I am so happy to see the weekend. I was telling Sam the other night that I feel like I live here. He couldn't understand how I would feel that way after to weeks, and it sounds strange, I'm sure, but I think it's because I work here. I get up every morning and have a job to go to. I have a family i live with, and I have to be home for dinner at a certain time. It feels like living, not visiting. And along with working every day comes looking forward to the weekends.

Tomorrow we're getting an early bus and heading to Moshi, where Kilimanjaro is. I'll be doing a day hike there, which is basically the same hike that one would do the first day of climbing Kili if they were doing the whole thing, but we'll likely come back down. We may spend the night on the mountain, but that's expensive, and you have to bring your own food and such, and we'd rather go back to the hotel that supposedly has a restaurant/bar on the roof and a forex bureau (not that I need one, but that's exciting) and just chill. I can't wait to sleep in on Sunday, which probably means I'll sleep until 7. and, I think the hotel will have a shower. Huzzah.

School has been better. There were a few instances where we discussed subjects that got them really excited. One of them being gender roles. Man did they get riled up about that. they also insisted that both men and women cook equally in Tanzania, which is, pardon my French, a load of crap. We had them put their heads down and raise their hand if a woman cooked their dinner the night before, and all but 6 raised their hand. Those 6 said they had both a woman and a man cook. None had a man cook. The boys also insisted that only men could be doctors. It was a great exercise, all in all, and really cool to see them finally get excited about something. the same happened today with two other subjects: talking about sex with your parents, which I had to teach, and I am far from the right person to teach this. I never really talked about sex with my parents, and I surely don't think kids in Tanzania would even dare. So I turned it into talking to their parents about what they've been learning at day camp, which is a roundabout way of talking about sex and HIV. i also talked about being assertive with their parents when it comes to certain situations, like parents trying to marry off their daughters for a dowry, female circumcision, or simply trying to keep their daughters at home to work instead of going to school, which were all good subjects to discuss. This turned into a discussion of what else can you be assertive with your parents about, and unfortunately several of the kids brought up that their parents are drunks and keep them from doing well in school, which was sad. Luckily, their teacher (who often sits int eh back of class and takes notes because she said she'll be teaching some of this in school) proposed solutions to the issue. The class also loved an exercise where they got to tell stories about their role models. Finally, the human knot game actually kept them so enthralled that they were late to lunch. I had never played this game, but apparently of you were ever a camp counselor, you know it.

I also tried sporting a khanga (I'm slowly learning how to spell everything correctly) in the traditional way today, just wrapped around my waist. It's ankle length, and I wore pants under it, but I was late to the office this morning cause I didn't realize you couldn't walk fast in a khanga. It all makes sense know why the Tanzanian women walk so slowly. It's not because they're carrying things on their heads (which is totally amazing to watch)...it's because they wear khangas. I did, however, have less flycathcers talk to me, except the few that told me I looked like mama mwafrika.

Pretty uneventful for the most part today. I lead art today, which basically means I sat in the room while kids did art. But, i fashioned myself some knitting needles out of pencils and knitted a fancy-looking wrist cuff for one of the counterparts, Patrick Paul. He loved it. I didn't tell him the yarn was really girly. he didn't care. he sauntered off wearing his jean jacket with the collar popped up and a red and black fluffy cuff on his wrist. Priceless.

We're having dinner/drinks for the last night of our lone Frenchman. I best git. Hope to write again after my Kili experience, which I'm sure will be totally incredible. That is if I survive the busride to Moshi. It seems like every night there is a bus crash on the news where you see a bus on fire. My baba strongly suggested we take a hired car, but that costs about $200, where the bus is 1500 shilingi. That's about $1.25. Here's hoping. I dont' want to die in Tanzania tomorrow! Sipendi kufa na Tanzania kesho!

Don't worry, I'm sure I won't...

2 Responses on "T.G.I.F."

  1. Catherine says:

    Your observations are great! Hilarious and point on. I love the issues you are raising with the students you are teaching. There was an article in the June AJPH titled, "The Inevitability of Infidelity," about combating HIV. Kind of depressing, but we might as well know what we're up against, right?

    Lindsay says:

    Just curious...what were the solutions the teacher suggested? Those kids are up against a lot!