When you go on a big trip in Sierra Leone, you are often given a wonderful farewell, hugs and blessings for traveling mercies. However, you are always asked to ‘send for me" or a.k.a bring me back gifts. So in fine SL style, I brought back gifts from America. Just the usual, earrings and girly things for my neighbor ‘sisters’, a bible for Rev. Mammah, candy, photos and general Americanness. But the most excited came from my boys’ Bockie and Fonnie.
Now, first a little background on these two. Bockie is in SSSI or like a freshman in high school at Fergusson Boys School which is considered the male equivalent of Harford in Moyamba. He is extremely smart but also extremely troublesome. Bockie generally just does his own thing around campus, coming and going as he pleases and doing what every teenage boy does, pesters his mother. However, Bockie is charming and respectful. Then we get to Mr. Fonnie. He is the worker bee of the household. Actually, a grandson of Rev. Mammah’s husband and hoping to start his secondary school career this upcoming academic year, Fonnie is the wheels of the family always running up and down on errands. The most helpful and hardworking boy I have met in Africa. Sometimes I wonder is Fonnie is just lurking outside my door waiting for me to ask him for assistance. I just yell "Fonnie" and within five seconds I get the reply, "Allison, look me". I send him to get stuff for me all the time and reward him with starburst and jolly ranchers. Hope I am not ruining his wonderfully white teeth.
Being the active teenage boys that they are, I decide every young man needs play catch, so only fitting to get them Americany baseball mitts and baseballs. They were ecstatic and I had never seen them speechless. Until Fonnie goes almost out of breath, "It’s just like on TV, Bockie!" If these boys’ hand eye coordination is as good as their foot eye coordination, the minor leagues better watch out….(however, it’s rainy monsoon time right now and I haven’t yet seen their skills)