Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween..a bit of nostalgia

I'm trying to update more regularly so here goes. Not being in the US for a holiday definitely makes someone nostalgic quite easily! A couple people dressed up here, but without the little trick-or-treaters at my door, the jack-o-lanterns, and numerous costumes it's not the same. Of course I did my part and dressed up. Once as born to be wild, but then the electricity went out and we couldn't find a ride so we ended up not going out, but for the Halloween outreach concert (see next paragraph) I dressed up as tickled pink (photos soon). We went out last night and granted the costumes I saw were definitely the most amount of clothing I've seen on women in awhile, but none were clever. The entry fee was cheaper if you dressed up, but they didn't "accept that costume." So the only costume I saw that was worth noting was a Voldemort costume, dressed in green for Slytherin of course, and a mask on the back of his head. Another note about the entry fee. I was amazed they could charge the equivalent of $7.50 for an entry fee with no drink or anything included in such a developing country. I only pay that much for salsaing in Minneapolis! But I have managed to get a pumpkin and am going to show my Swahili teacher how to carve a pumpkin so it'll be Halloween in some way. I hear it's really cold there. Here it isn't quite sweltering (especially compared to Cairo) but it's definitely warm and I"m told will stay like this till May. Tanktops and shorts basically year round now. Except mosquitoes are getting really bad at night!

So yesterday we had an outreach concert at a place called the Plaster House where kids are recovering after burns or injuries involving casts (hence the name). The turnout was incredible. While there was definitely room for improvement in terms of organization and what not, the music itself was incredible. Sure, some was ability, but it was more the idea that outreach students (Tanzanians) and the wealthiest expats were not only in one room, but supporting each other, listening to everyone's accomplishments. The most powerful was at the end when all the instruments and voices, regardless of who, joined together in singing the national anthem. Perhaps, I come across as race-heavy, but here, the disparity between wazungu (white people) and Tanzanians is so vast and it is VERY rare that they mingle. While we weren't quite to the point of mingling, they were playing something that universally everyone can appreciate: the gift of music. Music transcends language. It doesn't matter if the words are understood . A familiar melody of music is a bridge between any culture.

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