Thursday, November 13, 2008

this fucking nauseasness sucks

its seriously kicking my ass. this will be the second attempt to get all the photos up that fails. its coming soon. ive only got about 5 more i want up and then i'll give this blog up to the web to swallow forever. it was nice seeing my friends and that zach and michael came to greet me. i'd blog about africa but its kind of hard when you're not there. my rooms fucking awesome now. it has a rug. and my mom bought a goose. not in the room.... i'd blog about my cat but who likes people who blog about their cats seriously. enough is enough. quit reading and scroll.

me, the old lady is called Bibi, okay all old ladies are called Bibi i dont know what im talking about, she smokes cigarettes indoors and always tried to bum 20 or 30 cents off me, she works for this family looking after their kid while they're at work, their kids the one on my lap, John, Stans on Bibis lap, don't know why he's in there. mama john in purple and baba john with the closed eyes. Johnny calls me vanny. and sta calls me shet-daaanny.
me, kalole and odangya. not spelled right. odangayas a goofball.

the bathroom/showers
the bed next to mine, alternating sleepers between nangetta, jane and vicky.
that would be mine (and mamaSta and Stans bed) buckets are filled with water. everyones got so much stuff and theres so many people with so little room everyones things are packed into suitcases they never unpack that reach the ceilings.
Dia and my mchumba Maliki
"library of the region"
gates of book paradise
damn they're rushing and shoving to get to the camera

like i said, its all green
is this what they learn in class?
or in life?

a girl getting her photo shot for the library ID card down the block from the library
my girls reading at the library.
and when the tables fill up they sit at the walls in chairs.
the pots a shinin. kind of a stupid picture. the front of mamajohns hoteli (hoteli means restaurant in Swahili not hotel, go figure)
no one got it.
i cant remember if ive posted this one. a darn near empty butchers
3 3/4s of the girls waiting in line to get their picture taken for the library ID cards
me and stanley. no im not biting him
really shitty night time myspace shoot wih me and the kids. you can turn my camera around so you see what its taking a picture of, i.e.. see it take a picture of you and the kids were all about that, johnnys a few months older and more clued in, he'd be like 'hey look theres Stan and hey look theres johnny', and stan would just look and be like 'hey look theres a kid!"
yeah i do actually do work. sort of, of course i could have just been writing daily crap spews sort of like this blog but more trivial. i do that a lot
i took this picture because something in the back of my head told me there would come a day when i would be amazed that this was what i considered a very nice, very clean bathroom. this is top end shitting.
vicky cooking indoors, must of'v been a rainy day.
mhmmm thats how it looks pretty much, bathing cooking cleaning
thats vicky
ok ready go
that ferocious look is an oddly captured yawn. and thats the Stan lets go find you since pants motion.
i dont know why, i looked up and thought this would be a cool picture.
another of the home in mwanza. more rocks.
what you see when you step out the front door in mwanza...
and finally the bathroom there about 100 feet off from the house. im really in love with the whole place.
one view from the home in the rocks in mwanza, like i said 12 bucks a month guys.
this is mamaagus and mamatajis business: gutting the fish
and then cooking em
the white home is the one where i was sleeping. this totally doesnt depict how high up it is. those pointy rocks in the background have a wandering goat family on them.
i like zebras the best.

the prize banana

like i said, its green, theres rocks. rents cheap. foods cheap. lifes hard. weeds cheap. lets go!

the price of banana. oh sheesh.
im here. that'd be home. and my hair smells like shampoo which is something i absolutely do not know what to do about. except maybe smile. because after 4 months and 11 days with want of a nice conditioner, to use one and feel that prickly dead hair on the back of your neck at night turn into silk is like a dream. im not exactly departed from america nor arrived here. nor do i think i was ever truly arrived there. i took my shower and i kept all the water in the bottom of the tub for a while (or maybe its still there ?) because it seemed like such a shame to lose so much water. i asked myself questions such as "where in the world does the heat in this water come from?" (first hot shower in 4 months is a big deal) and "does anyone know how many buckets this could fill?". oh lord.
my cousin said the culture shock could last a week. i week of soaking up all this excess. after that awkward open mouthed crawlspeedstroll through the entire airport in Amsterdam and then sitting down to weep in public about things like lollipops and stuffed bears and that stupid donate your pennies to the orphans box. you know the pennies left over from buying yourself an extra souvenir, and hey why not a bottle of whiskey and a oprah book club book you'll never finish. all the more pennies. i cried today in a room filled with more people than have probably ever seen me cry in my entire life. If the whole airport counts as a room.
America = Enough ++
Library books, birth control, dolls or even food are not going to balance this world out. If a continent could sink by the weight of its own feasts and excess I'd have had nowhere to land. This would have all sunk into the ocean, as it should.
I read most of my blog a few days ago. Everything but the most current month, in order. I realized only how little I'd actually exposed when i thought it had been so much and also an ass i sound like.
I left on 11/11. i guess im lucky. wait i know im lucky.
It dawned on me yesterday how controlled an airplane environment is. We are all so soulless and sleepless we never even notice. It(wa)s my secret belief that they keep the air conditioning on because they have some company policy that they have to throw away all the pillows and blankets from every flight whether opened or not. instead of letting themselves feel really wasteful they just try and make you really cold. It also occurred to me that they turned on the lights at some ungodly hour, not because now a decent majority of the populace was awake but because now, somewhere on their schedules it was penciled in "feeding time". So we are all baby birds inside this mother bird waiting for her to puke up stale biscuits from the depths of her very controlled and cold bowels so we can grunt, wrap ourselves in our little blankeys and got back to sleep. note to self: cynicism doesn't win you any friends.
Any seedlings of ideas that I held in my stomach that justice was a real thing died today in the Schiperol Airport. I saw all the toys set out for Christmas. All the white angel babies in outfits that cost 3 weeks dinner whos parents would surely buy them all these toys. I thought of Chausiku, whos got to be about 5. How she doesn't eat every morning, how she wears rags, how she wont go to school and how she begged me please just send me one dolly. one dolly, two hotwheels for the boys and a plastic gun for Kili. better than Christmas. What is this shit? How do we really live in this world?
I encountered more in that airport then a beautiful African child can dream of in his life. here the fat use machines to help them walk. The excess is a big stinking bag of waste. It felt like watching a rape. How can I/we be a part of this. Fuck enough of this quiet bystander shit. I don't want to swallow any of this world as the way it is. I dont want to swallow this any more than I do tree branch welts. Let my anger find me soon.
Anarchy seemed absolutely urgent this morning. Strolling the airport, looking at the everyman, his rich coat and I thought - he doesnt even know. He certainly didn't decide this world "order" The leaders made it this way. Every president we've ever had and Afrikas still throwing all their chips at Obama. Voting is being a pillar that supports the way the world works. Or you do it every day in a hundred other ways.
I went to Africa and so much of me was always somewhere else. Now its gone from me and it feels my skins been ripped off.
Forgiveness is a load of crap. I want to tear down this society with one hand and build up theres with another. I want to send enough dollies for Chau and every girl on that street. I should have sent Stan back here instead of myself. We disguise how well we rob Africa, so well the African can gawk at all we have, where did it all come from? Your soil! We're just stock pilling our selection of your soil.
A sign in the airport warned me of the lurking CCTVs. So good to be back in the land of big brother, always on my side. I couldn't help but wonder, are the cameras in the Christmas trees? He knows if you've been sleeping, he knows if you're awake, he knows if you gave your pennies to the orphans or just bought yourself a bagel. This place is a landslide.
Theres not a lot in an airport to ease roaring compassion: I can read a book by the Dali Lama, or donate my nickels to orphans. There is a lot to fill the hole in me where all my sins should be - booze, hoarding, cigarettes, diamonds, gluttony, sex - okay maybe not sex- but aren't Ads porn? A fake blond woman surveyed me today. The point being to see how much stuff I bought, I think (like are all these swirly dizzying ads enough or should we up it a notch?) I must have failed. I said I had no money to even buy food. "Ha!" was the response I got. Let me be here just long enough to gather my friends and then we will leave again.
We must be so cheap. rich and cheap. shallow as a puddle. The flat puddles out on the tarmac. I thought I was going to cry of happiness to get back to all this Convience and Choices (Laziness and Excess).
I'm afraid I've swallowed it. When I first arrived I feared to take my ipod out of my ears (yeah i see the irony) Had to hear the same Wooden Wand songs over and over becuase there seemed to be no other option. Once in the pause between songs I heard "She really sprayed him with perfume?!? Oh brother!" A family joking but at the time I didn't understand any of the words so i just walked slower and hated more. Maybe hate is a heavy thing. I dont really know for now its all gone out of me. In the airport before sunrise, crying and raving up a storm. Flipping off Jack Johnson on the radio, George Bush on the TV and Barbie smiling in the shop window. And now its all gone. Although my hungers still here. I'll give it a month to see if my soul dries out like a raisin under the burning sun of greedy capitalism and a hundred billion automobiles.

i had planned to add a lot more pictures. but since i first arrived ive had that extreme salivating going on that happens only just before you puke, it comes it goes, right now its here. no puke yet, i dont think theres anything any me. two days of airplane food? or two days without sleep? is the pain in my stomach really only hunger still? looking into a cabinet and realizing i can just take something made and eat it without any effort is still to mind boggeling to participate in, although i things will eventually resolve themselves on a side that makes my belly happy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


im coming home. im not sure i get it. but here i am with my plane ticket, my stupid souveniors, my taxi coming at 9:30 am, half an hour early in case theres traffic, my pictures, a slightly full belly, completely full bags. all so very strange. do i really have to go?
whatever. i'll process it all sometime next month.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

things fall into utter confusion

so i went to the library today, mainly just to return my books and say goodbye and they informed me that for two days students had showed up, like 40 of them waiting for someone to pay for their memberships (that would be Juliana) and noone came. its kind of like getting slapped in the face. none of the schools are done except the one i did myself.
this might be overreacting. yeah she visited two schools and told the kids to come but then she wasnt there, so maybe something came up, as it seems to do with her and she'll finish it. i was talking to Deus's sister about the problem and she offered to do all the work getting the kids the memberships. I was going to give it to her until Deus mentioned (yeah he waited til now to mention it) that hes already given Juliana the 300 so dollars of the memberships for the 4 schools remaining. So we just have to wait while she does it at snail pace. The memberships are one year from the day you buy it so one schools going to be renewed like a month before the others. And Julianas phone isn't working today (Okay thats not her fault as much as just a common Tanzanian thing).
Deus doesn't seem to realize I dont have the resources or experience to conduct this thing really professionally. If I could just buy the memberships/photos and then leave it alone until next year I'd be totally happy. Seeing as just getting the memberships is taking so fucking long. STRESS.
That being said after this month Juliana is fired. I'll ask Deus's sister to stop by once a month and see if the visitors books full, leave her some money to buy new ones, leave her the librarians phone number, leave her my email and this time next year we'll find someone to check all the records and renew the memberships. Deus made the point we need someone to check it because how would we even know if a student died, which almost got me for a minute but then i thought, sometimes you feel the like the information you have is important but what will you do with it other than know it. This would be a case of that kind of information. Okay a students dead. Thats pretty horrible. I'm glad we paid someone 500 dollars this year so that we know this now instead of October. not happening. I'm sorry if this disappoints any of the donors. The memberships will get bought. Photos will be taken. Julianas will be given notice. The extra money we've raised will be used next year. Books will be read. Basi (thats enough).

Friday, November 7, 2008

DJ youre fired

so i had this great idea to save hundreds of dolllars. i want to fire that lady we hired to look after my project and then email me every month to say if the kids are coming. for one thing Deus informed me yesterday she doesn't have an email. not to mention shes flaky and slow and i dont have a lot of faith in her. i'll pay her to finish up this month. i dont even think all the schools have been done and i was sure they would be while i was in kigoma... last week. what do we need someone checking every month, lets just relax and then pay someone nicely to go through and tally everything and visit the schools this time next year. the project isn't going to be sustainable if we're using all this money on someone every month.
i havent actually talked to deus about this yet. hes hard to get a hold of.
hopefully hes working on getting my ticket today. yesterday they said the bus was full. so it might be go a day late a risk it if theres a breakdown or stand up the whole day in the bus aisle. both sound awful but im a worrier so i'd rather stand.
i took pictures with everyone this morning so i'll come home and show you all.
see you so veryvery soon,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

to one and all

all my emails i try to send are coming back as delivery failures. it isnt just me

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

parts one and two

Okay so the whole idea of stopping a blog about a trip before the trip was actually over thinking that this would somehow enhance my enjoyment of the trip more was a little stupid.
half the news of today of course doesn't come from Afrika but from Amerika and my feeling a little melancoloy that i was on this particular continent for the month of November, missing both my moms huge birthday party and todays (or is it yesterday there?) election. By the time the election wrapped up it here it was 6 a.m. When I left to take a bucket shower Obama was at 207 and when I came back and they were broadcasting a win I actually didn't believe it. I mean the news shows have called it wrong before and ive only lived long enough to hold interest in two elections and one of them just so happened to be one where they called it wrong. my brains not doing well with consiceness right now. I realize that torwards the end i got unreasonably stubborn. If people asked who i liked here i regretted those who nothing about the candidates but all supported Obama for his African background so I said I didn't like either of them and that they were infact very similiar. I half believe it too. I was pretty avid for Obama in the beginning but then he moved all center on me and I'm damn hopeless libral and frankly i thought it was lame. Plus who likes feeling like they're being coined by someone whos just a smooth talker. I was so stubborn I didn't vote. Actually okay I dont know if I could, it would have taken extra effort but the point is I didnt. But then I watched Obama win today, and I watched him talk, which is something I rarely do because I mainly just read the news and I must felt a surge of happiness almost almost comparable to that floaty feeling I got when I realized I was rid of high school for the rest of my life. That fact and that we now have a black president are two facts I'm still not used to or sure what to make of. That being said, except getting to watch a really good speaker more often, and our world image going up, I dont really much change, at all.
Also in politics I heard the name Al Franken brought up this morning which was totally unpredicatable as last week in Mwanza I bought his book "Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat, idiot" for two dollars. I could do a lot of apologizing for buying a book with such a stupid name but I'm going to say it was slightly funny if outdated and tedious and at least my mom will really like it. I read today that they're actually doing a recount in his election.
Also I still dont know the outcome of prop 8! and whether my parents ever voted for me on that. someone send me the memo once its out whats happening with that.
To top of this day me and Deus, mkali and odanga all went to serengetti. It cost me a little under three hundred dollars for about 8 hours of my life, which is a fact I hope I never repeat to myself again because it is so utterly devastating to my mental health. I saw all sorts of things. Scary bugs that make you puff up, hippos playing, a lion clutching a tree during a nap, wildebeast, scores of zebra. It wasn't worth that much money. I'll tell you that. but it was cool and i would have regretted it had I not done it. Parts of it were like a tug of war, it seemed like we got there and Deus and everyone was ready to turn around and im like, do you have any idea how much this cost me, i plan to stay here til this place closes. Deus can be a brick wall sometimes, or pesky mosquito... "okay okay were not going yet, but look rains coming.. and this is a horrible road and do you know how far back the gate is and look how much gas there is and blah blah blah." They tell me im a difficult person, but ... okay maybe thats just true.
I was a guest of honor at something at the library yesterday and mangoes are back in season. my mom sent me an email that said "I have planned your Xmas present trip. It will be before Christmas, on the 12th -15th of December, it involves a road trip and hiking in a beautiful spot during a full moon period, I think you are going to love it."
I think I am going to love it.
but I also think the internet cafe is closing and I'm falling asleep. See everyone in just a few days and dont be suprised if im all overly excited and jumpy and a bit weepy because im damn homesick.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

so it really is

alright, someone tell that to jamba juice.
this is all (i hope) until i get home and then i'll put some pictures up of this awesome house i stayed in, in Mwanza up very high on this mountain of rocks with a view of everything below and probably some others and such and such things. etc. goodbye.


me and the neighbours, Juma, his wife MamaAshula and Ashula
Thats my, "yeah I'll show you I know how to hold a baby" face

Monday, October 27, 2008

ok i lied, but only pictures from now on

me and the fam in kigoma, im finally back to sally mia and say goodbye. ngollos the one to the left of me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


this blog is done.

to put an end to things: in 20 days she was home, in 25 days she was swallowing the last of her malaria pills, in 30 all the things she had daydreamed about had come true and after 40 days and 40 nights she was living happily ever after.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

bunker down and dig in

so yesterday i went to the laboratory and they subjected me to every possible test they could dream up (although i don't believe they did perform the "occult blood in stool" test (and for only two dollars!)). First the poked me and smeared my blood on a number of various objects for purposes beyond my grasp, after they sent me to the toilet with a little jar and a matchbox. The little jar was simple enough, pee in it right? Well once I'd finished thus I went back to the lobby carrying my little matchbox wondering what in the world its purpose was, and drawing some strange looks for other sickeys. After a good two hours or so once the place had all but emptied out I went back and asked what gives and they said 'well stephanie wheres your stool sample?'. i looked my little matchbox over again.. i was beginning to see the light. This wasn't the end though, now they had to draw a whole siringe full of blood! oh deary I got limp as a noodle. In the end i didn't have malaria, I didn't have Typhoid, I didn't have parasites, wasn't protien deficeint and wasn't dying. I had a bad case of food posioning. two days later and the only remaining hints are a stiff neck and the fact that I actually woke up late today (7 something!)
Yesterday was also the day I put my foot down on waiting around for someone to help with my project, whether to translate or to coordinate or so on. I visited the last three schools, I went to the Head of Education to keep them posted, I got a letter showing the prices of the membership fees, scanned it and sent it to this school in NY who wants to help fundraise, and most importantly completed the buying of 18 memberships and ID photos with the girls from Morembe yesterday. All by my lowensome.
Today I woke up, exhausted, but got myself to return to a school I'd visited yesterday while the HeadMisteress was out and make my proposal. All five schools have now agreed to find the girls for me and I have appointments every day this week. Today I need to buy the visitors book the girls will sign into when they visit the Library for our records and go back to see who comes today to get their cards since their photos should be done this afternoon. The fact that two didn't even show from Morembe hasn't fazed me at all.
This has got to be doing something good for my mental health because yesterday I sat on my ass forever, going 'ya i'll go to all the schools, but oh hey look my soap operas on TV and oh my god he really is sleeping with that 15 year old, i'll have to go a little bit later! (as a matter of fact it was a very funny episode that ended with the classic line "where did you take my daughter last night?" "to a cheap motel, what did you expect?") but anyways no dilly-dallying today! I up and went without a bit of hesitation, positive that the job could be done by me and me alone. This relization, not that i can dronelessy work, but that I can lead something and create something and get it done, is probably worth doing a shit ton of work with a stiff neck and sore stomach for no pay.
Not to mention when the girls come up and thank me after.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


so i might have malaria. i lolled around in bed all day yesterday trying not to puke or to puke, moan/singing the song of a sore stomach, with a 100 degree fever, really quite pathetic overall. Deus is out of town and i had no money, i had 50 cents to get a little water bottle because i figured the dehydration couldn't be helping. my friends tried to be nice and buy me some eggs but they bought eggs for 5 cents when they're normally 20, and low and behold the eggs they bought were worthless baby chickens. i spilled one on the ground to look at it and everyone got really mad because apparently they smell bad so then i spilled water on it and everyone got really mad i was spilling water in the sand. i say!
anyways after this im going to go let them poke me and try my blood out to see if them mosquitoes finally got me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

dont lose your shoes

so my shoes broke on the way here when some ladys kid was yelling 'mzungu' at me and i turned around to look and tripped on something and there went my shoes. the lady whos kid it was lent me hers to wear here but i swear she has baby feet so i gave up half way here and carried them. you wouldn't believe what a scene that caused. a whole dalla-dalla full of guys pulled over on the side of the road next to me to make a scene. after this im giong to buy some of those masaii sandles. one buck, isn't a bad price.
other than that, today im trying to figure shit outtttt. i have a lot of work on monday and also a train ticket to kigoma tomorrow (sunday), the girl who has been doing the work with me went missing in action days ago and Deus is in Mwanza i think until after I'm back. so unless Deus agrees to be here monday and do the work I can't go and I really do want to go.
I got two letters yesterday which was really nice. Why the hell haven't I heard from my parents though? oh well not much is new except the time is running out here and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to go ahead and go to Serengetti. Its the price of the car, anywhere between 150 and 200 per day that really kills me but what this is the one chance i get right...

Thursday, October 16, 2008


i have washed my hair about 3 times since I've been here and its gnarly. someone get me some deep conditioner as a coming home present, please.

mmmmmmmmmm, fish

mmmmmmmmm, beef