Yesterday, I think I saw the biggest, most terrifying spider I have ever seen. I was in the laundry room with Rhoda, who helps out on campus, and I spotted it perched on the back of the door. Brown, hairy, and about the size of a tangerine, I stepped back to admire how cool it looked from a distance. Rhoda, however, picked up a broom and hammered it over the head with the wooden end twice. It fell to the floor, still twitching, so she whacked it a couple of times and then squashed it violently with her foot before ushering its remains out the door. I stood glued to my spot before she explained that this was an incredibly dangerous spider with a venomous bite that could jump long distances. My mild interest/fear turned to pure terror as I imagined this gargantuan thing pouncing at me from across the room and landing right on my neck. All I can say is that I’m glad she told me after the spider was dead (and very much so), because even though spiders and bugs usually don’t bother me, this one FREAKED me out.
We had a bonfire that night with a couple of the Danish volunteers (groups of Danish volunteers come to campus for a month at a time to do leadership education and to work a bit with the girls) and Sean and Chelsea, two other volunteers… and walking back to my rondavel long after the generator switched off and thus preparing for bed without being able to survey my entire room in the light did not help with the spider fright. The bonfire was totally worth it, though. We sat around for hours playing silly games, chatting, asking each other questions, and playing music. It’s nice to know that when I’m twenty-some years old (the age of the other volunteers) people will still want to play campfire games, because even though I’ll be a legal adult in less than ten days, I don’t think I’m ready to give those up.
So what else is going on at Daraja. I spent most of the week preparing for our 10.10.10 Adobe Festival, which has a post to itself. Chelsea, another volunteer, was a professional musician for a couple years, so we’ve been ‘jamming’ (if you can call me playing the handful of chords I know how to play on the mandolin jamming), and singing a bit (Cora? Singing?!), which has been pretty fun. We harmonized to ‘Down to the River’ from Oh Brother Where Art Thou.
I’m still tutoring every night, which has proved to be helpful since midterms for the girls start this weekend. We’ve been working on vectors a lot, which none of them really had a grasp on. One girl came in a couple of times over the past week, and she slowly made it through her homework with assistance. Two nights ago, she came in for some extra practice past her homework, and was doing a pretty complicated problem with a cube where you had to figure out how to get from one point on the cube to the other with vector addition. And she TOTALLY got it… she was figuring out the vectors you needed to add quicker than me. It’s really cool how much these girls can master with just a little bit more confidence.