Song of the Day: Love Like a Sunset (Phoenix) “Here comes…a visible horizon”
Wow, where to begin?! There are so many things that I could write about. And I don’t even know where to start. How about from the beginning? That’s usually the most logical. But I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll go in sequential order. So many thoughts! Oye.
Well, last last week, I was in Dar for a few days. This was not due to PC scheduling. It was an impromptu journey (nothing is wrong, no worries) that started on Wednesday. I’d been fending off a cold and cough that was getting progressively worse. After a few weeks, my LCF convinced me to call the PCMO (Peace corps medical officer/doctor) and so I did. I first called on Monday and he was pretty sure it was because of all the dust here. Tanzania is insanely dusty because of the few roads that are paved and the nonexistence of sidewalks. Also, it’s the dry season, so little little rain. It has rained maybe like 2 times since I’ve been in Moro that I’ve known of. So, I went home early on Monday from Kiswahili class. Then, on Tuesday I had a class to teach at 8, but I felt like crap. So I went to school, but when the doctor called and I told him how I was, he said to go home and rest (I didn’t have a temp though) so I taught like 2/3’s of my class and then turned it over to Bola, the other bio PCT, and he finished it. So, when I woke up on Wed, I decided to wait for the dr to call before going to school because I was sick of going home early. So at 8, he called and I told him about how I was feeling pretty decent, still coughing quite a bit but less of a headache and such. But I also told him how I’d felt a bit of wheezing yesterday, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. Well, he told me he’d call me back in an hour, which he did and said, he’d like to bring me into Dar. I was pretty surprised, but was not about to protest a trip to Dar and change of scenery. So, I ended up getting picked up at like 1:00 by a PC vehicle and they drove me like 1.5 hrs to the halfway point to Dar, which is Chalinze. We switched over cars and I ran into Matt, another PCT who was in Dar for a medical checkup on his foot b/c he’d sprained it. He was headed back to Moro. So I made it into downtown Dar (called Posta) by about 4:30/5 because of all the traffic, and they dropped he at my hotel, Safari Inn.
Now, I should also explain, one of my best friends here, Huong, had recently had her stuff stolen from her home. While the rate of violence is low in Tanzania, because this is still a third world country, poverty is high…thus theft is high. So, while Huong was in her homestay house, her family was robbed and she lost all her stuff. Literally eveything except clothes and books. Poor poor girl. We all felt so awful and have tried to chip in as best we could. But, since this happened Sunday night, she’s been taken to the PC headquarters there and was staying with some PCV’s that were COS-ing (close of service). So, I discovered that her hotel (Econo Lodge) was right next to mine in town. So, after stopping at my room, I ran…actually more like slid…into a big hug with her at her hotel. I was SO happy to see her. She is one of the most relaxed, chill, easy-going people you’ll ever meet, so she was taking it so well, but I was really happy that I could be there for her too. So she actually crashed in my bed (after some awesome Indian food at Mambo’s on the corner…omg so yum) that night at Safari before we both got picked up by PC in the morning. I went to see the dr, and she went to have her usual rounds of talks with the country director and security people there. Everyone was giving her a lot of support and freedom, which was really great. When I saw the dr, he said that she was such a strong girl and taking it really well, which I could’ve agreed with more. So, we did my checkup and he told me that he was really just worried, since I’d mentioned wheezing, that I’d had asthma. After listening to my lungs, he said I was fine, just probably allergic to the dust and maybe pollen. So he gave me some allergy meds, and we went to chat more about training in his office (the PCMO’s here are really friendly and nice…its pretty great).
So, during training, they’d told us that if anything bad ever happened, or if we just really really needed a break from site, we could go stay with another PCV for support. And, me and Huong had been mentioning how we’d wished I could just stay until Friday, when we all had site announcements at Moro. So, I decided to see what the drs would say if I asked. I mentioned to my PCMO that I was really close to Huong and, if she wanted me there for more support, could I stay? He said that be very likely, checked with the other PCMO and then, finally, upon my suggestion, double checked with Huong, who responded that that would be “awesome” : ) We were so happy. No only was I missing the last of my Kiswahili and getting to hang around Dar, but I got to be with one of the bestest people in the world and help her through a hard time. So that day, after hanging out at the headquarters for a while and swapping some books, using internet, and chatting it up with the PCV’s who happened to be around, we went with Veronica, an Ed volunteer in Singida, to Sea Cliff, a poshy area of Dar with a mall (Shock!) and really nice resorts and the most American looking super market I’ve seen in TZ. It was awesome. They even sold donuts. I don’t even like donuts, but seeing them was super inspiring. So, we had some yummy Thai food (OMG Thai) and then I bought some wine and really good chocolate (Black and Green…ginger flavor, Huong’s fav…omg so good) that we both had when we finally found our way back to the hotel. Then, opting for seeing Harry Potter 7, Part 2 (heck to the yes!) over eating dinner, we punguza bei’d…aka haggled for a taxi and drove 30 minutes outside town to this snazzy…for TZ…movie theater with a lot of other PCV’s and watched HP 7 II, in 3D. OMG amazing. It was such a great day. Then, Huong and me passed out while watching Arrested Development in the hotel room at like 1am. It was great.
The next day we went back to Moro with the country director, Andrea and several current PCV’s. We were super sleep deprived from waking up at 5am to pick everyone up that me and Huong were pretty quiet. We stopped at Chalinze, ate some great chapati (we were STARVING at the that point since we hadn’t eaten dinner and missed breakfast at the hotel b/c we left so early. So anything we ate at that point, which was like 10am, would’ve been awesome. Me and Huong had also resorted an hour ealier to texting everyone we knew really well in our group to save us maandazi and eggs and whatever at chai…we always get chai which is like tea and a second breakfast, when we have training days at CCT). ANYWAYS : ) we arrived back at CCT just in time to start site announcements.
Next chapter: site announcements!!!! What up, Tz!?