I am here to share a new skill that I have developed. One of the many cool things about joining the Peace Corps is that you get to experience and learn many new things. That alone is an incentive to join. So if you are looking for a sign for whether or not you should join the Peace Corps there it is lol but really talk to me first so I can make sure you know what you are getting into so you don’t make a mistake and I would want this to be a great experience for you not a mistake for you 🙂
back to my new skill!!!!!!
ladiesssss and gentlemeennnn…
I, the Marvellous gift from the stars, Uri-Biia Hesi-Ra Si-Asar
take note of that name because she is going places
has MASTERED the art of…
yes yes it’s true! I can do it! and if you work hard enough you may too be able to do it one day.
This skill manifested itself one day while I was in my outdoor kitchen. Cooking… yes cooking… keep your eye out for my Chef Biia posts! And a spider ran alongside the wall I was cooking by and almost touched me.
Boy did I silently scream! I have also done this the time a huge lizard fell (crawl into but) FELL into my room. This skill is an important skill that only the most skillful could truly utilize the skillfulness of this skill.
Also it comes in handy if you get scared easily and you don’t want people to always think you are dying and to pretend to your neighbors that you are intregrating well into the new environment.
Positive Side effects of the SILENT SCREAM:
- No one hears you screaming
- You can scream as much as you want without being labelled a scaredy cat
- Neighbors won’t come barging into your house because they think your life is in danger
- You feel brave afterwards because you didn’t actually scream
Negative Side effects of the SILENT SCREAM:
- Your heart will still drop in your chest and beat that crazy
- you are still afraid but the outside world doesn’t know
- You strain your throat a little bit
- If there is actual danger no one will know so please assess the situation before silently screaming
- You actually do make a teeny tiny noise while scream so if you forget that other people are around you you may embarass your self. (not speaking from experience, a friend who wished to stay anonymous told me so)
To celebrate completing learning situation one and 3 quizzes during the first semester we had a coloring party. I photocopied a picture from my coloring book that I brought with me to Benin and they almost lost their minds. Also thank you Si-Asar family for the coloring pencils, this definitely would not have been possible without them. I was definitely not going to use my personal 24 pack 😝😝😝😝 JAMAIS! (never!) I also tried to play American music on my phone but it didn’t work too well. Apparently playing music off your phone in a class of 41 excited students is very different than playing it in an empty cement house with only one person in it lol
Draw a classroom furniture
*for the record there is a picture of a ruler down there but they didn’t get points because technically a ruler is a classroom object
So at school the was a two week period where students were being possessed left and right. It was not fun. It got to the point where more than 15 kids were possessed in one day. There was even a couple in my class and a few times class was canceled because of it (which sucked because it was in between the two strikes that took place so the teachers lost valuable teaching time.
For the first student in my class to be possessed there was sudden yelling and twisting around and a girl started yelling in Bariba. At the same time she was crying and her arms were twisting into very uncomfortable positions. In Bariba she was yelling about how she wanted to possess and would kill another student in class. Now this other student who was standing started stiffening up and had a death grip on a desk. Then her head started bobbing and jerking around. And she started making a low guttural with each bob. Luckily for me, my first possession took place in my Co-teaching class so I didn’t really have to do anything. The Vice-Principal and accountant came told the other students to carry the 2 girls out and put them in the teacher’s break room.
In my solo teaching class, the girl got possessed right before my class started. When I arrived the priest had sent everybody home and was trying to exercise her. She was walking on her knees yelling in what I can describe as only a high pitch dolphin short burst scream. I stayed until she was exorcised. That means the priest said a bunch of prayers while also throwing salt on her. Afterwards she came out of her trance she had to wash up before she could go home.
Let me yell you… it was a lot to soak up.
Possessions ranged from students collapsing and yelling in different languages to students having seizures and acting all crazy. It got to the point that there was 2 school prayers (each 5 hours long) held and a priest spent a day at school helping students and throwing salt in front of classes. Only girls got possessed which is strange because both boys and girls can get possessed
I asked the vice principal if this was normal and he said every year 1 or 2 students get possessed but never to this many at once. Allegedly a couple of villages in an hour range had 1 possession as well. A teacher told me that something was wrong with the school grounds but no one knew what. Possessions are not because of voodoo. Possessions happen because there is a witch/sorceress and decides to possession someone to try to force them to do her biddings which is usually to kill someone. Just about all the possession at school had a student saying she was going to I’ll another student or teacher
My host mom asked me how I felt and what would I do if a student tried to kill me. I told her that it felt a little bizarre to me and I don’t care who is trying to kill me but everybody will get punched in the face. They could be a student, a teacher, an elder or a baby I’ll punch everybody. If I die I’m taking the other person with me. My response caused my mom to cry from laughing so hard. She then told me I didn’t have to worry about it because sorcery didn’t effect strangers. That made me feel a little better but I would still feel creepy at night sometimes. (Side note: apparently you should try to stop the child and get help for them instead of punching them in the face… look you guys I’ve seen too many movies and read too many books to do this. You just got to end it right away idc idc idc idc)
ALSO one last thing… when I asked the teachers why this was happening the answer was “It’s Africa”. They found it amusing that I was not satisfied with that answer and how I didn’t think it was an actual reason.
Possible Reason why this might have happened sourced from the mind of Biia:
- Students not wanting class
- It being an elaborate school prank where every year a student gets possessed but since there’s a stranger here this year they decided to go all out
- Some type of environmental trigger like lead paint, tainted soil, too much dust, trash strewn all around
- Some scary insect Bourne sickness
It’s Africa lol just kidding
Every now and then the PSN hosts a wellness Day at workstations for the volunteers. It is basically a day where you get to focus on your well being and also relax and have fun. This wellness Day was super fun. We talked about being an ally to other volunteers and ourselves.
And my favorite part was that afterwards we went to a… SWIMMING POOL at a hotel! Who would’ve known there was a swimming pool 2 hours from my house!! We sat at the pool, played at the pool and ate at the pool. We ordered “fancy” American food! I got a cheese burger (that came without cheese 🙃) and mozzarella sticks. C’EST DOOUUXXXXX.
Unfortunately I can not upload any pictures they were on the phone that was stolen.😢 so please just imagine the following images
*insert image of beautiful and relaxing pool with shimmering water*
*insert photo of a juicy burger that sadly lacks cheese and tantalizing mozzarella cheese sticks dripping with cheese toasted to perfection*
*insert image of Biia lounging in a pool chair in a purple swimsuit in a purple towel reading a purple book with a big purple smile*