Thursday, August 28, 2008

rats, cats and all things dead.

A cat someone killed this morning hanging from a tree
its entrails
me at Ngollos shop with DJ YP
the big bug! i have another picture but running out of time to post. it has big red spots. I've only seen a few, but honestly they're huge.
mama kilis fruit shop, more or less the same as every other one although this is in their front yard, not the main road. A pineapples 40 cents, as is 5 bananas. the sugar canes ten cents. I don't know how much the avocados are.
mama kili and kili, her daughter. Kili kind of creeps me out. She'll say "Shangazi look" a lot and when I look she's eating bugs or her boogers or something.
Agu, who thinks its really funny to hit me and chase me with sticks. He can actually do some damage for such a little guy.
Schemgas are good for some things, like imitating Indians. Ngollo probably wouldn't be happy knowing this is online though. Not that I think she'd really know what online means.
me and Agustino at the wedding, before his days of "carry a big stick" policy.
Shangazi/Auntie cooking ugali. The kitchens totally grim
me and Chau around the time I first arrived. I can't say I feel so fondly towards her now, as her main way of getting what she wants is crying for half an hour.
the little village of Ujiji. Here a fire truck is filling up at the lake.
Inside Ngollos perfume/CD shop. Although I think she's quitting soon.
kangas drying in the village at Deus's real grandmothers home.
the bride at the wedding, no they don't wear white. And she really didn't smile once. Ngollo said she was afraid.
me looking on at the wedding with bena and mama Agu behind us. MamaAgu has a really unique face and I kind Julian would draw a picture of her for me.
the girls in purple sung at the wedding and i have a short video of it.
i had to pretend like i took this by accident at the wedding but i like it a good deal.
some not so subtle nike advertising, i can't remember if i posted this before but i just found it so amazing, its someones house!
me in Tarime with a teacher and woman who started her own womans group in Tarime. This was a pretty long time ago now though.
me all dressed and ready for the wedding. yeah i wore a dress... but i had shorts on underneath
bena, Deus's sister, Ngollo (turns out ive been spelling her name wrong), mama kili, and mama agu, with agu.

and some recent adventures:
a few days ago, eyeing auntie crushing peanuts to make some sort of oil or butter I suddenly became overwhelmingingly nostalgic for my vegan cake days and had a strong desire to cook something (the oven is definately the modern appliance I miss most). Of course everyones convinced I can't cook because I dont know how to skin a tomato while holding it in my palm, in under 30 seconds. Still I convinced Auntie to let me cut up the spinach. Of course this entails nothing resembling a cutting board or counter space so youre doing it in your hand again. About 30 seconds in I took a handful of spinach in one hand, and pressed down into it with a knife with the other ( in my defense this seemed safe and rational because every knife I've encountered so far has been dull as a rock.) Unfortunately this time it led to little puddle of blood in the nooks of my fingers and a handful of wasted spinach. I put a band-aid on and didn't mention it to anyone for fear my reputation as a cook would sink further. I adopted a new cutting strategy and eventually finished the job. It's a good thing I got my tetnous shot though.
I also had a very welcome chat with Ngollo which entailed her informing me that people with boobs as small as mine don't normally wear bras in this country. I went almost immediately to take it off and haven't seen it since. By the way someone remind me to give the bra back to Dani, if she still wants it.
The there was the long, example filled, explanation of the American belief that kids should get the heck out of the house before they're 20. Ngollo couldn't figure out why anyones parents would kick them out or even more strange why some kids would want to leave. It's a weird cultural thing to think about because my bet is that it came about as a result of government schooling ending at 18. So in the 1800's did kids hang out with mom and pops until they were 40? Here they hang out until they get married, even if that means forever. Ngollo decided she liked her culture better then ours on that one.
Another cultural aspect I've picked up lately in the Tanzanian belief, of course only in some people, that being a socialist and living in a socialist state makes a person nice and trustworthy and living in a capatalistic state causes them to be greedy and hoarding. I read online that public infrastructure in America, like roads, they're considering selling to private companies because they don't have money for the upkeep. I can see someone looking back 50 years from now and saying God that was a bad idea. Assuming the Earth lasts that long.
I bought some new t-shirts as well. Can't keep me away from a good t-shirt. One about animal testing with that quote that goes something like "an atrocity is no less of an atrocity when it occurs in a laboratory and is called scientific research", if that isn't the exact quote. It has a little cartoon accompanying it. I mainly found it funny that it was in Africa. I got another one that's a tank top with drawn on cross necklaces. how Urban Outfitter. Tank tops are nice though, the weathers been getting hotter. Last night I hardly got any sleep and I finally got up, took off my pants and slept in someones slip that was hanging in the room.
Deus is still sick so its been decided I'll go to Gombe alone. Theres no food there so today or tomorrow I'll do some grocery shopping. I'm going friday night and leaving Saturday evening and Sunday we take the bus to Mwanza. Monday I'll be in Musoma. Next month or maybe it was the one after Deus is making a show with the discovery channel about one of his projects so he's going to be pretty busy.
Truthfully I'm surprised I've been able to shrink away from responsibility for this long in my life. I'm still as lazy as I was in high school. Still not really working. Just kind of hanging out for two years. Ngollo keeps asking me why I don't like school and I told her I like to study on my own, which she can clearly observe but this doesn't satisfy her. Anyways now I'm reading a book about Evolutionary Psychology (of the same title). Some of its clearly bullshit. Like they question why women would have affairs in their marriage and they mention sperm competition but not that maybe the woman just have crappy husbands. There was one quote I liked though (also possibly not true): "sexual selection explains the origins of cultural dimorphism (male domination of political, economic and cultural life) by male efforts to acquire material resources for attracting and keeping females. On this basis, the production of art, music and literature functions primarily as a courtship display". It's an interesting theory at least.
It doesn't explain why I want to make art so badly though. I've definitely another luxury. I have the time but not the resources. A few half working pens and some lined paper although I have been doodling, bugs, rats, birds and that cat with its tumbo out. Painting and making collages is on my list of 4o something things to do when I return though.
This blog is totally taking advantage of my love of writing. Thankfully I'll be busy the next few days so next time I post I'll have some actual news.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So I kind of miss good movies. theres a weird market in Tanzania for crappily made kung-fu movies. i've seen parts of a few, normally in English. people in the theater will turn to me to ask what the characters are saying but honestly they're normally just talking nonsense and even the little part on the back cover of the movie that explains it makes no sense: so jet li kills so and so for the problem caused by his anger of hand that man could kill his father. shit like that. my favorite so far has been: Last Warning.... and Last Warning 2, Revenge of the Warning.
I have a movie and dinner date with Eric when I return in November so hopefully something good is in theaters. I doubt I can get Eric to go to the palm.
As for my project, I'm still thinking about it. Deus is proposing I do something to just buy school children books for their schools instead. This may be an American luxury to have such a snooty mindset but my real dislike for that idea is that the kids don't get to go check out whatever the hell they want to read about. Like it narrows their options too much. I'm still thinking about it though.
As for Gombe, I'll be going alone Friday as Deus is still sick sick sick. You have to take a boat to get there and then spend the night at the hotel, wake up early and go on a hike with a tour guide. Its 100 dollars for 24 hours so I gotta make sure I get the heck out of there in time. Tourist stuff is crazy expensive.
Today I'm not doing much. Woke up ate bread and chai, surprisingly good together. Chai means all tea by the way. Washed my underwear by hand in a bucket out front of the house. Walked to Ngoros shop, talked with Deus, lent him some money. Tonight I'm having dinner with my Jehovah friend. He really likes debating with me and frankly I'm just tired of it but turning down offers to eat at someones house is pretty darn rude here.
I guess this is all pretty standard. Actually thats what I've been thinking about lately about how I've made myself so at home I'm rarely amazed anymore, but sometimes it catches me. Like I'll be walking around with my head down muttering about being called a muzungu and laughed at everywhere I go, totally in my own little world and I'll look up and the suns a huge ball going down in the sky over lake Tanganika, creating hundreds of silhouettes from the lights of dalla-dallas zooming down the dirt road, children are playing on roof and in gutters, masses of birds are circling overhead and suddenly I'm like holy shit I'm in Africa. my moms swimming the same line over and over at some sterile gym, my brothers looking at the white walls of a smelly classroom, my dads meeting with the same disgruntled old men in a stuffy office, my friends are hanging out at the fucking park and I'm in Africa.
and one last thought: Biden huh? I don't even know anything about the guy. Thank Mungu for

Monday, August 25, 2008


ugh I typed this and then they switched the power from generator to electricity and i lost it all.
Basically I've been having some 'fun talking" lately. Prompted first by the smutty People magazine and secondly by the Bible.
I got to explain, in detail, slowly the story of the pregnant man. We also talked about Britney Spears hamna chupi, i.e. no underwear picture and about Lance Bass's new boyfriend. This lead to a discussion of homosexuality in general, everyone but me agreeing it's an atrocity.
Then this morning I my Jehovah friend tried to talk me into buying god from him. getting old honestly. Next he asked me if there was the problem of unweds sharring a house in america, which of course made me snicker. my answer was i didn't consider it a problem. and also we disagreed strongly about wives being submissive. of course now im out of time completely. more later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


and so my mood comes and goes. its really a cyclical thing that makes me fear I'll grow up to be some bipolar nut.
Lately I've been thinking of deleting the whole blog thing as I'm not really comfortable with my whole extended family and all our family friends reading stuff that I originally wrote thinking was going to be seen by a handful of my friends. It's all just a little awkward. Although I do get positive response from it. What the hell was I supposed to expect when I told my big-mouthed mom about it. Mainly I'm worried it will fall into the hands of Deus now who will get to read about some of the things he does that bother me before I tell him in person, which is more than a little awkward.
So Deus finally returned yesterday morning. We went to breakfast together and then he disappeared to use internet and I haven't seen him since. I believe he's staying in the village and sick but I do hope I see him today as some things has arisen that I'd really like to talk to him about.
I've been sleeping a lot lately. My heart beats been a little weird too. I walked the length of town today just trying to get some excersice and get out of a otherwise bad mood. I'm so sick of hearing muzungu and good morning anytime of day. not to mention that my bank account is close to about half of what it was when i arrived. It's only money but still it's having a rather negative effect on my mood. And any time my mood goes south I start dreaming of returning early. Of course anytime I start seriously thinking of returning I start seriously thinking of how much crap there is in California (people, situations, history, all my clothes even) that I don't want to deal with. Ugh.
Lately I've just been eating a lot of porridge and thinking how weird it is to not be at the fair, getting ready to start school or watching any of the Olympics. I did watch a little bit of 'Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" at the "cinema" the other day, or basically in a dark room with a TV and bad sound system, but other than that not much TV this month.
I can't really think of much else to write.
I have a friend here named Stan and I told him I couldn't go to Gombe if I was sick because Chimps can catch human diseases and he didn't believe me. He's pretty fun to hang out with though. He's the one I bought the library card for and he likes to sit around and have weird debates like which do we need more: the sun or the moon. and I told him there clearly wouldn't be life without either but he went on about how we have electricity so who really needs the sun anyways, right?
uhh.. sure.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

watoto after my own heart

so i was woken at 6 this morning to go for a pre-dawn run with my friend G. Of course he's more fit then me so the whole affair was a little lopsided. At one point he even tried to give me a piggy-back ride I was so out of breath. I refused the offer. He also lent me a Swahili dictionary with some grammar so once I finish here and the bank i'll be studying today.
After my run I returned to lay in bed and complain about my tired legs to a sleeping Ngoro. in the other room Ngoros mother had a guest who was talking about Deus, and I was able to make out her saying 'Deus came with a muzungu" and Ngoros child Chausiku said "nuh-uh, Deus came with Shangazi Auntie Stephanie"
how damn cute. someone recognizes i'm a human being a not a big lump of american wrapped in white skin.
as for the whole muzungu word, it has officially gotten old. And since i'm deus-less the men of this town seem to think this muzungu is on the market. ngoro told me several men have been stoppping by the shop to try and talk to me. one potential suiter has gone so far to buy me a phone card so that i can call him and keeps inviting me to the bar and the beach... uhhh no.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

still here!

So Deus has gone over his date of return again! He says he'll be here Tuesday as right now he is still too sick to travel but we'll have to wait and see. I've definitely been enjoying Kigoma so this isn't a complaint in any way. Although I am a bit sad to learn I missed MamaDia giving birth. She had a boy!
I got sick. For the first time here, I got really sick. Maybe really sick is an overstatement. It's something like a cold that mainly effects me when I wake in the morning (my nose stuffed with snot and my throat all clogged with goober). I did go to the Duka la Dawa though and get a few things, a cough syrup and this pill thats supposed to help flus, runny noses and give you energy. I took so much time comparing the ingredients of different medicines in the pharmacy (even coming back to return a medicine I decided wasn't quite right) that the doctor there asked me if I was a doctor myself. What worried me though was that half the cough syrups seemed to have ingredients that sounded like they belonged on my spice rack and not in my medicine. If its going to cure me I want it to be strong, undiluted CHEMICALS I'm paying for. sarcasm intended- sorta.
Yesterday there was a ceremony because the National Torch (symbolizing Tanzanian independence) came to town. They fenced off a big area where the Government officials and police officers stood around the torch while in front of them different groups put on performances, mainly dance, although there was one band, mainly comprised of drummers but also with one dude wielding an accordion he clearly didn't know how to play and as we we're leaving a theater group was starting (to some 'boo's'). The best was definitely this really well coordinated story-dance where two men, one dressed as a woman and the other as an older Arab man acted out a love story. The rest of the dances mainly consisted of people shaking their bums at you. I got tired of standing though so me and Ngoro headed back to her house down the road. Looking up on the way back I noticed the start of a lunar eclipse! I tried in limited Swahili to explain to Ngoro what was happening. Unfortunately she has little understanding of the sky above her. As yesterday was a full moon I looked up the word for full moon and then pointed out to her that it wasn't full anymore but actually shrinking but she asked me "full is big or little?". Clearly a lack of school (she finished only elementary) contributed to this confusion.
As for news of my ideas and thoughts:
I'm seriously considering scrapping the whole drug and alcohol program, actually survey, I was planning and doing a completely different program. The problems with the drug and alcohol program are too many but for now I will say time, and really a lack of ideas or maybe confidence in ideas on my part. Plus its just complicated for resource and culture issues. Also we haven't even started!
My new idea came from a conversation I was having with one of my friends here. This kids name is Stan and he's my age. He is really bright and really eager to learn. He's always asking me to tell him stories (about the moon landing, colonialism, English grammar, geology, or the American Revolution, basically anything I can talk about -- which is forcing me to examine how little I learned in high school). I told him if he wanted stories like that he should come to the library with me. He responded that he didn't have money to get books at the library, I responded something like "don't you know what a library is?? it means the books are free!". "No," he said "you have to pay 3ooo Tsh per year to be a member and I don't have the money. I try to save up but it hasn't happened. Maybe if God wishes though I will get the money" (People here say "if God wishes" with amazing frequency). For those who don't know, I'll assume everyone reading this, 3000 Tsh is three dollars! So of course I told him I'll get him a library account for this year. And now the idea is that I want to set up a program to get library accounts for other students who want them. With 1,000 dollars you could get 300 kids accounts, plus put a lot of money into the library, which I think would give you some influence to say what kind of books you'd like to see (meaning we'd ask the kids what kind of books they want to see). I'm going to propose it to Deus when he returns but it all seems pretty simple and straight forward. The questions remaining are: how much money, how many students and which, where will the money come from, how do we guarantee it gets used at the library, how do we make sure it gets spent on students who want it and some practical application questions. But over all I think it is do-able. I woke up a few days with the idea and totally pumped to get working on it. I think the only thing that could get in my way at this point is my confidence in my ability to be a leader of a program, but I'm doing everything I can to fight my doubts and just prove to myself I can do something. Another idea I've been thinking about is sustainable lightening for houses like the one I'm staying in that don't have electricity and rely on kerosene. I am almost certain the kersene lamp is hurting my throat a good deal and the fact that a few of the kids in the house have hoarse voices reiterates that belief not to mention the loss of productivity onces darkness sets at about 7 p.m. and all you have is a lantern per 3 people or so.
For that problem I don't have an answer but it is something to keep in mind. Any one interested it should know there was a project called Lighting Africa that tried to set entrepreneurs upon the problem to come up with light inventions. I'm sure you could google it and figure out more about how it went.
Other than that I've been giving a lot of thought to government theory thanks to my current book of choice. Having some major "A-ha!" light bulb moments and some things that are really making me think. I've just finished the part of the book about socialism, communism and very briefly anarchy (which it noted as "the noblest" and yet "Utopian").
As for some news out of my head, which I just remembered, in the morning I've taken up running. We'll some mornings at least. I told Ngoro I didn't want to return back to America waddling so I better get some exercise and started using that early morning time normally spent not-sleeping in bed, listening to the mosque to go for a run. Although I can't say I did this morning... I'll have to see if I keep it up.
Another quick thing I noticed was how human everyone has become to me. If you were to walk into the situation right now from America I think pity would be a pretty common emotion, here I am surrounded by dirty kids in ratty falling off clothing, not in school, living in a dirt house (I've decided it is most certainly hard to stay clean when living in a dirt house), eating the same meal day after day (ugali and dagaa, or this flour paste stuff and small fish), etc etc. its like those commercials where that guy has some barefoot girl on his lap asking you to give them money except now it's just totally normal to me. Not saying I condone it or anything, just that I've adapted and feel at home.
And for a last anecdote... I believe I mentioned one of the women of the home took up selling fruit out front of the house, meaning inside the house we have a large storage of bananas and cucumbers and such in tarps on the ground. The other night me and Ngoro were laying in bed attempting communication about bugs that were in the house when someone started yelling from the kitchen, Ngoro said there was a "big big bug" so I went out expecting a cockroach and found myself faced with a foot long rat. While I do consider rats friends, foot long ones not so much and I went runnning, screaming back into the bedroom.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


so here I am in Afrikaa and yet of late existing in my head. Perhaps I could never be a true anarchist because I can't seem to go long - no matter what country I'm in - without seeking out and inhabiting a good ol', government sponsored library. I was so happy to have something to read other than my phrasebook I finished a 300 something page book in about 2 days.
What I've been reading of late: Beyond PC (politically correct): the politics of understanding.
written in the 90's as more women and minorities were coming into the universities its basically about changing curriculum to better represent everyones point of view. A bunch of essays on those who support this and those who don't and those who render the whole argument irrelevant. Made me want to go to college and yet despise that you have to pay to get into an area where people are discussing anything of importance.
Next I'm reading some of the writings of Steve Biko (Frank Talk) who was a black rights activist during apartheid and the creation of bantustans in South Africa. He was shackled, naked in jail and brutally clubbed to death by policemen who were never charged. Rather grim stuff just for having an opinion. If there was ever a place to work out your feelings on racism and its past Africa isn't a bad choice.
And next I'll be starting a very rather large book titled: Government and the Governed, or something like that. Written in the 1930's it seems to be mainly a history book.
Other than that I've been thinking up a storm.
For a few nights I had a little rash of insomnia, mainly comprising of the inability to fall asleep because I just kept thinking thinking thinking.. of course it was accompanied by the inability to stay asleep nor go back to sleep once awake. Of course the 5 a.m. mosque services help none. I think it has passed but I'm still regularly waking very early in the morning and just sort of hanging out in bed trying to discourage Ngoro from rolling on top of me.
I've been thinking about money and privilege and being guilty through birth and a solution to that guilt as well as a million unrelated things about my friends and the weirdness of the Swahili language. Worrying about coming back to the states and not progressing in my Swahili at all. Making up imaginary business's I want to start in the U.S. and about how its a shame there isn't the ubiquitousness of fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables there is here and for the prices here! It's hard to avoid being surrounded by pineapples (40 cents), bananas (I've gotten up to 17 for one dollar), cucumbers, tomatoes, cassava root, bags of peanuts, roasting corn on the cob, tangerines, oranges, spinach bundles, chinese, onions, etc... all for pennies. I could totally come back to the U.S. and set up a lil' side of the road fruit shop, yeah?
As for my health, my stomachs straightened itself out but now I'm having some throat problems that are more or less inevitable considering I'm living inside a house made of dust, sleeping with my head next to a fume-spewing kerosene lantern and am constantly followed by the smoke of ever present burning trash piles. Unfortunately I really like the taste of Halls cough drops so I already ate all the ones I brought. I'll stick to hard candy and head to a duka la dawa (shop of medicine) should things digress.
Deus is sick with malaria but should be coming tomorrow. I've been in Kigoma all of about 3 weeks. My plan today is to read more, buy candy, go to Ngoros shop and correct her English while she corrects my Swahili (we agreed on this before bed last night), eat, maybe nap, etc.
My moments of despair about the trip have passed for now. I realized first that what made time worthwhile was your friends (and incorrectly thought this meant I should have stayed home with them) and realized second that you can always make a new friend (not to mention retreat into a book).
So here I am dirty, with hair so full of mud its all straight and breaking to bits, spying on my friends online and soaking up
Off to Gombe soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

chick in the choo

so today is Monday. despite whatever the heading says because I think its on California time. I've been Deus-less for a few days now and my Swahili is the better for it. I even managed to tell my host that I wanted to wash my underwear today, and managed to make it clear that I meant me wash personally.. which I did although they're all a bit soapy because I'm not sure exactly what I was supposed to do with all those buckets of water.
My stomach is still a problem. Basically whenever I eat it feels like a mix between gas pain, heartburn, hunger and someone balling up my insides with their fist and squeezing. My stomach hurt last night and I had some really crazy nightmares so I didn't sleep all too well. I'm thinking I'll go to the pharmacy and look for some vitamin C or Iron or protein or B vitamins.. I'm not really sure what I need although B vitamins are a good guess.
The last two days have been really new-experience-filled. Me and Ngoro went to a wedding in the village. A Muslim ceremony. The bride wore pink and didn't smile the whole time and I honestly don't even know who was the groom. I got a lot of photos of the wedding, which is something I don't normally do and a few short videos and the one photographer for the wedding got four (!) pictures of me. He clearly wasn't really a photographer though because the first picture he took he still had the lens cap on so good luck for any of his turning out.
We went to the village the day before the wedding. That night there was probably 30 kids drumming and singing. There would be maybe 2 or 3 drumming in the middle and they would make up a really short song and then everyone would dance in a circle around them, going round and round like a whirlpool and sing the little song over and over until someone made up a new one. I decided not to dance because I already had the whole place watching me while I was just standing but it was still fun.
We sleep at Deus's real Bibis home in the village. The bed was really really small as was the net which pretty humorous. "kitanda kidogo, neti kidogo". The toilet there was a really deep hole, maybe 20 feet, in the ground and somehow one little chick happened to fall in so you could hear him peeping down there. I even saw him once when i stuck my flashlight in the hole. I imagined he could feed and live just fine and he would grow up down there but then the next day I didn't hear him peep once. I fear the worst.
After the wedding we took one of the most crowded dala-dalas I have ever been on back to town. Me and Ngoro climbed the mango tree in the front yard in our fancy wedding dresses and ate bitter mangoes in the sun. All the kids started climbing up after us and lots of ants crawled on my feet. I was really happy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

spoke too soon

ah so the trip to Gombe was postponed. Theres some students coming from America the week after next and they want to visit Gombe with Deus so we put off the trip until they're here.
Its a bit of a shame too because Jane Goodalls only son Grub was going there the day we originally planned on going... how do I know? Because we met him at lunch!!! Okay actually I didn't meet him, I just watched him eat lunch, but Deus had already met him before so he went over and reintroduced himself while I sat there looking at my sleeves and playing with with my food. It felt really weird because I'm reading Jane Goodalls biography right now so I knew a lot more about this dude eating next to me then I should have, like his initials are HELL. awesome right. Apparently he has nothing to do with Chimps nor Science and runs his own coffee company.. not awesome.
So yeah, here I am in Kigoma, the town Deus grew up in and I am facing my first real challenge.... being left alone without someone to translate for me!!!!!
Deus left this morning to take the bus back to Musoma, a two-day trip, and will be gone for a week, meeting other visitors from the U.S. and bringing the students back for Gombe. I'll be here alone (well almost alone) for one week. As previously mentioned I am staying with Deus's aunt, his three female cousins and their hoard of four children, two girls: Christina and chow (who i sometimes accidentally call choo, which means toilet) and two boys, shoban and asu, oh and a little baby, Augustina. Every evening their neighbor comes over who speaks decent English and sits on the step and converses with me and helps me translate a little. For some reason my hosts can't grasp the whole 'please speak reaalllllyyyyy slowly please' thing.
The house is a little rustic, its made out of mud and sticks and theres no electricity. The cousin who has been more or less appointed my keeper is named Ngoro, is my age and has one three year old daughter, Chow. Ngoro really likes Celine Dion apparently and at night that awful sound competes with the sound of the worshipers and loud speakers at the mosque. I am trying to be less of a music snob honestly though because otherwise things would really be getting on my nerves right about now, everyone here listens to the same few songs over and over and over, some really bad American hip-hop imports, a lot of traditional church choir music and Shania Twain to most of them.
I've been causing a little bit of a stir staying in this town as well, from what I gather Kigoma is poorer than most places I've been staying. The commissioner of something came over while I was napping yesterday and asked them to bring me over to see my papers when I woke up, thankfully by that time Deus had come back and we all went over. Apparently it wasn't anything serious but sort of a jealous thing and some sort of stigma because the family i'm staying with is pretty poor. Luckily he wasn't home. on the way back from there we stopped at another home, we being me deus, all the womenfolk, and another male cousin, and the male cousin guy gave a thorough talking over to some ladies at the home, apparently they had been yelling at me and Deus while we were walking, I asked Deus what they were yelling but he didn't say except strong words, which I think means they were cussing at us. Apparently Deus's family rents them their home and they did turn quite sorry. people here like to be really rude, mainly when i'm walking alone. sometimes i try and tell people to go away or ask them what they want but the sight of me using swahili normally just makes them burst out laughing so i don't say anything and walk away.
my stomach hasn't been feeling that well in a few days. maybe im dehydrated or something.
I hate it because ive yet to meet an African who has as small a bladder as I do and feels my pain. i have to get up and pee at least once a night and I share a bed with Ngoro so she always wakes up and then usually since I have to move a big piece of wood and some nails in the wall to get out everyone wakes up.
Also I'm having some trouble thinking up an answer when people point at all the scars on my arm... uhh its an American thing, you wouldn't get it?
Writing this blog takes up a lot of my internet time but now my parents are reading it so I'll try and make it inclusive and nice and all that so maybe its worth it. My English is getting seriously bad and i must be hungry because my hands started shaking pretty bad about five minutes ago.
It costs about 30 cents to take a dala-dala, a 15 seater bus...normally carrying about 25+ people (the worst is when someone farts in the dala-dala, seriously) to town and lunch is never more then a few dollars, breakfast is even cheaper, today i got tea and three pastries for about 35 cents. chai in Swahili means tea and the word for breakfast is 'chai ya asubuhi' (tea of the morning) so of course I'm drinking a lot of tea.. and eating a lot of pastries and ugali, with my hands, which really burns sometimes. I'm also showering outdoors in a little plastic bag and stick made enclosure which doesn't conceal you very well.... a little awkward..
anywho... i miss my cat and some weird things and people and im still having crazy dreams, last night i drowned a chinese lady in a swimming pool for calling me a muzungu in my dream.
i think thats all for now... peace