Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No electricity again!

GRRRR! Power out AGAIN!!!!!!!!! It was out all day today, finally came on at 7:30 pm tonight and now is back off 3 hrs later. They do power cuts here but no one has any warning of when they will happen so of course scheduling Skype dates is impossible (sorry again Ryan!). Other than that, everything is continuing to go well though I can’t lie. I had a bit of a reality check this weekend, including my phone getting robbed (but I love my new one so it’s okay and let’s be honest I had few numbers in it), but overall it was still a fun wknd. Went to the Arusha International Arts Festival, which wasn’t so international, but still quite cool to see African acrobats, amusing to watch African “hip hop” and a band that is most closely classified as REPETITIVE reggae! I met a lot of young people at church so that was great. Saa Nane taught me how to make ugali, maize flour that you dip in beans, vegetables, and spinach usually. He can cook SO well! We made the BEST guacamole I have EVER had! And today I learned how to make chapati, a TZ flatbread. I feel like I have the advantages of having a host family in that way, but the independence of living without a family. I joined a gym, which while expensive, I really think I won’t regret because it has a roof but is open aired so it’s like you’re outside, has great heart-pumping music, I’m back to reading (sadly, working out is really the only time I have a good 30 min to read), and the facilities are very nice. Calanetics just didn’t give me the same high I get from a good cardio and weight lifting. I am very sore today though since I haven’t lifted weights since I’ve gotten here!
I know I talk about this every time but my Swahili is getting better and better. I had to translate a letter into Swahili for the Umoja Ensemble parents (that starts on Fri!!!) and of course I had MANY errors, but just the fact that I got fragments of sentences right made me very happy and I’m really trying to speak as much Swahili as I can to the house staff even though they speak English. Though it was funny when I got dropped off after work and told Babu he didn’t need to open the gate since I got a ride. I tried to ask him how to say ride in Swahili but all he said was “lifty” in English and I chuckled at the fact that this toothless, leopard hat wearing, old man couldn’t think of word in his own language.
As my Facebook says, I’ve started a granola making business with two customers at the current moment, and have made yogurt, hummus, and bread. The bread turned out SUPER well which I was worried about since it didn’t rise before it went in the oven, but maybe yeast just works differently here. The hummus is a bit too tahini-ified so I need to figure out how to mellow it without adding water and ruining the consistency, but of course the Internet isn’t working to find a recipe.
The African sunsets are so beautiful here-literally looks like a ball of fire in the sky. Have  three pages left of The Legacies of Julius Nyerere which I would recommend to anyone! It’s all different opinions on his discourse on development and then finishes with my favorite chapter, where he defines socialism and makes some excellent points. I’m not necessarily pro-Socialist governments, but I do think he has some very valid points, and especially with the corruption of TZ government today, the power of Mwalimu (teacher) as they call him here, is emphasized.
Jacaranda trees are in full bloom, which is a bright, light purple. GORGEOUS! I’m finally starting to walk around town and know where I am though I still have a long way to go. And my piano schedule is filling up and non-profit work has started so life is in full swing.
Well hopefully the Internet comes back on tmrw morning so I can post this.
Salamu, (Best regards)


  1. Love hearing about your activities-- you sound like a busy woman!! Will you please post pics of the sunsets you are describing?? Sounds WONDERFUL! :-)