Today we made tacos for some Tanzanian friends. They had never tried Mexican food, so we thought it would be kind of fun to make some. Yeah, so it turns out that taco means butt in Swahili. 

I don't think they liked them very much... It was probably because of the name.


 
 
Today we did a service project sponsored by the radio station that I visited a few days ago. We were cleaning up all of the garbage and weeds in the village and burning it. That is how people take care of trash here. And no, we did not roast marshmallows... they would end up tasting like garbage. 

Oh, and Ally got to say a few things on the radio station! 
 
 
Here's an extra long post for all those readers out there...
Today we went to the Masaai market. The Masaai wear a lot of jewelry, and they wear decorative fabric. All of them have huge holes in their ears. They are very interesting people.
I bought some way sweet shoes made out of old car tires for 3 dollars. 
We also got on a bus to go back to Dodoma. We were going to get Shabiby tickets, (which is the nicest bus here in Tanzania) but they were sold out. If the Shabiby bus was in the United States, it would be a pretty low class bus. But here, it is the most luxerious bus. All of the business men ride on it. 
So instead we got tickets on the Al-Mushoom. Wow, it was the dirtiest, smelliest, bummiest bus ever. And I think everyone already knew that, because it took three hours to fill with people. None of these busses would even consider leaving with only a half full bus... No, they need to have people standing in the aisles before they leave. So there we sat, for three hours, waiting to leave. The drive itself was only three and a half hours, so we could have been in Dodoma already by the time we actually moved. 
Meanwhile, there are people everywhere trying to sell us stuff. Underwear, loaves of bread, perfume, baskets, you name it. They even allow sellers to get on the bus and walk down the aisle. We were constantly bombarded with random junk. "sista, sista, buy some socks!"
You may not believe it, but this bus ride got worse. It was around 9:00 pm, and suddenly the lights in the bus turned on. Two of the bus attendants were surrounding this man who seemed to be drunk. They were searching his stuff, checking his pockets, looking all around the seats... I was very confused at the time, but we figured later that the drunk man had stole someones cell phone, and they were looking for it. Finally they found it, and their suspicions were confirmed: This man was a criminal. Suddenly, one of the bus attendants slapped the drunk man hard. Then the other started punching him, and the guy whose cell phone was stolen started stomping on him and kicking him. And this was only two rows in front of us! I was really scared, and I was shaking all over. They just kept beating this man up. But the bus drove on towards Dodoma. They took the drunk guy to the front of the bus, and they were going to turn him in to the police once we got there. 


After 7 hours on that bus, we finally made it safe to our purple house. I was so tired and I was still shaking from the incident on the bus. It was quite an adventure.
 
 
Today I was an architect.
And no, we did not match our shirts on purpose...


Today we did some work for the Nashera, which is the hotel that we are staying in. (Oh, and we came back to Morogoro.) They are going to build a locker room and a bar out by the swimming pool. They have built the walls so far, so we went out and measured them, and I drew scaled down picture of it.


We also did some measurements at the staff house so we can make a model for the new Nashera hotel that is being built in Dodoma. 




Another fun adventure: I went down one of the worst slides ever!
This was a wooden slide that could give you slivers when you slide down. It was also very very slow. It was so slow that I don't think this picture would count as an action shot.
 
 

Today I learned how to operate a backhoe.

My sister also learned how to use it. Together, we dug a lovely hole about 8 feet deep. We needed it to test the soil for the Nashera Dodoma hotel that is being built.


Here's an action shot of me poring the dirt!

Yeah, I'll bet that most girls my age don't know how to use a backhoe...
 
 
Today we visited the headquarters of a radio station in Dodoma. We have become good friends with the owners of the station, so they took us on a tour. The area where they were recording had really thick, carpeted walls. It was pretty dark in there, and one of the guys was wearing sunglasses. I thought that was kind of funny
This is Baptist and Lela, who are the owners. They are very nice people, and Lela took us to the market after to help us buy our food for the week.
Those are bags of potatoes....

Well, I guess I'll just end it on that!
 

The arts

06/22/2013

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Today, we went to the University of Dodoma. We did a music workshop with the students. Carol taught them how to read music. It was really fun!
I also brought my accordion and played it for them...
We brought cookies and they were quite a hit
There was a school arts festival going on, so we went to that too. There was dancing, music and art.
The paintings were selling for around 100,000 shillings, or 60 dollars. 

This is a paper mache giraffe. I wanted to take it home in my suitcase.

Next, we saw a play. I had no idea what was going on because they spoke in Swahili, but it went along the lines of the women's rights movement I think.

When we came back home, the little neighbor boys were mesmerized by my accordion.


Another thing...

I washed my clothes by hand for the first time in my life! Here is an action shot:
Now those are some nicely cleaned clothes.
 
 
Today I saw a man with a mattress on his bike
And we can barely even fit a mattress in a car...


We went to the market today. It was very different, but I enjoyed it.
This huge pile in this picture is fish. Apparently they like to use it for seasoning.

"Magic Obama Strawberry Flavored Bubblegum" Unfortunately the box was empty

Ice cream bike! My dream!

Another fun thing: Our "Something that we will never use" toilet was fixed today! This is how most of the toilets are here. We have a second nice seat toilet in the house, so why would we use this one?
 

Nyumbani

06/20/2013

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Nyumbani means house in Swahili, and that is what I drew today.
This is a mud hut. There are a lot of them in the poor villages, because they are cheap to build. They are made of sticks and mud. Sometimes they use leaves for the roof, and sometimes they use corrugated metal.

We went on a walk today to check out the construction site of a hotel being built.
This is where they were poring the cement. They were working on the foundation. The women get paid 4 dollars a day, and the men get paid 5 dollars a day.
Rather than using cement trucks, the women would take the cement in the buckets to the place where it needed to be pored. It was a very slow process.
I can't imagine how long this whole thing is going to take. They don't have any of the tools that we use on a construction site. They got rid of a pile of dirt with a shovel rather than a giant machine one. They transported things in buckets rather than using a truck.
But one day, it will be a hotel. That day will be far in the future...
 
 
We went to the market first thing this morning. First we went to the grocery store and got sugar and bread and all the other basics. We are going to make cookies on Saturday, so we got ingredients for that. Then we went outside and bought some fruits from the vendors. There was a man who came up to us and tried to sell us some really cool artwork but by habit, I just tuned him out. Everywhere, everyone tries to sell you everything. Now that I think about it later, I wish I would have gotten something! Well, we bought some mangos and pinnapple, and this very large avocado... They are HUGE here!
We gave a soccer ball to the little boys and played with them for a little bit, but we came back when an older boy came along and was making us uncomfortable. We tried unlocking the gate, but it wouldn't open! It was going to be another 3 hours until Carol came home to let us in! One of the little next door neighbor boys got over the huge wall somehow and he let us in.

With three hours stuck at home, we found some interesting things to do...
I made some shaker eggs, which are plastic eggs with rice inside. We are going to use them for the choir
And I made a refreshing cup of lemonade with paper!
Our maid named Tina came over today. She washed the clothes and mopped the floor. It is interesting how she cleaned the floor.
I guess they don't use mops here.

She always worked bending down. My back would hurt so bad if I tried doing the same thing!