Thursday, September 06, 2007

news from around the neighborhood

We saw the paper man (he's a grown man on a motorcycle, can't be calling him the paperboy) drive by the other day after dropping off the paper at one of our neighbor's house down the street. We flagged him over and asked if he carried an english paper. Sure enough he carries the english edition out of the country's capital and we are signed up. 1 Sept we started recieving a newspaper every afternoon around 4:30. Jonathan and I are addicted to the thing. Its 2 sections, about 25 pages total, complete with business, classifieds, news from the region and adverts. Its short yes by American standarads but it gives us a clue as to how people think and see the world, and its about all we can read in a day with our homework reading/ writing assignments. The classifieds and adverts are a pure joy. You can learn alot about people by what they buy, sell and market. Oh it has english comics 5 of them, and one is Rose is Rose, my absolute favorite comic.

Also they have started work at the school across the street on a third big building. We were a little critical (Jon & I, a little critical?) when they started work a month ago because they haven't used the first 2 that have been completed (at least as far as we can tell) for 3 months. Well, yesterday sure enough trucks started delivering folding chairs, office chairs and desks. So maybe they are going to start using them. That or they finally got the order they had in for furniture. But the workers are going like mad on the new building. Jonathan and I reckon they'll have it completed for appearances by the first of the year. Which I figure will leave them painting in the rain, not a good idea to paint in the rainy season here.

Ramaddan is coming. Not a huge deal for some of the world but a MAMMOTH HUGE deal here. People are stocking up on oil and rice; fast all day but, from some reports, feast all night, for a month. Astronomers are helping clerics figure the precise timing of the moon, something I don't entirely understand but it seems that there are different lines of thought as to when Islamic Holidays should begin. Does it follow off the timing in Mecca or does it follow off the area where you live? If it follows local time, how does that work in a large nation? These are some big deal questions. The variations are allowed for in Islamic law but still its a matter of getting it right when your dealing with the moon. Then there are communities that enact ordinaces to close certain types of businesses at certain times of the day. Many are asked to close during the daytime, opening towards late afternoon. Mostly this is for nightclubs and bars. Still all curious new things to learn. Where we lived in Africa they weren't quite so faithful. For many fasting was a suggestion but the feasting was an official command not to be forsaken. Curious though.
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