As a nurse, my wife loves to watch TV shows that gross me out. These include “Untold Stories of the ER” and “Monsters Inside Me”. It’s the latter program that kept me on edge for the last several days. I was lying in bed Tuesday night, under the mosquito net, and suddenly a small insect (not a mosquito and larger than a gnat) dive bombed my ear and went right inside. I reflexively smashed — and I do mean aggressively swatted — my ear. Using my pinky finger, I tried to extricate this entomological enemy. All sounds of life stopped. Lacking a Q-tip, I rolled a small piece of tissue and probed, being careful not to push any possible winged carcass deeper into the ear canal. Satisfied the issue was resolved, I went to sleep. Over the next few days, I couldn’t help but obsess about any small sensation or altered ear pressure. By this morning, I still felt like I had water in my ears from diving into a pool. Recalling a particularly disturbing episode of “Monsters Inside Me”, I started imagining that the dying insect quickly laid some eggs in its final effort at perpetuating its species and I was now host to a soon-to-hatch family of insect grandchildren. I called Dr. Steve (where I donated the medical supplies) and requested he peak inside. I drove to the clinic; he pulled out his otoscope and acknowledged a small blob of wax — no evidence of an insect colony voraciously feasting on my gray matter. He flushed out my ear several times with water in a syringe, yielding the aforementioned waxy substance. He prescribed some ear drops just in case, and I was off. Now my ear really felt like I had been diving, nevertheless, I anticipate fewer insect-related dreams tonight.
Given this streak of uncomfortably hot and humid days this week, I was curious about the temperature inside the guesthouse, I found a thermometer packed away in one of my storage bins. The low temperature this morning was 90 F…well before the midday sun’s intensity. With no way to measure humidity, all I can say is it has been indisputably dreadful.
After completing a morning of community surveys, I returned to spend yesterday afternoon with Lyn Gray and Geri Melosh who returned for their extended teacher observation time. Being more familiar with the two other afternoon teachers, Dolo and Darlington, I joined Geri in the class of our newer teacher, Garmai. My strongest impression was that Garmai was not prepared. The Liberia Reads! teacher’s manual provides very clear detailed lesson plans for each day. I was surprised at the amount of referencing of the manual she did, as if it were her first time seeing it. I need to give her a little slack because she had three observers. But this is week 21 of the program and it follows a similar pattern throughout the year and she should have felt comfortable with the material by now.
Continuing the Liberia Reads! theme, today Sumo and I attended a meeting of the Association of Literacy Educators (ALE), an organization of Liberia Reads! teachers and principals. Sumo is both chaplain and treasurer. Though it was mostly administrative, we had the benefit of meeting a prospective teacher, Emmanuel, for next year’s 3rd Grade class at GLTC. Poaching of trained Liberia Reads! teachers is frowned upon, however this teacher left the school where he was trained, is now employed at a government school, and is looking for a new opportunity. The clincher for me is that Geri highly recommended him since he’s both an experienced teacher and a Liberia Reads! trainer. She sees many teachers so that means a lot to me. After the meeting, Sumo and I had a discussion where Emmanuel showed great interest. I think he’d be a great fit.
Here are some of our GLTC students headed home after school.