Today’s Adventures

Today’s Adventures

Here is what my today looked like. I would say it is a typical day I have here, however, there is no such thing as a typical day here. Everything is unpredictable and you have to be willing to roll with the punches.

7:30 Wake up to the sunrise over the ocean. Make Austin coffee and enjoy some quiet time reading the Bible and journaling.

8:30 Check emails, facebook and any blogs I like keeping up with. Map out a schedule for the day so that I make sure I stay on track.

9:00 Jackie, our wonderful houseworker, arrives. Today she brought her son Kevin because we invited all of our Tanzanian friends over for dinner, and she is included of course.

9:30 Head to HOPAC to give Austin his lunch that he forgot, and do some various odds and ends at HOPAC.

9:45 Hail a bajaj driver to take me to White Sands. Today the Bajaj driver I used, I have used before. Unfortunately because my Kiswahili is getting better I can understand a lot more of what they are saying. He told me he loved me and wanted to marry me repeatedly, even though I told him multiple times that I have a husband. This made for a very awkward ride. Needless to say, I will not use him again as a driver.

9:55 Arrive at Larmey’s house. Say hello to Len and have a nice chat. Grab a good book, and a crock pot that we got for free and left there on accident. Say hello to Opas, our friend and driver.

10:00 Attempt to leave with car, however Opas informs me that one of the tires needs air. I say no problem I can get it filled. Off I go to run a few errands.

10:15 Arrive at Engen, a local gas station/supermarket/pharmacy/cooking gas/power/car repair shop/ATM/ Movie Shop/ and Fast food stop all wrapped into one, it really is convenient. I tell the car fundis (experts) about my tire problem but they tell me sorry we cannot fix because we do not have any air pressure in our machines.

10:30 I make a last minute decision to stop at the pharmacy to get our second dose of deworming medication. (Yes, I know you are all jealous. You are strongly encouraged to deworm every 6 months here.) Super helpful pharmacist. I also buy Umeme (power). No monthly bills here just give your meter number and they give you a receipt with a ridiculously long set of numbers you enter into the meter to give you credit.

10:40 I went to the super market grabbed a few things sugar, milk, bread and phone credit. I so badly wanted to buy Austin a magazine but they are really expensive here. While paying one of the tire guys approaches me and tries to tell me something about changing a tire. My Kiswahili is still limited, especially when it comes to car talk so I tell him to wait and that I will come.

10:50 Tire fundi shows me that there are two nails in the tire and it needs to be changed. I had no choice but to stop my future errands and get the tire changed. I called Opas who is an expert and knows how much it should cost. Got myself a fair price. They told me it would take 20 minutes. Being in Tanzania I knew this meant longer, my guess was 45 because as they were not busy.

11:00 I walked down the street a bit in search of some new furniture for some of the new Young Life people who are coming to work at HOPAC. The first place I stopped gave me an outrageous price, so I proceeded to the next store. The second place was very friendly, appreciated that I knew some Kiswahili (it seems as everyone appreciates when a mzumgu, or foreigner, knows enough kiswahili to have a bit of a conversation), and gave me pretty fair prices. I jotted them down and told them I would come back another day. I walked back to Engen to see if my car was ready.

11:20 Car not ready of course but no big deal. I had worked up a sweat so I bought some cold water to quench my thirst. Although it is winter here, it is still a bit humid and walking in the sun can be tiring. However, I am not complaining as the weather is generally between 75 and 80 with nice breezes all day. I sat down on a bench and began reading my book. I always carry a book with me here as you never know when you will have to wait for something.

11:30- Car is ready! Pretty good guess 40 mins and it was ready. I paid they men and was on my way.

11:40 On the way back I stopped at a local store. Not really sure what to call it. They sell toilets, showers, glass bowls, plates and cups, wrapping paper, paint and a few other things. I needed a shower curtain rod and they had one for a decent price. Whoo hoo! It is always a good day when they have what you need for a decent price. The vendor asked me if I was married, and if he could have my number, always awkward. I really like doing things with Austin better here. It alleviates a lot of the awkward moments.

11:45 Headed back to the house. Here I find Jackie working away and Kevin, who is 2 and cute as a button, wanting to play with me. He and I eat a piece of bread with blue band and begin our work. We cleaned together, and cut vegetables together and much more. He was a great help. Jackie and I realized we did not have enough garlic for the main dish, pilau, so off I went to the store again.

1:00 On the road again. Thankfully these dukas are very close to us. I stopped and got a few more sodas from the soda vendor. His name was Peter, and he asked if I would be willing to teach his children English. I told him I would love to but that I was leaving soon. He was very nice. Then I went to one of my favorite veggie dukas. Bought a bunch of garlic and decided last minute to get things to make my own pili pili sauce (hot sauce). On the way back I decided to stop and see our favorite banana vendor. I bought a bunch of bananas for our evening guests.

1:30 I returned. Back to work. Chopping. Peeling. Cutting. And lots of it! We made a huge heap of kachumbali salad (a cabbage salad) and pilau (meat, rice and potatoes dish). I purposely made lots of extras so that I could give it away to our friends.

4:45 After much work the food was ready and, the house picked up. Now it was time to get freshened up. At this time Austin came home from work, and helped a bit with the preparations.

5:30 Guests arrive. So fun to see our Tanzanian friends with the families. There were many kids and wives to. I finally feel as if my Kiswahili is decent enough that they can understand me and I can understand them a bit as well which is so very nice.

6:00 We all enjoy sodas, and homemade chips that Austin made. One of the babies who was about 1 and a half cried pretty much the whole time. He was scared of Austin and I . Apparently many Tanzanian children can be scared of wazungu (foreigners) because they are not used to having white people around. It was pretty funny seeing him cry dramatically the whole night. Poor baby.

6:30 We eat! I put out silverware, but I am not sure why. Austin and I were the only ones that used it. Definitely not cultural to use silverware. Making small talk and asking questions. Thanking them for all of their hard work and for all they have done for us. In turn they told us tutakumbuka, which means we will remember or miss you. This warmed my heart and made me wish I could have more time with them.

7:00 Austin began playing cards with our friends. Super fun as Austin’s Kiswahili is limited, but they all understood the game. It was called last card.

8:00 Guests are full tired and ready to leave, but very grateful for the food and party.

8:15 Austin and I clean up the mess. Apparently eating with your hands gets a lot more food on the floor.

9:00 We did it! Now time to relax, decompress and get ready for bed.

It was a long day and I am tired but a great day none the less. Everything did not go exactly as planned but still turned out all
right. I am so thankful for days like these where I just get experience Tanzanian culture. I am grateful for our house worker Jackie. She is such a blessing! Not as a worker at all but as a friend. She teaches me so much. I am thankful for all of our Tanzanian friends and pray God’s blessing on them and their families always.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mom on July 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Siku nzuri!


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