Our first Saturday, Miss Sala invited us to jrif bowt (drift about), in other words, go visit and see who we see! We thought, “What a great opportunity to learn some Kriol and meet some great people!” We went across the highway to Miss Jennifer’s house. Her house on the corner is a gathering place for many people in the neighborhood. She has nine children, three of whom are still at home. She is also the host mom for another PCV in our group.
Well, learning the Kriol was pretty difficult, since, like all big friendly gatherings in the US, everybody joined in the conversations at once, laughing and throwing in their two-cents’ worth. The “meeting great people” part was definitely true, and often they spoke English so we would feel included. Also, like many rural communities everywhere, many people were related. There were lots of kids, grandkids, cousins, aunties, grandmothers and grandfathers.
|Miss Jennifer, Miss Juliette, Moi, Miss Terr, De Shawna|
The children were just delightful, twinkly eyes and huge bright smiles, and a curiosity about and friendliness toward us as new people that was endearing. EVERYONE on that day made us feel so welcome and have continued to exhibit friendliness beyond the usual, “Hey, how’s it going?”
One man took us back a couple “blocks” to his house to see his work. He is an artisan who creates Mayan wood carvings and other pieces carved from slate. He has a booming business selling to retail businesses that cater to the tourist trade. He was very proud of the living he made with his creations. He learned the craft from his father, who was also there that afternoon, and had struck off on his own just recently. Their work is excellent, and sold in the tourist areas for very high prices.
Miss Jennifer raises chicks until they’re about 2 months old, then eats them (or gives or sells them for food). She also keeps turkeys, but they get to live longer till they become dinner. Her house is on the corner of a neighborhood road and the Western Highway. They have a little open thatch hut with a counter and small kitchen area – a roadside stand. They sell meat patties (tortillas wrapped around a beef patty and deep fried), and snacks and fruit. They cut up the fruit like pineapple and watermelon and peel the oranges (25 cents Bz for an orange or 12.5 cents US). Then various members sit out in “di tach” (pronounced dee tahch) and hang out and talk with each other and everybody else who comes by.