9.11.2005

"I deal with Welsh women. You don't scare me one dit!"

The title of this post comes from Matt, one of my favorite volunteers here. He's Welsh and proud of it (apparently the Welsh have a reputation much like Canadians and have to defend thmselves all the time). We had a going away dinner for the old in-country coordinator and I'm pretty sure matt had had a bit (or should i say dit) to drink. Some girls were hassling him about his Welshness and apparently, welsh women are tough. Anyway,
I was thinking about this little blog thing and I'm kicking myself for being so boring. Again, no pictures. I left my cord thing at home again. You can beat me up personally if you can catch me...

So to catch you up on what life is really like, I'll tell you a few stories. Now, please picture me telling this as if I'm really there. Lots of hand motions, facial expressions and sound effects. I'm making them here in the internet cafe too.

My favorite African moment of the week is when I got swarmed by a group of I'd say 13-year-old girls. I was sitting in the community center (there's an open roof on the inside, Margaret Mead style) waiting for class to start, talking very professionally with my volunteer colleagues (I believe we were discussing something offical like football -soccer-whatever it is called. We discuss it a lot. Brits are obsessed!) and two little girls came up and sat next to me. I said a couple hellos (4-5 is standard if you're being really polite) and went back to my conversation. Then a couple more sat behind me. After a few minues, 4 more sat to my right. I looked up and said a few more hellos. The ringleader of the troupe of uniformed girls motioned to the hair elastic on my wrist, so I gave it to her (I always keep a spare on hand in case of emergencies like this). Next thing I knew, she had taken out my ponytail and begun messing with my hair. It wasn't long before I had at least 8 to 10 little hands giving me cornrows. It was quite the look. They continued until class was about to start, excitedly talking about something in Swahili. The only thing I could catch was "Mzungu" (their word for white person) and I think the word for hair. When I took the braids out when I got home it was an even better look. The girls had only finished the top half of my hair so it was frizzy as all heck on top and a beautifully, greasy slick look on the bottom. That's fashion at its best.

This weekend was amazing. I've figured out that while the weeks are long here, the weekends feel really long too. This weekend we spent both days at the Mkonge hotel where there's a nice pool and "the nicest showers in town" As it turns out the nicest showers in town are just a little bit more pressurized cold drip than home in a cleaner bathroom, but the shower was welcome nonetheless. The hotel overlooks the Indian Ocean where Saturday night we watched the sunset (pure sky-blue clouds and a BLOOD RED sun. It was stunning). I didn't think I laid out that much, but after 2 days at Mkonge I look like I've spent 2 weeks in Mexico. I must be near the equator or something...

We took the daladala out to the hotel today, which was an interested experience altogether. A daladala looks quite a bit like a VW van, but they are totally pimped out. I think that Pimp my Ride needs to have a Tanga special where they pimp these thingss out. The one we came home in today was blasting some Tanzanian hip hop music (Bongo Flavor is what they call it) and was bright red. The guy who takes the money (tsh 200 = .20 cents to ride) was dancing up a storm and hanging out the window shouting the words to passersby. Oh, and it totally reeked of B.O. African BO is different than at home. And the stuff inside this Daladala was pungent.

Seattlites will be happy to know that I'm pretty sure that I love seafood already. Little prawns (by the way, does anyone know the difference between shrimp and prawns? Are they the same?) are really tasty. And Most of the fish is delicous as well. I've eaten seafood almost every time I've gone out to eat, except for last night when I had an omellete.

Some less exciting new for you, and more exciting for me is that I treated my mosquito net today. The house we live it in is actually quite nice. We have a gate with barbed wire, a guard (Rashid who is adorable) and a housekeeper (Fatuma who makes lots of really yummy food). There aren't many bugs at all. It took me days before I saw any mosquitoes, mostly because the mosquitoes are tiny. Anyway, I got lots of bites a few days ago (somehow, only on my feet) so I thought it would be a good idea to step the protection up a notch. Full reports next time on how effective this treatment was. I'm sure you're all riveted.

I know I keep saying it, but pictures next time.

2 comments:

thomas said...

Kami-bam bam thats so awsome to hear you are doing so well ..I hope your mosquito treatments work.
I think you should have left your hair in corn rolls ..it sounds fun,and after all you are haveing a great adventure .so go with the flow .....as for B.O. try descretley leaving some little bottles of old spice on the seats ...hehhehe that should do the trick.

Momma Shawn said...

My Kami... Miss you. You're blog is adoreable. What a sense of humor girl! I'm all about what you're experiencing! Couldn't be more proud or happy for you. I know you will be blessed but also those lives you touch. Love you baby girl, Momma Shawn XO