Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jan 12th, 2010

“The Traveler is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep.” – Margaret Mead

Today was a success. I showered. Writing the journal for today is quite a challenge with the family scattered around Tanzania, but I will do my best to recount our bust day.

We made Mama Toni prepare us an early breakfast so those traveling – Edward, Mohammed, Greg, Marcia, and Ben – could get out on the road. The single ladies stayed behind, and somehow we managed to get a lot done without our friends. We said goodbye (for now) to Ben and are hoping his journey to Kenya goes well! (we worry – hope this makes you smile when you’re typing this up). Then us four remaining mzungus went off to work.

Danielle and Kayli went to the clinic where they made sure that a young girl getting 3 teeth extracted will never go to the doctor again (we heard her screams on our way to school, poor thing!). Sam and I went to the headmaster’s house to work with Bryson the Mason. We had several visitors to the house who all commented on “how hard we were working.” We are professionals now at standing around.

Mealwise, our day was full of treats! Pancakes for breakfast, chapattis for lunch, then snickers from Mama Marcia after dinner! Lunch was brief because we were lonely, but luckily lots of children came over to play soccer and look at the pictures in my book about climate change – they had lots to say about the pictures of trains, planes, skyscrapers, and machinery. Too bad we have no idea what they were saying.

In the afternoon Kayli and Danielle worked late at the clinic (as did Dr. Godlove) and our mason had to take off somewhere so Sam and I went to Shadrack’s office in search of work. We chatted in his office for a while waiting for a student to walk a mile and back to fetch keys to the computer room. Then we typed up the graduation invitation and some other forms – in Kiswahili – and we felt really useful with computers compared to construction. Then Sam challenged me to get out of my comfort zone – which I was very reluctant to do – and join in on the groups of students practicing songs for graduation. The boys were all very welcoming but the girls have not warmed up to us yet. A funny moment was when an older boy requested that we step outside so we could solve something that was puzzling him – turns out someone had given him playdough (presumably some crazy mzungu) and he was wondering what in the world this mushy stuff in a plastic can could be used for. We were sorry to disappoint him went we told him that it was just a small toy for children. And then we made a playdough person to demonstrate.

We got back late in the afternoon to the mission house where we sat and had a few laughs on the porch. Then we were so surprised and happy to have the rest of our human beings return from Iringa! We missed them so much, but it sounds like they had a good day in town. Marcia bought some fabrics with racy sayings on them (just kidding) and Mohammed brought us Pringles which were devoured like hippos eating humans. After dinner Dr. Godlove stopped by for a chat, then we sort of showered (4 girls in 1 bathroom) and now the generator’s off so it’s time for bed. As always, I’m looking forward to tomorrow and am so happy to be here!