Friday (6-26)- Played review games with the kids all day to end of out 2 weeks of teaching with some fun. After playing jeporady all morning, we practiced from graduation and watched all the kids skits again. Each classroom was composed of 40 kids…so 40 that EMily and Charlotte taught and 40 that Christine, Lucy and I taught….out of the two classes we had to pick 5 kids that stoof out the most and that we thought would be good leaders of their class, these 10 kids got to be peer educators for their school and starting next week, will be able to go to the GSC office for the whole week and learn the program and make posters and other materials to bring back to their school so they can start a health club and continue to the knowledge we gave them. I’m so happy all of these kids learned so much over the week and you could tell during the jeporady game how much they all knew as they were fighting for the answer. After work we headed to the Blue Heron and stoped at an ATM before, where i attempted to withdraw money but forgot my pin…stupid i know but that was one thing i forgot to remember before going to Africa haha…texted my Mom to hopefully fix the problem, because she can pretty much fix anything! And she did!
I’ve progressively lost my voice with this cold but am starting to feel better regarless of how atrocious my voice sounds…basically like a lady thats beenchain smoking for 30 years haha. Got home after the Blue Heron and for the 3rd day in a row my Mama was not home, so i asked the girl that helps my Mama around the house during the day for moto maji -hot water for a bucket bath and she showed me where all the things were so i could do it on my own tomorrow. After my bath i had dinner that the house girl prepared (banana stew covered in coconut milk, beans and a lettuce and onion mix). I cannot wait for an American meal when i get back i wouldnt even care if i ended up eating a Big Mac as long as the meal doesnt consist of rice, beans, ugali, even plantation bananas….i really dont want to see rice and beans for a goof 6 months after i return home.
Oh yeah so today at all the schools that all the volunteers taught at over the past 2 weeks (there were 3 total) a mobile HIV testing group came, bt the older lady that was with the group was completely off her rocker! She told the kids that before they could get tested that they needed to have a proper knowledge about HIV/AIDs…and then she proceeded to tell that that you get HIV through blood transfusions the most, that sexual intercourse only transmits its 1% of the time, condoms are bad, saliva can transmit HIv and so much more…so she was basically telling the kids things that we had told them weren’t true and they all got realyl confused and asked why she was lying to them. We had to call Jen and have her come remove the ladt from teh school premises haha it was quite a sceen to say the least!
I’ve also decided that my new Mama is also off her rocker due to the fact that she thinks i’m braveheart….to start this off properly i’m just going to mention that shes been M.I.A. everyday that i come home and donestn show up until dinner time, so i’m basically living by myself at least for the past week. My Mama doesnt show up until 7 pm everyday in time to make dinner and leaves me to eat it myself while she says she’s just going to be outside. ( I really dont even know if this woman eats anything to be honest, i’ve never seen her wat anything or drink anything for that matter) so last night (Thursday) she came back like normal, gave me dinner and then went outside (she tells me this normally and that she’ll be out there and to just call her name if i need her) So around 7:30 Thursday the power just went out in the middle of eating dinner and normally when this happens my Mama comes inside and turns on a lantern for me, but that night she didnt come in either because: A – she didn’t know the power was out of B- because she wasnt even out there…so i sat at the table for 5 minutes in the dark before deciding to get up and trace the walls from the dining room to the kitchen and then to the door with my hands, when i opened the door to outside, it was just as dark outside as it was in the house. I called for Mama Ruth, but she didnt answer so i walked around the house to see if she was anywhere and when i reached where the gate that locked the house off to the rest of the street…was OPEN. this terrified me because, your gate should never be left open at night here, its one of the most unsafe things…so as soon as i realized my Mama was not there and the gate was open i ran into the house and locked the door, basically locking my Mama out of the house for my own safey haha. When i got inside i traced the walls of the still unfamiliar house to my bedroom where i fumbled around to find my headlamp and then just went back to eating dinner but was on full alert. I sat at the dining room table reading until 10 pm when my Mama finally returned (my bed time is at 8 – 8:30 normally) when she got back she pulled on the handled to the door and realized it was locked…so i went over and unlocked it. She asked me why the door was locked and i said calmly” because you left the gate open and i couldnt find you” when i really was screaming inside “YOU LEFT ME HOME ALONE, IN TANZANIA…WITH THE GATE OPEN AND BAD PEOPLE OUTSIDE” haha…she just said hakuna matata and lalasalama- goodnight haha so that i did.
Anyways today (Friday) she did the same thing except she came home at 7 made dinner and then told me she was leaving and to let the guard in around 8:30.. WTF this lady is nuts, what makes her think that i’m taking my little white self out in the pitch dark to let in a tribal (Masai) watchman by myself, in Africa, with no self defense weapon..or even fluent Swahili….i mean at least give me a machetti or something. So tonight after i cleaned up from dinner i waited and listened for a knock and around 8:30 there was…i didnt answer the first two times, i just sat in the house thinking this whole thing was crazy and the third time i braved the night and went to the gate. When i opened the gate there was a man wrapped in the tribal (plaid pattern) material that was about 6 foot ro taller and scary and **** …he just said ASANTE- thank you in a deep voice and i said KARIBU- welcome and ran bakc to the house haha and then again locked the door and my Mama out of the house haha. Then had to wait up to let her in the house when she returned late in the night.
Point of all of this is that my Mama is nuts and i’m slightly happy to be moving homestays just so i wont feel like i’m living in Tanzania alone for the next 4 weeks .
Saturday (6-27) – Tylenol PM has been my best friend the past few nights….not only to help my get rid of this cold, but to help me pass out after long nights of waiting up for my insane Mama. Finally feeling a little better minus the flew cough i’ve developed but we’re not going to get into that. Met up with Christine and walked into town to meet with the other volunteers to walk to the school. We arrived at the school and cleaned up the classrooms and set up for graduation which was supposed to start at 9 am, but between the daladala that GSC rented to bring us tables, tablecloths, audio equiptment, food, and soda begin missing in action until 10:30, the guest speaker not showing up until 10:30, and all the kids parents and friends that came to watch the graduation not piling in until quarter of eleven (its oky though because they’re all on Swahili time)…we didnt begin the ceremony until 11 am haha. Once things started rolling the ceremony didnt actually take that long. We did introductions, talked about what GSC was and the program that all the kids had gone through for the last 2 weeks, talked about the top 10 kids we picked and the club they will start at their school, listened to the guest speaker, watched all the kids skits and songs, and then handed their cetrificated for completing the program. The whole ceremony was done by 1pm and then we all had lunch together that GSC provided and then were attacked by all the kids for picture for a good hour…the whole day was soo much fun!! After graduation, Emily and I went to Arusha Hotel as always..unfortunately the last time well be able to do this since i’m getting moved out to Nkoraranga haha, then we went to Blue Heron to chat and read for a few hours in the sun.
When i got back to my homestay my Mama was gone…not a surprise though…and then i washed my clothes and shoes, boiled half a 5 gallon bucket worth of boiling water since my Mama was not there to only make me an 1/8 of a bucket haha so i got to take a long long HOT bucket bath and enjoyed every minute of it. Mama Ruth returned at 7 as always made dinner and said she was leaving again this time she locked the house up when she left and then the gate..so i felt a little better about being alone that night, even though the power was of again tonight. I really dont know what i would have done if i didn’t have a headlamp with me.
Cant believe June is almost over, this month has gone by alot faster than i would have imagained! Today Emily and I met up and walked to the Patisserie to use to internet (where i am now) and are meeting up with all the volunteers that are doing the sustainable agriculture programs to go to The Shanga River House again….i cannot even begin to expalin how excited i am to eat phenomenal food today that is NOT rice and beans!! haha
Well i think this will be my last blog until next weekend, or until i find where an internet cafe is up the mountains where i am moving. Wish me luck with this rural homestay in the jungle of Mt.Meru!!
…for those of you with a facebook i uploaded more picture!!