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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

is it happiness or anxiety?

i baked some really good cookies yesterday.
i did the math and i lived ten days off 34 dollars, not bad.
i'm looking forward to going home now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

i heard on the news people are dying in LA

I thought I'd try out a bit of irony.
although I did really hear that on the news... it appears the place turned into an inferno or something.
And it turns out they aren't dying here. After I wrote about Tarime I actually looked it up online. The story goes like this, when I was in Kigoma there was this MP (kind of like a congressman) from the minority party that was killed in a very suspicious car accident. His family and I'm sure others suspected foul play. This week it was time for the election to replace him and people were getting really into it. I've seen a few people go up to Tarime to get their family members out of there. Lots of police with water houses and at least 100 people hurt in fights, but no actual deaths. Amerika apparently sent some people in to keep an eye on the situation. Anyways the opposition party (i.e. minority) won the election. (this countrys only ever had 4 presidents, since the 1960s when they got independence and they've all been from one party). So yesterday there was lots of flag waving and people yelling at police cars and harrasing people at the newspaper stands where all the Tarime news could be had. It was a nice feeling in the air once I realized noone was actually dying and people were actually pumped about something like a congressman when most people in the US couldn't even name theirs.
Also I visited to schools yesterday for the project and it went wonderfully. The first school said to return Thursday and they'll have the list of girls (we're taking 20 from 5 seperate schools) and the next school said they'll call us when they have the list. I would have gone today but its a holiday (it turns out siku kuu doesn't mean the last day of Ramaddon, it just means holiday, unless its the last day of Rammadon again. did anyone notice I spelled that two dif. ways?...) Anyways tomorrow we are going to the last three schools. I've been visiting the schools with this teacher woman Juliana and I started noticing she was paying for everything but as far as i knew she wasn't getting anything out of helping me so I went to talk to Deus when I got back. As Deus put it, shes taking over the project when I leave and........ he told her we're going to pay her 50 dollars a month! Where in the world am I going to get 50 dollars a month!?!??!. Deus brought this up before that we needed to pay the volunteer who would be checking the library records and reporting to me and I said we absolutely couldn't pay someone 50 dollars a month and I'd like to find a volunteer, so what does he do, he tells someone we're paying them 50 a month and fails to even mention it to me!!!!!!! I don't even know where to get the money for this month. Deus says he's going to give me the contacts for a girl scout troup in, oh dear I forget where, Nebraska or something who will help fund this program, and he better because he got me into a mess without even letting me know I was in the middle of it. He's such a wonderful procrastinator though, he couldn't come to the internet this morning/afternoon to give me their email because the sun was too hot and he was watching TV and he couldn't come now because he's going to go walk around town. If he doesn't come tomorrow I'll have to slap him again,... which is another story, of high school epic drama proportions I won't even get into. Lets just say someone got a little (lot) butt-hurt during a play fight that turned sour.
and its not me.
dear I hope this blog doesn't become a problem as my project becomes more proffesional or what have you... like people start reading it and realize I'm not really even sure what I'm doing with this project and like my mom said, most people who do this have been to college. Right now I just want it done and over with because I back out of stuff I want to do so much it will be great to prove to myself I can do this.
enough said.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

you'd think

after growing up in the world of technological immersion i would have learned the one time you probably shouldn't blog or text or write something down for others to see that can't be quickly altered or deleted is when you're actually upset because you tend to trump up the charges a bit and then you just feel foolish reading over it. first off, deus and his mzungu ran out of time so they only shot the video around here and didn't make it to serengetti. secondly the Africa i dreamed of as a little girl isn't Serengetti and probably doesn't exsist anymore (thanks bible-thumpers).
I don't know if its in the news (doubting it) but theres been some killings about 2 hours north of here in Tarime. This countrys only ever had 4 free elections and the same party has won every time. The president right now is more a friend of big companies than little farmers and with the election coming up in 2010 people are starting to throw around words and some people have been killed. Bibi warned me not to walk in the streets today but Bibis always a little more worried than she needs to be. You can still talk (yell,shout so on) politics in the streets without creating too much of a rucus.
Hopefully I finish here and get to visit a school today. I've been reading this book that I originally didn't know was Chrisitan literature about the Feast of Fools which I think merges in history with May Day and also just about Festivity and Fantasy in life and then another about colonilizin. Lots of thoughts on it but not enough time to elaborate. Hope everyones well. I finally forced Zach to email me. Now if only Everett would again. I'm here, daydreaming and reading and occasionally leaving the front yard.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Deusi ni mtu mbovu kabisa

akia Mungu. akirudi, nitampiga.
honestly i dont really know whats up with Deus but I'm really fucking bummed out today. This guy came from America with the Discovery Channel to make a show about some of Deus's projects. I could have gone back to Kigoma already to see my friends but I told Deus I really want to see this Discovery Channel thing and come along. The guy whos doing the filming is only here three or four days. The first day Deus didn't wake me up because he figured I was tired. Yesterday I went and it was pretty cool (see all attacthed photos). Today I woke up early, got completely ready and waited in front of the house for Deus for hours before deciding he wasn't coming. My guess is that he got drunk last night, woke up late and decided he didn't have time to stop by his Grandmas and get me. I'm really angry and bummed and all kinds of lame emotionallllls. This wouldn't be as bad if they wern't going to Serengetti today. Deus knows I don't have money for a car to Serengetti and I won't get a chance to go and one oppurtionity comes along for me to go and he prevents me from going. I don't even know what to do about it. Serengetti is like the Africa I've been dreaming about seeing since I was a little kid and I thought I might really go. Deus has this weird thing when he gets guests he isolates them. When Kate came he kept her at Tembo (i.e. tourist) beach all day and I hardly saw her even though she told me she wanted to spend time with his family and see more of the day to day living. Yesterday he didn't even tell me they were going to Serengetti, he just said him and Brian (the Discovery guy) had work that wouldn't involve me or Elizabeth (Deus's sister, we were carrying Brians equipement) and it was Brian who mentioned they were going to Serengetti. I think Deus believes Brian doesn't want us to go or wants to go himself. He tries to do things to please his guests without asking them what they want first. and everytime someone new shows up here he just acts like I don't exsist. These last few weeks I sit at home all day and I don't even see him, I have trouble getting any of my project done. If I don't get the work done on my project next week I know its not going to get done and I'm going to leave for Kigoma or another city. It's just fucking ridiculous and I'm really not happy. I don't know if that means I return peoples money or I put someone else of the project or what but I am tired of sitting around in Musoma watching fucking television and Deus doesn't get it at all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

learning patterns

the psychologists in my family might appreciate this: I picked up on a learning experience in real life the other day, (i'm writing to fast to think of correct termonology, not to mention really mind-droning music is playing)... you see theres this cultural (and practical) thing here that you don't except gifts with the left hand (the left hand is the hand you wipe with and therefore viewed and dirty and never eaten or shaken with). Of course in three months its pretty hard to learn that this once previously neutral extremity of your body is suddenly offensive. So every morning when my Bibi hands me a vitumbua to eat and I'm sitting with the left side of my body closer to her then the right I automactially take it with the left hand. But I learned to do otherwise in less then three days. the first day I took it with the left hand and immediatly remembered afterwards, with the help of Bibis glare. The second day I took it with the left hand, and right after a child tried to take one with their left hand and she yelled at them and scolded them, so I observed the action. The third day I started with my left hand and then switched to the right just before taking it. the fourth I took it with the right. So I was never negatively effected by taking it with my left hand but I still learned through observation and things not said. There you go scientists, analyze all you want.
I just got a wonderful email from Priscilla. I love when people give me information about all the people I've forgotten about/ probably don't care about.. it gives me that mixed and gushy sense of home.
I'm taking my turn at being really poor this week, I don't want to take money out of the bank so I'm just waiting for Deus to repay me some money he's borrowed... I found six dollars in my pocket today which is why I was able to write this to you at all.
Also, not that I think anyone was planning on it, but I wouldn't recommend sending any letters now, they take so long i'lll be gone before they get here.
I'm giong now to see if I've gotten permission to visit the local schools and find students for my Library Project. Deus is saying I need to make some sort of report to show everyone who donated exactly what they're getting so I need to start working on that. Also the people from the Discovery Channel are arriving today to do work... sort of exciting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

finally getting down to business

im so excited, the work for the project is getting done this week for the most part. today im typing a letter to ask for permission to visit the schools and talk with students. This afternoon i'll turn it in and hopefully by tomorrow we can get a response. Deus found a head administrator woman to help take me around to schools so we can find the students this week. all really promising. and a great weight off my back.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


shit I just messed all my pictures up by trying to put them on the left, but uh.. the upper left is a building at Gombe so you can see how particularly tree-clustered and awesome that place was. absolutely overgrown. next to the is the house i was staying at in Kigoma... I'm going back for a week and a half because mamadias maternity leave is ending so shes returning to her home there and I want to visit all my friends really bad, next to this is a baboon looking at me at Gombe... eep.

my friend Shakira dancing with Dia and my little boyfriend Malik

I can't remember if I've already posted this picture but its out front of Ngollos shop in Kigoma, these boards tell you what movies are playing that day/what time/etc

inside the home of this cop thats someones inlaw that i know, or something like that. everyone has fake flowers and big cheap looking plastic entertainment centers like this it seems.
an abandoned market in musoma, im suprised homeless people don't sleep there, but then how often do you see homeless people here... rents 15 bucks a month or less
tanzanian graph
if you die, die in god and not in person.. and below that it says in swahili, Nachiro quit wetting the bed. this is on a wall by that big rock i tried to climb where like 5 guys hang out and smoke weed all day and write in charcoal on the wall, the rock so on
someone from US sent Deus choclate chips so I tried to make cookies, they didn't look good and some of the ingredients were down'right scary but they tasted okay.
the toliet slash shower at bibis house, fresh
mamadia with her new baby boy cassiana
jane who works for mamadia doing laundry, me and jane went to the club last night and got all sorts of drama with some 20 year old guy who wants to date jane, he walked into our room at three a.m. when we got back from the club and tried to pull jane out of bed and i basically did the best i could to get him out in swahili and also mentioned that he was in my room and i felt hot and wanted to be naked and go to bed (everyone sleeps more or less naked) and i'd appreciate it if he'd get the heck out of my bedroom so i could be on with it. crazy crazy guy. he was mainly mad that he bought her like 4 dollars worth of beer and a motorcycle ride home and she wouldnt go out with him still
one of the neighbour kids waking stan up from where he was sleeping on the couch so we could take pictures
the half and half lizards!!!

also i'd like to apologize I've been getting a lot of emails lately, two days ago 8, today 11 and with my blog and all my friends blogs I'm failing to respond to everyone... don't take it personally cus it isn't just you. went to the club for sikukuu (last day of ramaddon) but it more or less sucked. its was better the day before when we turned the front yard of bibis house into a club literally. I haven't gotten any mail in awhile and I'm expecting some so I hope there isn't a post office problem... ermm... yeah lots of dancing lately and pilough (however you spell that rice stuff) some new clothes and this weekend a trip to Kigoma that I'm half decided not to go on. I'm stressing that I don't have enough on my project done but all I really need to do is go to schools and find which girls but Deus likes to put things off honestly. I'll be like 'lets go to one school today' ..'eh today i dont really feel it, we can do it tomorrow' boys honestly have more mood swings than girls. im always ready to go now, it would be horrible should the work not get done and we have to return peoples money or something. i emailed jane goodall and her secratory emailed me back saying she liked the project a lot and jane would read my email when she was back from tour in Australia. cool.