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geico the caveman

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sunny 22 °C

So today we finished our water filter and purification class. We were being shown how to make chlorine to disinfect water from salt through a funky little machine hooked up to a 12V car battery. I come away from this week feeling a little bit confused and frustrated, though. I am rubbing shoulders with guys that are a lot more practically minded than me who are mechanics or whatever and understand the concepts much more quickly. Add to that the southern drawl which Kieth (not a miss-spell),who is the trainer, speaks with - "y'all", "djeat yet". and "hawt dawg"... and there has been so much to learn for me.
It didn't help how I was feeling when one of the guys likened me to Geico the caveman because of my wild hair and unshaven face. In the States, he is well known in advertisements where something is so simple "even a caveman could do it". "Great" I thought, "Thanks for the encouragement."
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Anyway, somehow I managed to receive my certificate which I am very proud of. Supposedly this type of qualification will mean that you can get into countries where missionaries might not be able to get into. The other photo shows the "water filter class of 2009"!
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One of the guys called Dan from Devon and I went to our first American football game in Asheville where the son of the lady whom I met in the plane from Atlanta who lent me their car (ok a bit of a clumsy sentence I hope you can follow) was playing. So after an adventure trying to navigate our way in unfamiliar roads and a lot of panicking, we arrive at an American Highschool where an incredible scene infolds in front of us. The first lesson is this: Americans know how to do entertainment - there was colour and music and food and excited people everywhere! Following the National Anthem..."O say can you see..." where everyone stands up and holds their left hand to their chest, Dan and I have to be escorted to the correct side of the pitch - the "home" stand, where the family of the lady whom I met in the plane from Atlanta who lent me their car (clumsy sentence again) and others from their small church are sitting. They all cheer and wave pendants as we arrive and thus the tone of the whole scene is set. We wave pendants and bang sticks and holler "come on greens" through cone-things and shout "defense, defense" or "touch-down, touch-down" depending on the moment. All the while the yellow and green guys in their tight fitting lycra and big helmets battle it out on the pitch and the little cheerleaders bust some impressive moves (they do some pretty incredible stuff by the way - backward flips and pyramids and the splits). It is a really big event! And all just for a high school! I really enjoyed my first American football game and was really up for getting involved! I was an instant convert despite my previous disdain for the wussies' version of rugby...
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This family that have been really kind to me (and Dan) lending us a car! also demonstrate another of the incredible qualities of the people I have met here in North Carolina so far - they are so open and real and treat me as part of a family. I have found I can be spontaneous and open and interact with people the way I like and not get a "you freak" reaction as I have often done in Edinburgh...! People seem to respond well to my madness and craziness much to my pleasure...
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Posted by africraigs 23:18

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