Blog Detail

The new normal

28 Sep 16
Simon Jones

These past weeks have been full of new experiences. I started school as an 11th grader at a private school about 6 and a half miles away from the compound. Every morning Princess Dennis and I are picked up by Skill. He is our personal motorcycle-taxi driver that picks us up and drops us off every morning and afternoon. He gets paid $40/month for this contract. School is from 8-1. We have 6 subjects a day, all in the same, small, hot, classroom. There are different teachers for every subject, which is nice.

For lunch everyday, me, and usually 3 other kids go across the street to a small house/restaurant to eat. It costs $170LD – Which transfers to about a $1.70 US. I like the food. I can’t say that I really enjoyed spicy food back home, but now I look forward to it every afternoon. We are all sweating by the the time the food is gone. And it’s not just me who’s fanning himself and sweating like crazy, so that make me feel a little better.

About a week ago I found out that I am by far the youngest kid in my class. Every other one of my classmates are no younger than 20! They all call me “small boy” cause I’m so young. I have a different name in almost all of my classes too. In Bible class, I’m Simon Peter. In Physics, I’m Simpson. In Trigonometry, I’m Sammy Johnson. It’s just takes so long to correct them that I just let them have their way. At the orphanage the little kids call me some version of Samuel.

We went to the beach the other day, and I learned how to “dig crab”. All over the beach there are these holes about a half inch to about 3.5 inches across. About 2 feet down that hole, is a crab. Depending on the size of the hole it could be a crab about the size of my 2 fists or the size of my thumb nail. That was quite the adventure! What they do when they catch them is rip off the pinchers so that they can’t hurt them and then they just play with them until they end up killing them, so they just go dig another and do the same process. That night I saw a bit of crab claw in my dinner, I think.

We’ve been here for almost a month, so everything we do here is just starting to be normal – the showers, the food, school, going to the bathroom, watching the dog get beat up and he seems to kinda like it (no kidding). It’s all just part of a routine now. Not for long though. We get the first container in a few weeks and it has the vehicles, and 2 dirt bikes! For the past week my dad has been teaching me how to drive one. The gear shifting is a little tricky, but I’m getting the hang of it.




  1. Gramma Jones September 30, 2016 at 3:20 am

    I soaked up every word Simon. So interesting, the life you are living right now. I am glad you like the spicy food. It is HOT. So, ‘small boy’, have you learned anything new in class? Can you understand the teachers yet, or even the other kids?

    You mentioned 3 of your class subjects. What are the other 3? How is trig coming?

    I would hate to dig down to get a crab and pull up a double fisted sized one. There claws are really strong. Ouch! I learned how to eat them while I was there. Just chew the little ones really good, so you get the flavor out, then spit out the rest. Not bad!

    Your dad mentioned that you were learning how to maneuver the dirt bike, and that you were getting good at it. That will be really enjoyable for you.

    Enjoy the adventure. It will end all too soon.

    I love you!

  2. Kadin Mercer October 10, 2016 at 4:26 am

    I know Japan is not at all like where you are at. Though I totally understand when dealing with the natives and their language is speaking super fast and all I say is yes or no and then they laugh at me, because I think that I agree to something that I wish I didn’t want to know what I agreed or disagreed to. Though with help from the Lord and your parents everything will turn out for the best.

    I do miss you and you have grown a lot bigger since I last saw you. Love you dude.

  3. Wynn October 18, 2016 at 3:59 am

    Love it Simon. I LOVE riding motorcycles!

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