Friday, August 29, 2008


favorite word of the week.

When I have more than 20 minutes, I will copy ans paste parts of my emails here as I feel those are a better representation of what's going on in my life. That and it's got all the juicy details.

I can't believe I've been here for 5 weeks already. Where did the time go? I came here unsure of what I was doing exactly, then got super stoked on being active and now I'm somewhere in between. I met a really neat and smart person who proposed a lot of questions that got me thinking, what the hell am i doing here? what am I planning to do after this? what are my plans in terms of school? am i really just trying to move to NYC to be with all the hipsters (hah NO.)?

be assured, i'm doing a lot of thinking here. once it gets dark at 7, there's not much to do but speed sudoku, logic puzzles and think. so much thinking.

in 4 or 5 days i fly to zanzibar. there goes more money. but hey! it's MY holiday. i want some sun. yes holiday. damn brits. i'm moving to your damn country and picking up your accents because it sounds fancier than my rough americanese.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I am well. After 2 weeks at Mt Meru University, I finally moved in with my host family. They are adorable. We live in a place called Manyire village, like 60 min from Arusha. I'm trying to find a google photos to show you where... Apparently there are 5000 people here but it's SO rural. I could get lost for days walking the mountains and fields.
we live on a farm with goats, cattle, cows and hella chickens. and one annoying kitten. YES THERE ARE LIKE 20 ANIMALS. I wake up with goats talking to each other and a rooster yelling. One of the mama cows gave birth last night. Mama is going to teach me to milk a cow soon. And she is teaching me to make Tanzanian food... more on that later. the house is super simple with 3 rooms, one of which I share with an English girl named Kate. She is super nice and funny and keeps me sane. we have three kids, 9, 7 and 5. they are so cute! there are a bunch of kids that live close (all family) so there are times there will be 10 kids in a 10 by 10 "living room". totally nuts. The first night one of the boys dreaded my hair and kept saying "rasta rasta". My mama is super nice and cooks pretty good food. The standard Tanzanian food is rice, ugali (corn flour and water... kind of like cream of wheat except you roll it into a ball and scoop up beans with it), beans, beans, mchicha (shredded spinach that is heated) and chapati (like naan bread or tortillas). My roommate and I requested no meat as we cannot eat cow instestines :( gross. so we asked for chicken and got all the parts of teh chicken BUT the breast. seriously. like chicken feet and neck and everything else. apparently the head is edible? Anyway, we are getting sick of the high carb diet so we are trying to get some more eggs and peanut butter into our diet. Standard breakfast is white bread with butter and instant coffee. OH AND our kitchen is separate from our house... a little hut with these stone boxes that make a fire place. Totally weird, I know. I'll take a picture if I can. So mama taught me to make chapati and roasted bananas so far. Next up is ugali and some other stuff.

So what have I been doing? Teaching! we started teaching last Wednesday. We're teaching at a primary school where each class is OVER 60 students. We teach standards 4, 5, 6 and 7 (about 10-16 yr olds). The standard 7 class is 60 students and apparently the standard 4 is 94. OH MY GOODNESS. Teaching is a lot of fun though. We teach in English and then our Tanzanian teaching partners translate to English. It's really rewarding work. all the kids have a lot of energy and we do a lot of shouting games and clapping and such.