Wednesday, August 30, 2006

ZAN MUTU!!!!!! I AM GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!

Confession: I indulged in a little acting this summer. It was at best a worthy amatuar effort. Nothing better and probably much worse. I pray that they do miracles in the editing process. I groan whenever I remember the horrific (for me--and probably for every one else who had to watch my mortification) experience of having to do a (mimed) song and dance number. (we have gone far beyond the realm of possible humiliation at a conference--which by the way went fine.) The film thing was also very very very fun, which is why I kept doing it.

Now, I am reaping the consequences. My friend Aisha, the editor of FIM magazine, just emailed, gleefully informing me that she has placed me on the cover of the latest edition.

Just bury me right now. I am DYING!!!!!!!!!!

(and also, I know the pictures she has in her file. They were all horrible. So, to put a brave front on it, I am going to post a pictures of me in an outfit she had sewn for me, which I had not sent her until today after I found the news that passes all understanding of mortification and kunya.)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Melancholy (back in Madison) and the joys of hot showers

I arrived back yesterday after an exhausting trip that was fairly routine except for the slightly tighter security. Back to a very pretty Madison that is about as cloudy and rainy as Jos was when I left.

Much as I have disliked Madison in the past, it's good to be back in my own apartment, which my roomate has really fixed up with some very comfortable new couches that her mom sent her this summer. It was good to lie in my own bed last night listening to Coltrane on a cd player that worked fine while I wrote in my journal. It's good to have electricity all the time--yesterday I realized that I was waiting for it to go off. And, it's good to take a long hot shower. At one point this summer I marvelled at how well I had adjusted to cold bucket baths, and how little water I really needed to bathe. In August when the rains came often and the winds were cold, bathing was a bit more of a chore than it had been at first. Of course, I made it harder on myself than it had to be, as most people I stayed with heated their bath water on the stove (when there was NEPA then the electric kettle or the electric heating element would make it quicker). I was just too lazy to go to the bother, and a bit nervous about lighting the kerosene stove. I realize here at this transition moment how quickly we become accustomed to excess and luxury. As a self-proclaimed environmentalist (of the dillatante level) since preadolescence, my secret sin is long hot showers. Maybe this summer makes up for it a bit.

So, there are blessings to Madison. Still feel a bit melancholy. I feel like I didn't accomplish as much (academic) stuff as I should have this summer. I have so much to do before school starts and so little time. And I miss Kano. I miss speaking Hausa. These in-between times are always the hardest.

At the moment, I am obsessing over a song in Hausa "Na Ba Ka" with a rap and exquisitely addictive harmonics by Jeremiah that is on a mix cd I bought in Jos. "Reloaded: Welcome Back" with songs from "Naija 'n Ghana."

Today, tried to compile email addresses from four different notebooks and a bunch of business cards so I could send an email to everyone letting them know I got back safely and to thank everyone for being so hospitable and helpful. When I finally sent the email, half of the addresses bounced back from yahoo. Wai, the accounts have been disabled, which I can understand if it's from lack of use, because this summer I rarely checked my email. Life is so busy, and internet cafes are not always close by, and when there are there are so many mails to look at that you never very thoroughly answer anyone. Texting is much easier and more efficient. I shall sorely miss my cellphone. I am toying with the idea of buying a prepaid phone, with which I could send texts to Nigeria for 3 cents per text, but I'm a bit worried about it taking over my life if I do that.

Today has been a long glut of internet, so that I am thorougly sick of it. There's always just one more thing to do. But hopefully, the abstinance from internet for weeks at a time this summer will translate into slightly less usage here. Allah zai taimake ni.

Here's a random photo from some time in July before I broke my digital camera. It is of me at Dabo Film Productions after one of their weekly rehursals/actor's training workshops.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

After a long silence, RCG Internet Cafe, Jos

Wednesday, 23 August 06, Jos

To, ga ni. Na dawo. Amma yanzu ina tsammani yauwancin mutane wadanda suke karanta blog nawa, sun tafi, sabo da rashin posting. Amma, to, zan sake fara in rubuta.

So, I'm back. After a long silence. When one is only checking email once every two weeks or so and when one does not work on one's computer very often because of no NEPA and when blogs take a long time to upload, then blogging becomes less of a priority. It probably also has something to do with breaking my digital camera (Wayyo!! Kaico!!! Kash!!!), and I liked to write around the images. Also, perhaps, something to do with settling in, and becoming busy, and breaking my internet obsession.

So, it's been a very full, very good time. My Hausa is much better, and there are many things (one rather wild example: acting in Hausa films) that would have made for very interesting posts, and perhaps I will begin to post them as I try to process my summer over the next few weeks (or week) before classes start. I am flying out of Abuja tomorrow on Lufthansa. Currently trying to reconfirm my flight online since I haven't been able to get through on the phone for the past four days. But no way to do it online. I'm slightly worried about not being allowed handluggage because of the terrorism scare a few weeks ago. But since I have found no notice of it in the Lufthansa website, I am going to assume (perhaps dangerously) that my handluggage is allowed. I am currently trying not to go overweight although I have probably 30-40 VCD films and probably that many novels in Hausa. When will I ever have time to watch them all. I am very grateful for the FLAS fellowship this year, which will give me a good excuse to sit down and watch Hausa movies. I am hopeing to incorporate the watching of films into the curriculum--maybe a movie a week in addition to our translation project.

So, I'm back. I will probably keep this up, although not as obsessively as I did when I first started it. Let's see if this uploads....