going.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I've been a bad bad blogger

Hello all,

I know, I know, I've been a very bad blogger.  Some of it I have good reasons or excuses for and some not so good reasons or excuses.

For example, I was on vacation in Egypt and did not have time or money always to post, plus I was sick and I was on vacation.  But if I am going to be serious about writing this year, which I want to be, I need to be doing this, even on vacation.  So you are going to be seeing a lot more of me on here and some not on here but which will be written, probably by hand.  Also, my friend Steph is here visiting from Alaska or Michigan, depending on what she considers home.  Home, yeah, what's that?  There's a running joke between me and the Prof because people are always asking him what is home and he says Yola and they say, no that's not your home, but that's for another day.

Anyway, I will be posting Egypt pics and stories randomly.  I'll also be posting more about daily life in Yola and tell you what's been going on in our household.  But for now I am going to take a moment and be a little Nigerian and welcome you to 2010!  I am big on new year's resolutions but I have been breaking my one and only one almost daily.  Yep, I am off to a very bad start.  C'est la vie!

My one and only NYR was to eat breakfast daily.  Now if you consider two cups of coffee in the car on the way to work, a banana within the first three hours of being awake, and a cup of liquid soup within the first two hours drunk, and a sprite with emergen-c in it as breakfast, well, then I'm not doing so bad.  Now, my resolution should have been to have a morning filled with an all liquid diet and I'd be doing just grand.  Anyway, even today, a Saturday, I got up and heated up some non GF pizza and ate three slices.  Breakfast = yes, good for me = No!

Yesterday, Steph, the Prof and me all went to Alhaji Chairman Ahmed Joda's farm with Alhaji Mohamed.  See how Nigerian I am becoming!?  Anyway, Ahmed Joda (now this is the real me) is the Chair of the Board of AUN and he has one of the largest farming operations in Yola.  He also owns the polo horses which we ride occasionally.  It was a good fun experience with a surreal African sunset.  I couldn't get over how large or glorious it was.  I'm editing this post right now because I forgot to mention the most important part.  What we actually witnessed while we were there was the female cows being artificially inseminated by the vet.  The vet's name is Dr. Sunday and now this means we have a vet named Dr. Sunday for Beowulf, Lucky and Einstein!  So this makes me happy. 

Anyway, this morning I was doing some summer research on what we will do to get back to Nigeria from Cambridge once my summer classes at Harvard are finished.  I am considering taking a ferry trip to Juneau to visit friends, one being Steph, of course.  The other thing I was researching was our hopeful Queen Mary 2 trip across the Atlantic on our way back to Yola town.  However, if I want to do both of these boat trips it might be logistically impossible due to time!  :-(  No fair and no fun.   So it seems like we might be making a choice between one or the other.  But if we do the QM2, which I think is a must for us, we have to leave NYC on August 8th which is earlier than we wanted but which might mean we will just spend more time in the UK or grande ole Paris.

Anyway, I am back and in full force and get on me if I'm not writing on this thing.