Tuesday, 23 August 2011

"Kila frickin' siku"

Today, we were shuttled, like the sheltered PCT’s that we’ve been treated as, between the Msimbazi Center and the Peace Corps office. It was really great being there again because you always run into current PCV’s who are super friendly and willing to share stories. And the food was awesome. Good thing they gave us huge plates because we were served like 10 different options. So delish. I’ve never come to appreciated soda the way that I do here. When sugar is so rare in food, you take what you can get and the soda here tastes 10x better than anything in the States since they use real sugar. If we have really lucky days, we get a packet of peanut M&M’s. It’s like the biggest luxury. Funny the things that you come to appreciate when you leave home behind.

So anyways, we went over PC policy and procedure for a whole day and by the end were just so tired and ready to go relax. So, while it was really great to see Andrea and be reintroduced to the staff again (they are all so honest and helpful so far), we were just so sick of being told thing after thing after thing. After the sessions finally ended, while we were waiting for the buses to bring us back to Msimbazi Center, I went to find the PCMO who helped me when I first came to Dar. He was so nice and I wanted to see how he was doing and tell him that I was feeling completely recovered. I thought he’d be happy to see that. So, I went to the medical office, and he chatted for a bit and talked about the US. Apparently he has a sister that just moved to Chicago a year ago and loves it there. I told him it was well worth the trip (goodness I love the city). Then, he asked me about my site and how I was feeling about it. I told him about my nerves but that I was hoping I’d find plenty to love too. Then, afterwards, I left the office to find out where to mail my postcards. Apparently, you can just talk to the drivers and they’ll take care of it, as I found out. Good news : )

When we got back to the Msimbazi center, I ventured outside the compound with Huong and Shaheena to find a large bag to pack my stuff in (I’ve gained a LOT of stuff since coming in country between the books that PC gave us, the medical supplies and my just general book hoarding abilities…gotta have some good reads). After asking about 4 duka shop keepers, I finally found one about 5 min down the road that sell bags. I had only brought 2,500Tsh in hopes to bargain it down. Usually they are between 2,000-3,000. So when we finally found some (I chose the one with “Africa” written in obnoxiously big letters”) the shop keeper said it’d cost 2,500. You’d think that I’d be happy with that, but I never take someone’s first price here so I told him, I wanted to pay 2,000. He smiled and said no and then I proceeded to ask him which one he’d chose and he said he liked them both. So I handed him 2,000, took the bag that I liked and he didn’t object. Yeah, welcome to Africa. : ) Later I showed Hannah the same place because she needed a bag too. Goodness, we’ve gotten a lot of stuff.

Tomorrow we get to meet our heads of schools (called a “Mkuu”) and I’m more nervous about that then swearing in. This is the real deal. Our “bosses” per day for the next 2 years. And treating your elders with respect is highly valued in TZ so I’ll need to be on my best behavior. Oye. So much work : )

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