Things I never thought I'd say...

I was in the middle of writing that last post on Monday and there was a blackout at the hotel, so I wasn't able to finish it. I just went ahead and posted it and figured I'd move on.

Tuesday and today were indeed better at school. Yesterday i was sure i was going to kill someone before the day was over. But I didn't, and in fact, my evening ended very nicely. The kids were still jerks. African kids are just like American kids --- too cool for school. We had a guest speaker who was HIV+ come and talk yesterday, but it was not so good. in complete disregard for the ABCs of HIV prevention (abstinence, be faithful, correct and consistent condom use), he talked about how he carries condoms so when he meets a cute girl he's prepared...but he's married. he said you should be monogamous, but if you don't practice what you preach, then it makes you invalid as a source, right? I was proud that one of the kids in my class called him on it. We told GSC they ought to screen their speakers more thoroughly. Item number 263 on my complaints about GSC list. He also said that they way to stay healthy when you have HIV is to avoid drinking alcohol (okay, good), have less sex (okay, maybe) because you get rid of too much protein that you need when you are sick (okay, no, not at all), and don't work very hard (right). Thanks, Emanuel! great talk. at least he got a few good points across, but overall I give him a C-.
Yesterday afternoon, however, i went to the Shoprite, which is basically the wazungu supermarket, and bought food to make my family dinner. I made them burritos. Hilarious. First, flour tortillas were 11,900 shilingi, which is about $10. All in all, I spent 50,000 shilingi at the grocery store to feed my 7 host family members (mama, baba, kaka Meshack, kids Victor and Veronica, the housegirl Dora, and myself). Meshack loved the burritos and ate two of them. Mama looked disturbed. Although she told me she liked it through tight lips. she said it includes all of the food groups, which was true! I had tortillas, meat with taco seasoning, onions and tomatoes, which I cooked over charcoal since the power was out, green and red peppers, onions, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa. Mama took one look at the bowl of shredded cheese and said, "What is this?!" ah, it was great. not only were the burritos delicious (yes, I ate the flour tortillas...i figured one wouldn't hurt, and i had to demonstrate how to eat it!) and I was thrilled to eat Mexican food, but the whole situation brought me much happiness. Meshack took pictures of everyone eating. I'll be sure to share them later. My mama also picked up my skirts and bag i had made at the tailor from congas, and when I got to the bus this morning wearing one, one of the Tanzanian counterparts said i looked like a mwafrika. I said thank you very much, i was trying to fit in.

Today at school things were going better. we played Jeopardy to review everythign we have taught so far and it took two hours. They loved it. But my absolute favorite part of the day is this:

We usually eat lunch at Noon. It was about 12:10 and still the food hadn't arrived. Then one of the counterparts, Regina, came in and said we'd be eating at 12:30 and told us why...

I realized how many times I've joked at a restaurant when the food takes so long, "what, did they have to go out back and slaughter the cow themselves?"

Yes. Our lunch was delayed because the slaughter took too long. I love Africa. I'll never look at a goat the same again.

Second favorite thing I said today that I thought I'd never say is "Tomorrow I think we should grab some sugar cane and an avocado pit and teach the kids to play baseball."


Kyle and I are usually in charge of music and drama, but music and drama kinda runs itself now that they're rehearsing plays and songs for graduation next week. So we offered to do sports today. You have to walk about 10 minutes to the nearby primary school to use their field. I played frisbee with a couple kids, and Kyle taught them how to play American football. All I know is that in a middle of a throw I hear from down the field "Gooooo...DEFENSE!" Unbelievable. and they loved it. So maybe baseball tomorrow. but you have to buy sugarcane cause you eat it here. It's perfect. Nothing like playing some American baseball and chewing on the bat when you're done. Fitting, don't you think?

I must say, I'm really getting used to this place. And everyone here thinks I'm 21. It's awesome. Arusha is growing on me, indeed. I'm afraid it won't be enough time to spend here. It takes two weeks just to get acclimated to the way things are. I love that i take a bath in a bucket and bargain for everything I buy. I think it's hilarious when I get my weekly Arden B. sale announcement emails as I sit here in my dusty tennis shoes and skirt made for 5000 shilingi. The thought of air conditioning makes me sad. everyone is sick here (and i am getting it) because it's soooo cold. It's 60 degrees in the morning but to Tanzanians it might was well be 6 below. They're freezing. My mama sits with coals by her feet to warm her when I'm wearing a t-shirt. She thinks we're all sick because of the weather. I know it's because her granddaughter coughs in my face without covering her mouth. Repeatedly and frequently. My baba was in bed all day yesterday with a fever. The whole house is sneezing. I think perhaps my greatest contribution to the public's health in Arusha, Tanzania is going to be teaching the Mboga family how to cough and sneeze into their elbow. What am I doing here? Saving lives, of course. :)

1 Response on "Things I never thought I'd say..."

  1. Lindsay says:

    I'm glad your week is getting better at school. The kind of high you get from teaching is just so cool (at least in my experience). But the lows can be utterly defeating. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about teaching can be the days when it's more about managing the class than learning. It's hard, but I hope you keep remembering that you ARE making a difference in these kids' lives. You're already disspelling so many myths and providing information that no one else will give them. You're having fun together and building trust. That's so cool! Asante sana, mwafrika!