Saturday, 27 August 2011

Written via candlelight...and my laptop

So Manyara has been improving fast. Today was the best day by far (although, since I’ve only had 3 days here, it didn’t have much competition). First of all, me and the PCV I’m replacing have been getting along really really well. Ever since the first night, we’ve talked a lot more and I think she’s coming to realize that I’m not horrid to live with. : ) Oh, the relief! So, to start off today, I washed my clothes (I really therapeutic activity when you have your own space and time to do it in) and downed 2 cups of coffee (thank you, Starbucks VIA). Then, we headed into the village to look for food and little necessities like locks, kerosene and soap. I meet some of the mama’s she usually buys her stuff from. I can’t wait to go into the my banking town, Katesh, soon and explore there. I’ve been texting/talking to some of the other PCV’s in my area and they sound so cool and excited to meet me (that probably sounds lame to a current Westerner, but here, it kinda just sounds normal). So nice to hear : ) It’s one of their birthday’s next weekend, so I guess that there’s a little get together in the region for that. Should be awesome. So, after town, we went to the Mkuu (headmaster)’s house for lunch and I meet his family. While we were waiting for lunch, I played hide-n-seek for a bit with his youngest daughter, Happy, and chatted with him and his wife. They were really welcoming. I think I got really lucky getting this Mkuu. He’s been nothing but accommodating and patient with me so far. Two very good things for sure. Seeing him interact with the school will be interesting, but also beneficial none-the-less. That should start Monday or Wednesday…depending on when some holiday begins. (It’s so very very Tanzanian that there is a national holiday this weekend, but the exact date of it has yet to be determined. Apparently we’ll find out tomorrow. Karibu…well, you know.) So, after lunch, we “pumzika’d” a bit and I chatted with the next door neighbors before taking in my clothes. They invited us to dinner later that night and also offered to buy me the beans that we’ve searched unsuccessfully for in town today. The community vibe is so strong in Tanzania. So, after we got home and I started to sort out little details like organizing my room again, we baked carrot cake and then went on a hike. She showed me a great running trail and I had a spectacular view of the mountain, Mt. Hanang, and the sunset in the other direction. There were beautiful, albeit small, rolling hills and some pretty, albeit thorny, vegetation. I didn’t get the most green of sites, but I’m learning to appreciate it nonetheless. Me and Charlotte had some really great in depth conversations about PC and then life in general and it was a really nice walk. Afterwards, we arrived home to a cake that’d finished baking perfectly (so delish!) and then we went over next door for dinner. The Mama over there, called Mama Tom or Mama Tobias, is SO friendly and easy going. Almost every word out of her mouth is “hamna shida” (no worries) and her kids are especially adorable. We joked about spiders and robbers and kiduku and it was really great. They are also Roman Catholic, so perhaps in the future I’ll go to church with them. So, currently, I’m typing this via candlelight and basking in the glory of my 3rd day at site. Success, I would say. And I’m just trying to remember that I will have down days in the future too, but something good will happen eventually. I just have to be patient patient patient. Goodness, I’ll be so patient when I return to the US that I won’t know what to do with myself. Okay, good night for now. All my love. I miss you all loads. Upendo - Steph

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