30 October 2010


A few weeks before being sworn in as PCVs, we held a supervisor workshop where all the soon to be PCTs met with their soon to be supervisors. It was pretty fun; we all sat through various sessions and learned about the core expectations that PCVs should have of their supervisors while at site. Before we began those sessions, we took part in a little matchmaking icebreaker (Peace Corps love ice-breakers!). All of the PCTs and supervisors were given a slip of paper. On each paper was one half of an African proverb and our job was to find our counterpart (supervisor) who we thought possessed the other half of the correct corresponding proverb. Afterwards, we were instructed to learn a little bit about each other and figure out the meaning of the proverb, and share our findings with the rest of the audience. I just want to share some of the proverbs that caught my attention. Feel free to comment if you have an interpretation for any of the proverbs below!!:

“News doesn’t have feet but it travels.”

“No matter how you fix a chimpanzees nose, it is still ugly.”

“No matter how big a child is, he will never be bigger than his father.”

“If you don’t get along with a hunter in town, don’t follow him into the bush.”

“If you can’t catch a black goat during the day, you certainly can’t catch it at night.”

“The stick you find inside a canoe is the one you will paddle with.”

“The same rain that beats bitter leaf until it is bitter, beats sugar cane until it is sweet.”

“If you beat a drum for a madman, you are also crazy too.”

“If a cotton tree falls down, it is still taller than the grass.”

“A family tree can bend, but it will never break.”

“You cannot hide something under your armpit while beating rice in a mortar.”

“If you listen to the noise of the market, you will never buy what you want.”

The last one is one of my favorites, due both to its shallow and deep meaning. The market woman here can be really aggressive and distracting if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for ;)


Anonymous said...

I am Martin's mother. Thank you for your blog. I enjoy your descriptive accounts of your experiences. Karen Dertz

Lucien Turay said...

I am a Sierraleonean living abroad and came across your blog by chance. Thanks for your selection of proverbs which I enjoyed immensely and which brought back childhood memories, including being taught in Freetown by dedicated PCVs. I wish your stint in Sierra Leone is as enjoyable as it is productive.
By the way, a correction - Sierra Leone is not a federation just a republic.
Looking forward to reading your future musings.bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Ikenna Achilihu said...

No problem Mrs. Dertz!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! This blog gave me a whole capture and things i have known. thanks and keep it up