Monday, April 27, 2009

I rode one last daladala

Riding on a daladala is a new experience each time. But sometimes you're just more focused on the dala in front of your own, and giggling about the huge, flashy sticker on its back windshield.
Obama ni Bomba!
Home Boyz
Super Man
King of Glory
Bad Boyz
Sweet Animal

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Places I Have Peed

In the grass by the side of the road outside of the "Professor's Lounge" (it was dark).
With blades of grass poking my ass at a village bus stop outside of Iringa town (broad daylight).
Into a hole the size of two bricks that was somehow made in the middle of a slab of concrete.
In a hut that wasn't tall enough for me to stand up in (it was complicated).
All over my right foot, but I was aiming for a bus stop restaurant's squat toilet (this happened on multiple accounts).
It looked like a fun concrete winding slide for pee- I don't know where it led.
Lots and lots of times in the computer center :D
In the pool at our hotel in Zanzibar (so glad to finally get that off my chest!)
Below the cafeterias on campus- the absolute worst smelling place you can imagine.
On almost every floor of my dorm, usually on account of walking up stairs with a full bladder is painful.
With Mary listening.
With Mary watching.
With Mary talking to me.
All over myself when a half-squat over a western toilet went horribly wrong with ricochet action.
In the US Embassy (it flushed automatically!!! AND there were paper towels).
Everywhere I've ever drunken a Safari.
NOT in the ocean.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It Smells Like

There is your own personal crystal clear waterfall just one inch in front of your face. Behind that waterfall there is a bouquet of aromatic flowers, all the blooms facing the falling water. Every time an air pocket breaks the stream, a whiff of the pedals behind rushes through to greet your nose. As you breathe in, pause, and exhale, the water falls in a solid stream, and it seems just as you are ready for another breath a small bubble in the water erupts again allowing for the scent from the flowers to slip through. You know the flowers are there. For the most part you’re content seeing the water sparkle, but on occasion when you get a glimpse of the flowers beyond through a tiny air pocket… that’s when you can forget your desire for the next deep breath.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

And Then, co-authored by Tacy and Adrienne

So we finally left the dorm after noon and went to buy provisions for later that night
and then we got on a daladala and headed to Ubungo,
and then boarded a daladala to Posta and I slept the whole way
and then Tacy held Adrienne's head so it wouldn't wobble around
and then, waking up in a daze, we all bought ice cream
and then we got on the ferry and crossed the bay
and then we awkwardly flustered within a crowd and a man had to walk us to the correct place to catch our next dala
and then we boarded that dala and lazily entertained the boys trying to speak to us in Swahili, Mary gave one her number
and then we walked and bought juice and water at a small storefront
and then we continued walking as the dirt road curved to the right and eventually came to the beach
and then we walked down a small path to the beach as grasshoppers hopped around our feet
and then we ended up following a dreaded rastadude, named Captain, to a half-built hotel
and then we saw a small room, with one bed, no water, but AC and a fan, and a mirror coffee table
and then we tried to bargain and failed
and then Tacy broke the fan, and we thought there was no light
and then we went to the beach and swam with all the jelly fish and Tanzanian men that had decided to latch on
and then Mary left and took a walk on the beach with the boy from the dala
and then Captain tossed a live jelly fish onto the beach... then everyone poked it
and then Tacy and Adrienne made chipati sandwiches by wrapping up parachichi with steer's salt on the beach
and then somehow the sun set and we decided we needed to find Mary. Captain smelled her out.
and then we drank safaris at a bar on the beach where we met a Canadian that is in the mining business
and then we drank a bottle of wine...
and then we...
and then I danced a lot to Bob Marely by myself on the dance floor... 'cept for there were two other people, though they weren't invited to dance with me
and then we moved the party to the beach, one man brought a jembe and everyone brought their voices
and then a man in a white wife beater, glowing in the moonlight, with fine dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail underneath a hat, rapped in Swahili to the beat of the drum
and then, for just a few moments, I was mesmerized by how bright the moon was and how I didn't think I had control over keeping the beat of the drum with my hips
and then we all decided to jump in the ocean again
and then we floated on our backs and looked at the stars
and then Captain threw me over his shoulder and ran into the water while I was kicking and screaming, Tacy told him to put me down
and then we swam to shore and danced in the moonlight just a little more!
and then the three of us girls began our trek back to the unfinished hotel where we were the only guests- two of the Tanzanians walked with us, how "sweet" of them.
and then we drunkenly ate bread with peanut butter by my flashlight and swiss army knife
and then we all went to sleep in the same bed, with our sandy feet hanging off the end
and then we woke up in a sandy mess of a bed and Mary had a headache
and then we headed back to the beach for a girls-only morning swim (plus the jelly fish)
and then we lathered each other with suntan lotion but were still convinced we were burning at ten o'clock in the morning
and then we began our journey home: the ferry, multiple dalas, and a good nap on the ride to Mwenge
and then we TOOK SHOWERS!!!
and then we looked back, tried to remember the events of the night passed, and narrated all that we could recall in "and then" format

Friday, April 3, 2009

Conversation of the Week

"Oh my god, did I tell you that I left toilet paper in a national park?! But... I figured it would disintegrate." -Friend to remain unnamed

"Yeah definitely, probably really fast too if it was touching your radioactive shit." -me

"It was neon green and yellow... Man, I hope my guide didn't see me shit behind that bush."-Friend to remain unnamed

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things I’ve Learned About Living in Tanzania

Riding in a bajaji is a cheap way to get an adrenalin rush

Men here know how to move their hips. Damn. But, even if they had hair, they wouldn't know how to flip it.

Running out of laundry soap is like playing with fire

Anything you consider your property is for communal use by anyone who enters your room

It’s hard to differentiate between groping and an attempt at “informal redistribution of wealth”

Salt is necessary with every meal

Sometimes the shower is dirtier than you

A Hot Pink Sports Bra and Gray Plaid Short Shorts

Today's rule: I can't go downstairs until I wash my sheets. Ug.
A set of twin sheets in a wet soapy heap stared at me from the bright blue tub, about one and half feet in diameter. I attempted to mentally prepare myself for the wrist pain ahead.
By the end of the scrubbing ordeal I had changed the water four times before it finally ran clean... I'm not sure which round of water landed me with soaked pj shorts, but I'd like to think that it was at least the water from the 3rd or 4th bucket. Success! My "clean" sheets are now hanging in the hallway outside my room, flapping in the wind against the dirty walls.