An Wato Guinea, Det!

So we're doing it- heading back to Guinea. Stay tuned for details of our journey back to a place we love.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Monkeys, Snails, and Banana Trees

The following photos from Guinea are for all to enjoy but are especially for my former pre-school students. As many of you know, I taught pre-school during the 2006/2007 school year and somehow ended up with the most amazing group of 4 and 5 year olds. They kept me on my toes and left me with a ton of funny, crazy memories and stories. While I'm out of the pre-school teaching business, I will always consider them my students. It's almost impossible for me to imagine it, but, if my math is correct, they're all going to be first graders this year! I hope they haven't outgrown funny animal pictures.

But before posting the photos, here's a quick update: Matt and I are now back in Montana. This time in Helena. I arrived a few days ago and am still trying to find my bearings. I'm not yet sure how I feel about this town. It's odd to be in Montana and *not* be in Missoula. It's going to take some getting used to. I'm feeling very homesick right now, missing all of the family and friends in the various homes I've had this past year- Missoula, Guinea, and my family's home in California. Matt and I are working on the basics for the moment- finding a place to live, jobs, etc. I'll write a more complete update when we have some things figured out. I'll also let all the Missoula folks know when we'll be able to visit.

Okay, as promised here are some monkeys, snails and banana trees:

I'm scared of monkeys, but wanted to pose for this photo in order to share it with my students. Notice my shirt- this was a gift from the class and has all of their hand prints on it. The shirt has now been around the world- from Missoula to KanKan, Guinea, home of BooBoo the pet monkey. BooBoo is Amadou's family's pet monkey. He spends his days playing in the family's front yard area.

BooBoo climbing

BooBoo and a child from the neighborhood.

At night BooBoo sleeps here- in the family kitchen. For many families who live in this part of Guinea, their kitchen is either outside or in a hut like this one. They keep wood or charcoal in the hut to cook with. In this photo a pot of rice is cooking over the fire.

Most of the monkeys in Guinea aren't pets. They live in the wild. Matt and I saw a lot of monkeys when we were hiking. Here are a few photos of wild monkeys we saw on one hike.

We hiked to a spot with a view of a waterfall. We heard little screaming sounds from the top of the waterfall and when we looked closer we saw a whole bunch of monkeys in the trees. They were climbing in the trees and running across the top of the waterfall.

This monkey crossed the waterfall to get to this side of the trees. His family followed him soon after.

On a different hike Matt and I saw two giant snails!! I've never seen snails this big. A man from the village who knows a lot about the wildlife in this area told us that the snails were mating.

Here are some photos of banana trees. They're so huge that they provide shade on even the sunniest days. The leaves are between 5 to 6 feet tall. Notice how the bananas grow up-side-down.

The flower that hangs below each bunch of bananas is a beautiful, dark red color.

Here's Matt cutting some bananas from the tree. The bananas straight from the tree in Guinea are delicious- so sweet.

That's all for now. I've got more photos that might be of special interest to my former pre-schoolers. I'll try to post them in the next week or so.

Best of luck to the former Mariposa students as they begin first grade in a few weeks!


Vanderklok Family said...

Annie!! This is your old friend Nancy Callaham from highschool. Wow, it looks like you are living an amazing life. I am so happy for you. I'd love to get in touch again. :)

Anonymous said...

Annie! Great to get a glimpse into your adventures. Funny that you've returned to MT and I've left -- living in AK now. Indefinitely. Hope you're doing well, stay in touch, hi to Smatt.

Jeremy P

KSensei said...

I'm hoping we will get to see you next weekend in Helena! The SpielKnights will be there en masse.

big hair betty said...

Hi Annie! I found your blog through Matt Brooks and just wanted to say hi! I've gotten updates about your life from him over the years, but this is fun to catch up on some more details of recent happenings! Oh, by the way, this is Sara (Whiteside)!

Shamalama said...

Very cool! I love monkeys. The snail porn was a little strange though.

Oh, and wouldn't the bananas be right side up, but when we hold them they are upside down?

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