Saturday, 30 July 2011

A Day in the Life (Yes, that’s a Beatles reference)

Today started pretty boringly. It was Saturday so I had to go to school still to learn Kiswahili (but no teaching to students...they don’t come on weekends). My host fam left for church super early and I ate chai alone while writing letters. I was in the middle of one when I realized I should get ready for class but, alas, I decided to pull a “Tanzanian” and be late so that I could take my time and finish the letter. This turned out to be a good move because I didn’t miss a thing. Kiswahili class is crazy slow and super self-study oriented now so I just grabbed my notecards and book when I got there and tried to catch up (talking to teachers and staying home on Wednesday has left me a bit behind on book work). So, half way through class, some of the PCV’s visiting for PC sessions visited and we talked for a while. Around 12 we finished up lessons and half our CBT met with the other nearby to walk to town. We met up with most of the other CBT’s in town at the Beach Restaurant, which has good cheap Tanzanian food. After the wonderful debacle of splitting up the bill (the fact we even got a printed receipt was pretty impressive…but of course it wasn’t itemized at all…just the total 24,500 Tsh for 7 people. That’s 3500/person…aka 2.50 USD. Yeah. : ) ) we split up and me and Hannah, shaheenah and Tiff went looking for fabric and to stop at the Post office/Bank. The fabric was for a Khanga (I’ve explained in earlier posts what this is). The Khanga comes with 2 sheets that you just cut in half and have a fundi sew up the edges for like 20cents. So, next week at CCT we are going to do a khanga swap where all the girls who want to join will bring half of a khanga and do like an white elephant thing to trade. I can’t wait : ) Each khanga is about 6000 Tsh, or 4USD, so super cheap. Okay, so let’s see, where was I. Oh, right, so after, we met up again with the whole group, about 25 PCT’s and several PCV’s at a bar and just relaxed. I was super tired by this point, so sitting was great. Afterwards, some went home but all the cool people (jk jk jk) went to a field about 15 minutes away that was open and we played Frisbee, soccer and just talked. It was super awesome and chill. Just want I needed after the long week at Kola Hill and being Kiswahili’d out. Some kids from the school nearby joined (I have no idea why they were there since there are no formal classes on Sat) and showed us their impressions of a sharobaro and kiduku. So great. Goodness, Tanzania, sometimes you are so unfail its awesome. The energy of the kids here is just inspiring. They are just so happy to be around you and play…despite the fact that it’s usually with a soccer ball made of crumpled and rubber banded plastic bags. So, afterwards, I walked with Steve back to Kingalu/Kola Hill area and we ran into Athena from his CBT who is just so friendly and awesome and she showed me this sweet sweet fabric from a nearby tribe here (I think its spelled Missai but don’t hold me to that). It was gorgeous. And she was so proud of it. So cute. Then, we split and I grabbed my bike from Mama Gills, where I store it when I bike to Kola Hill and go into town after, and said hi to Mama, John (the PCT staying there) and Babu. On the way out I saw Clement, Mama’s son, playing pool and we chatted for a minute. Clement is crazy good at English and also operates a blog (Ladies Stuff Zone) on Blogger that aimed to, well, deal with anything from celebrity news to the hottest shoes to more, er, mature topics. It’s pretty amusing how cheesy some of the stuff he posts is but at the same time, he’s pretty serious and into it, so its super amusing to look at. It’s like a mix of Cosmo/People magazines but online. So, from there I biked home and passed the kids who always yell “mzungu” and wave profusely, the corner of pikipiki drivers and the young kid who works at the duka on side of my street. It was “Habari?!” for all of them and then I sped home, ready to relax. When I got home, we had guests and I said hi quickly before going inside to chill with Lighty and Justa and read a kids book on learning Kiswahili. Eventually, I went into help Rogers finish dishes and peel oranges before showering. Now, I just wind down the minutes before I turn on another episode of Arrested Development and pass out. I’m going through these episodes so much faster than I anticipated, perhaps because it’s the only DVD’s I brought. Oops. Alas, I’m in the process of trying to hijack some from my friends so hopefully this won’t be the case for long.
I’ve been asked a bit about things to send (if you are interested in sending a package…which is awesome and you should know that I’ll write you the most gratuitous thank you) and compiled a little list. These are all completely suggestions, just things that I would’ve brought if I’d known how useful they’d be and if I’d actually had any room in my suitcase. Also, some of the things (like stickers and embroidery thread/floss) are totally small enough to fit in envelopes/letters. So, here goes:
Kid’s stickers
Colored pens/pencils
Embroidery thread/floss for making friendship bracelets
Frisbee
Magazines
Candy/Chocolate
Hand sanitizer
Vegetable Peeler
Granola Bars ( eg. Clif bars, Kind bars, Fiber One)
Soynuts / Dried edamame
Raisins
Gum
A mixed CD
Paperback books
Any DVD’s
Coloring books
Crayons/Markers
Toys/prizes for kids
Degree Deodorant (Men’s, solid)
Toothbrushes
Pantene conditioner
Probiotics (Florastor)
Leggings (black)
White tanks or camis
CD player that uses AA batteries (mine mysteriously broke…but if you know my track record with electronics, this will not surprise you in the least *)

And that’s that for now. Just all ideas so no pressure, hamna shida.

*Side note: Since being here, I have dropped my Ipod in water twice and it’s still rocking…granted the battery life stinks. My camera, which has also been dropped in water too, however, is currently dysfunctional. Oye. Such is life.

Ratiba kwa kesho (schedule for tomorrow)

6:30am – amka / wake up
7:15am- kunywa chai asubuhi / eat breakfast
7:30-8:30 – andika barua au soma kitabu /write letters or read a book
8:30-11:30 – fua nguo / wash clothes
11:30-12:30 – kimbia polepole / go running
12:30-1:00 –Oga/ Shower
1:00-1:30 – Kula chakula mchana / Eat lunch
1:30-2:30 – Safiri mjini na kihonda / travel to town and then kihonda
2:30-5:00 – Kunywa chai na rafiki zangu nymbani ya Dave na kuzunguma / Drink tea with my friends at Dave’s house and talk
5:00-6:00- Rudi nyumbani / Return home
6:00-7:00 – Pika na familia yangu / cook with my family
7:00-8:00- Andaa masomo kwa Jumatatu / Lesson plan
8:00-8:30- Kula chakula jioni / Eat dinner
8:30 – 9:30 – Maliza masomo / Finish lessons
9:30 – 10:00 – Angalia Arrested Development na lala / Watch Arrested and sleep

The end. Woot.

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