Habari Gani? It has certainly been a busy, busy weekend! I can’t believe it went by so fast, it feels like it should still be Saturday! Right now I’m in my house watching the “Best of R&B” in the living room (aka old R. Kelly and Boyz II Men videos) while Ash is getting her hair braided since we’ve had power for the last 24 hours-woohoooo! I think I might get my hair braided just for fun, although I guess it’s hard to do white hair since it is slippery but a weave might just be a fun thing to try. Anyways, Friday was half more introductory things and then we had our first lab which was building an extension cord that we’ll be using in the future at our hospitals. I can now hold a basic introductory conversation with how are you, my name is, I’m from America, etc. Saturday was a long day of group bonding in Tengeru and Lake Deluti. We went to a coffee plantation where we were shown coffee bean plants as well as banana, avocado, passion fruit and orange trees. Then, we got a tutorial of how to make your very own cup of coffee by drying, peeling, roasting, and grinding the beans and finally boiling it all in water. Unfortunately, I still don’t like coffee! We then headed to Lake Deluti where we hiked around the entire lake and got my first sighting of Mt. Meru J. Lake Deluti was very interesting because it used to be a place of sacrifice with the local tribes and is still a sort of religious sanctuary where people go to pray in silence. I am very excited to start working in the Mt. Meru Hospital- I still can’t pronounce my partner’s name quite right (Soren), but I am working on it, the Dane’s definitely have a much different way of pronouncing things. Today I made my first visit to Arusha with the help of my host sister and learned how big of a city it really is! So many streets filled with shops and cars. Luckily, with Ash and Anna blending in with the crowd we didn’t get hassled. I am excited for this week to learn more Swahili and get into bigger labs/medical equipment. Favorite phrase of these last couple days is “Hodi Hodi!” which you say whenever you are entering a house even if it’s your own, I like the ring to itJ I will probably update this every 3 days or so because I’m going to be very busy studying and don’t have internet unless I’m at the center. I should be getting a phone Monday or Tuesday to finally call home
Hujambo!? Well, since I had no idea what to expect upon my arrival in Tanzania, last night and today were quite exciting and answered a lot of questions! Before the flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, about 15 of the EWH members were all grouped together so I was relieved to know I couldn’t get lost from there. Although slow, everything went smoothly with getting a Visa and finding my bags (of course if you are from the U.S. visas are $50 more than if you are from Europe- lame!). After that we all packed up on a bus and headed to the TCDC Language Center (where I will be every day during the week for my classes and training). There we had to find the host parent who had our name on a sign around our neck! So there I met Mama Jones, put my bags in the car and headed to her house. I now have 2 host dada (sisters), Anna and Amena, as well as a kaka (brother), John :D. We have barely had any electricity so far since there has been some type of power shortage due to a lack of maji (water)- which means we also don’t have running water. I took my first bucket shower since last summer and was proud to see that I still have pretty good aim from all the latrine practice I got last year J . I have one other EWH member sharing a room with me. Ash-girl is from Zimbabwe and has been going to school at Duke for two years-it’s been fun comparing things we normally do and learning about what things are similar or different from here and her home. This morning we arrived at TCDC on a dala dala (the equivalence of a Kenyan matatu) which is about a 10 minute ride in a super crowded van for 200 shillings (about 15 cents!), Mama Jones showed us how the system works so we can go ride by ourselves from now on. Today we started our first classes with an introductory to Kiswahili and what to expect the next couple of weeks along with a tour of all the facilities at the language school. I am very excited to start doing the labs and maybe even being able to understand some of the conversations at the dinner table! This weekend EWH has a planned all day group activity on Saturday and I think I’ll be going to church to see what it is like! So I will probably be posting again on Monday when I have internet access. My favorite phrase of the day was Mambo- the Tanzanian “What’s up”? With a response of Poa, Safi, or Dole (cool, clean, or thumbs up) I am realllllyy excited to get to know everyone and learn more and more! Tutaonana !
Well I don't have too much time to write today because my dada (host sister!) is picking us up to go back to the house. I can't wait to post pictures of the village I am living in, Makumera and then the training center where we take our classes. I plan on taking pictures tonight and after classes tomorrow I will post again since this is the only time I have access to internet or power.
So I cannot believe I only have one week left until I leave for Tanzania! I'll be gone from June 21st to August 23rd! The past month and a half have flown by as usual and now is the time I really have to make sure I have everything ready for the trip. It's crazy thinking when I get back I only have four days to prepare for my trip back to New Orleans and yet another semester begins! I booked my flight last week ($120 JetBlue- awesome deal!) after finalizing that I won't be taking my car back to school next semester. It's a bummer but it's just too expensive with keeping it safe on campus, gas prices, and random mishaps. Regardless I know next semester will be great! Anyways, I finally got my Malarone and Cipro prescriptions as well as the passport photos necessary to receive the Tanzanian residency permit to work in the hospital. I'm also excited that at least 7 other EWH participants will be on my flight from Amsterdam to Tanzania so it is comforting to know that I'll be with my fellow maroon t-shirts arriving! I think all I need to do now is finalize my packing list and maybe get one nicer outfit for working in the hospital since it's common to see everyone nicely dressed in khakis/button ups. Last week I visited Colin one last time for the year which was really fun. While he was working in the classroom I decided to draw the picture of the ostrich from safari last year that I had posted earlier and it was pretty fun! Props again to Mr. Losi for drawing class in high school :D In the slideshow below you can see my drawing and pictures from Webb and the Gatsby party they have every year including a lobster dinner and jazz music. I will probably post one last time in the U.S. then hopefully be blogging a bunch in Tanzania.
Go to www.kupikiatanzania.com for all the details on my cookbook!!!