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.

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