Sunday, April 30, 2006

My Turn

Jamie is on babywatching duty, so now it's my turn. While I agree with much of Jamie's review of The Constant Gardener, I'm not dismissing it as complete Hollywood garb. What I liked about it, apart from the interesting sequencing of events, was the honest glimpse it gave of African life - the impoverished towns, the terror of village raids by armed men on horseback, the comparatively decadent lifestyle of westerner diplomats, and the feeling of utter helplessness in the face of extreme poverty and corruption. I also liked the cinematography - in the beginning the camera did nearly all the work telling the story, allowing the audience to form their own conclusions, but later the film felt the need to make sure the audience had arrived at the "correct" conclusions by having the characters verbalize these directly. That is really my only complaint about the film.

I'm also enjoying Aysha's growing ability to communicate. Yesterday I taught her the froggie sign (we are working on baby sign language). When she picked up a leather box Ryan had given me from Jamaica that had a frog on the top, I reached for a couple other frogs we had in the apartment (a wooden fridge magnet, and a plastic toy frog from a cereal box). Instinctively I knew that in that moment, if I found these other frogs and make the frog sign, (tongue darting in and out), that Aysha would learn the sign. And she did! It was so exciting! Almost everyday she learns something new.

Today is free museum day. The last Sunday of each month there is no charge to visit any museum in town. Hence, today we are going to check out the Navel Museum. It's an excuse to get out of the apartment early in the morning and go for a walk in the old town. Yesterday I joined another teacher at 7:30 am for a walk all around Bocagrande and Castillogrande. It took us between two and a half and three hours. I don't usually walk around Castillogrande, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful and quiet the beaches were early on a Saturday morning. It's nice to know this city still holds a few surprises. I'll have to take Jamie for a walk there one morning!

Alright, the museum...

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