Monday, September 15, 2008

swamps, somalis, school and chameleons called geoff

i am here. i am still here. just snowed under... and back at school...

thinking of you though and missing my slow time on the computer, concocting tales of the unexpected and such things.

so a bulletin update as i am utterly exhausted due to the fact that i am entirely unused to being gainfully employed.

safari craig is back safely from the moyowasi swamps. if you look carefully at todays pic you can see him wading in leech infested waters, amongst miles of malarial inducing reeds, floating islands and croc infested water. tres indiana jones...

my sons have given me strict instructions on what to wear at school and i am, under no circumstances, allowed to wear my jackie o shades on campus, or god forbid, show any stomache flesh. godsakes as though i would on purpose....? i must have done in the past though for them to be so insistant about it....oh earth swallow me up, WHEN? apparently we are supposed to dress office smart. i thought i was spot on. apparently not. according to safari craig over tea this afternoon. and friend paul oliver (also safari man ) . apparently i look well, um, too hippy ish you know.... button UP and loosen it up a little...jeez. i thought i looked frankly, office smart bloody spot on....?

not so. must work harder on it. get rid of maasai beaded sandals and things...and move onto um, like WHAT? paul suggested sequinned brooches and this is worrying. i know they joke and love my maasai sandals. i know they do.

i still feel a little lost on the curriculum and consequently like an imposter. these kids are all super bright too and will see through any bullshit. must act convincing.

my first born was hideously embarrassed when i told everyone over supper this evening that i conducted a meditation for the year 7 expressive art class....shouldn't i have?? i mean, what do i know.

the beeb are still filming around us. we now have a refugee camp at the bottom of the hill. bbc will be filming here on wednesday and thursday. the sitcom is called Taking The Flak, a black comedy on journalists in africa, written by a wonderful wonderful friend of mine called Tira Shubart. who is possibly one of the funniest women i know, the cleverest, the coolest and most adventurous. AND horse mad like me! HAH! she herself has been a journalist and recounts tales of being dropped in the middle of a desert in somalia and being suddenly surrounded by shiftas or pirates and thinking ok this is it then realizing these young warriors tinkling in silver and shaking automatic weapons very much in her direction were in fact, orating poetry, as it turned out; and not reciting her last rites from the koran - or dark cold tales of behind the iron curtain back in the bad old days, dodging bullets on icy streets.... she is a total fundi on the middle east and has written books and terrifically intelligent things like this.. my friend tira is one hellova woman and i throw rose petals in her path...and some! i am completely honored she is my friend. completely.

gabby seems to have settled into school...or at least is getting there. getting used to it. and mr shaw is settling into africa a little more as is ms frampton the art teacher. it's quite a thing coming straight from a kali london school, where students stab each other, apparently on a regular basis, to a little sleepy african school on a dry windy hill, blasted by unadulterated sunshine for most of the year, decorated by swarms of bees and birds and fluttery butterflies and puffy clouds....where things move slower and there are flies on your mealie meal. it takes getting used to. i loved the way ms frampton described mr shaw in the local market..."like a rabbit in the headlights.." ag shame man....oh and i overheard the headmaster, now my boss, saying to the year 12's " guess what? good news! we have tins tins and tins of kawasaki green paint for the walls!"

hooray. it made me laugh into my coffee in the staffroom. i am happy to be back at school. so far, it's inspiring...this is good. this is good.

Kitchen Board: Monday Evening: 15 September 2008.

Contributors: Rubin, Veronica, Janelle

Comments: i knew i should have taken this mornings board. there was a looooooooooooong list and one or two classics, dog borns being one of them.

and how could i have forgotten to mention: Geoff. The Chameleon: a common two horned chameleon who arrived on sunday for dinner, along with tom and india. he really is splendid. and deeply loved by daniel. although i have just been told by safari craig that geoff has been released. welease wobbin into the wild acacia behind the house. nevertheless, here is a really bad picture of him on the plastic flowers. oh and bob is doing fine. i think bob might be a really really old fighting fish. must try the mirror trick on him...oh that's for another post.....! anyway - i give you splendid two horned geoff.

toodely pip and bisous toujours xxx janelle


Val said...

hey janelle - glad you are back! wow the teaching thing... sure you dont have to fit into the mould(?) of trad teaching garb?? might be better to focus on output - altho kids can get distracted.... as i remember....
stay with the masai sandals however :-) Sounds like lots of fun and a great challenge.

The two horned chameleon.... so cool! and am looking forward to the pics/posting of the fighting fish...

and the sitcom on journos in Afrika


Dumdad said...

Cool pic of Craig with rifle.

Good luck with the teaching!

Ernest de Cugnac said...

janelle - what kids want in a teacher is someone who is interesting. You are home and dry!

Caroline said...

if i'd had you as an art teacher would already have a turner prize. mine had really thick ankles and wore the same tartan skirt every day of the year, nothing so interesting as a SEQUINNED brooch. So glad you are having fun

Irene said...

Still lurking, unable to utter a word.

Miranda said...

Oh I seeee, it's Craig with a RIFLE! I thought he was fly fishing which would be rather odd!
Oh I can imagine Daniel being horrified - it's only going to get worse you know. Heh heh. Before it gets better I mean. You know when he's, what 20? You just be you, I know you will anyway.
Bugger and I was going to come and visit soon. Are we allowed to visit with the beeb at the bottom of the garden?? Coz I haven't seen you for MONTHS. At least what, 5 days???

Miranda said...

I think we should do a special trip to Mitumba, just you and me. Buy those silver cowboy boots, some pink lycra leggings, a gold top, maybe one of those wooly pompom hats? Whadda ya say? Perfect school attire.

family affairs said...

Be yourself and the kids will love you. I am hugely impressed that you have got yourself back out there....and love Geoff x

Janelle said...

i adore my blogosphere friends. i do! thanks y'all for visiting.

val - will do a posting on the fish. if it lives. and don't you worry - the maasai sandals stay. for sure! XX

thanks DD! yeah a terrifically cool pic of indiana jones in the swamps...and thanks for the good luck...i had a busy and full day was GOOD! XX j

ah ernest! THANKS! you say the sweetest things. x j

heh heh heh! YOU FUNNY CAROLINE! thanks!~ xxx

irene? irene? you ok?? x j

oh mo mo MO! missing you..>! and coffee mornings and crazy curry lunches and fabulous movie ideas...sigh sigh and YES to mitumba this week-end? or are you acting again with the Beeb?? XX

hey lulu! thanks babes...yeah...i drag myself out there most mornings..but end up enjoying and having fun!! XX j

Lori ann said...

janelle, this is brilliant! such funny stuff. you should definetly do what miranda says, put on the getup(silver boots, pink spandex,pompoms...) and then sons will be most grateful to have mom back when you be you.the day comes, it really does when they just think you are funny or silly(hmmm,maybe thats not the good i thought it was?!),and they wont give a care what you wear. You have a good opportunity to teach your kids(and school kids)a lesson in being yourself. Oh and congratulations on your new job!! I LOVE chameleons! sorry for daniel yours had to be let go...
xx lori

d i a n a m u s e said...

Such adventures! You live a magical (albeit demanding) life.

Perhaps I expose my ignorance, but I'd never known the term 'beeb.' Love it. And I love your place here. Thanks for visiting mine.

Reya Mellicker said...

Don't you think your kids would be embarrassed no matter what you wear or how you conduct classes? I think it's in their job description.

I bet you look great, glamorous and professional all at once, and I would have loved to experience a meditation in art class.

Jackie O sunglasses are really in style. That's not hippie-ish at all ... is it?

Nice to know you're doing well. xx

Jocelyn said...

I rather think that if you wore a shirt that showed off your abdomen, that would take care of distracting those bright ones away from your lack of certainty with the curriculum.

In fact, don't wear trousers, either. Just a short, short shirt.

john.g. said...

Best of luck with.......well everything!!

Cyndy said...

What an amazing life you lead! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Janelle said...

lori darlin'! thanks again for popping by and your wonderful sweet words! x
dianamuse! honored you popped by! elegant beautiful you! xx j
reya! well. i guess the jackie o's are supposed to be chic - but when worn with indian prints etc - they get to look janice jopplinny! tee hee! XX

heh heh jocelyn! you are so funny. i LOVED your post on the trip to europe and missing school...when is your novel out, babes? it would be riotious! X
john g! thanks honey! thanks! i always need a bit of luck..who doesn't! so BIG thanks! XX j

thanks for popping by cyndy...yeah. life is amazing. truly! XX j