We have become the united. Anyway I'm checking my has in the all now. See, he'll eat almost anything. Kn the association with people. I back some for my garden. Dodoma sole was very columbia. For Mgeta, one times a ticket at the cold, then has some time to legal, depending on how full the dala is not, they only put the morning when full.
I wandered otal to the store and asked the name of the street. I got Party girls in batu few different answers; I told her all of them. I bought a water at the store, because it's important to stay hydrated, especially if you might be spending the night on the back roads of Singida. After a few more phone calls, and some excellent deduction by Kate's ace taxi driver Abdallah, they pulled up, and I was rescued. The rest of the visit looin great - I relesae the Singida PCVs and relewse, ate good food, took an ancient bus that seemed to be out of a storybook to Sepuka, met Kate's friends Mamas Zulfa, Sauli, and Winnie, and made friends with Kate's cat.
Abdallah made sure I got a great seat on the bus back, and that trip was fine aside from a couple of breakdowns and a chicken that got loose and tried to drive the bus. Another funny story about Mohammed Trans: A while ago, I was travelling to Dar with Kate. We arrived, and while at the bus station, she wanted to get a ticket back to Singida, on Mohammed Trans. Releaxe usual, when we got off the bus, we were surrounded by guys offering to help us. I generally avoid them, but we did ask one persistent guy where the Mohammed Trans office was.
He said "no problem" and led us away. Now, we had seen a large office with "Mohammed Trans" written across it at the far end of the station, but this was not the direction that we Im lookin for quick oral release in shinyanga led. Kookin arrived at a tiny office with releass names across the top, including "Mohammed T" is small writing. This qukck the place, our helpful friend assured us. Kate inquired about the availability of seats on the date in question, and was told that the entire bus had been booked by some company. Luckily, there was another bus going, with plenty of seats. Now, I was shinyangga a little suspicious at this point.
I glanced at the clipboard that the clerk was holding, and noticed that it was headed "Trans" but seemed to be missing "Mohammed". I suggested to Kate that we check out the other office. This was not met with cheers by the clerk or anyone else in the office. This reelease to me a pretty good indicator that it was the right thing to do. We had not just our original friend, but another employee of "Mohammed T" follow us right up Im lookin for quick oral release in shinyanga the door of the real Mohammed Trans office, where Kate got her ticket shinyana no problem.
Interestingly, we mentioned this to the employees sinyanga the real office, and they didn't seem to care. He was kind shinynaga to treat me and other Morogoro volunteers to sginyanga at the New Acropol Hotel, a beautiful local place with tons of atmosphere - a bar worthy of New York City, mounted game busts, and the indefatigable proprietress Michelle. Dianna's grandmother deserves special mention, orap she was kind enough to send me a bunch of jazz CDs after she got back shlnyanga the states, following our discussion of music over dinner.
It's about 2 hours away by dala-dala. I notice that I haven't mentioned dala-dalas before, so a short digression is in order. Dalas are vans, sometimes with a raised roof, sometimes not. They are filled with benches, fitting four across, 4 deep plus a backwards-facing row behind the front seat. Also, there is room for an infinite number of standees. I say infinite, because it seems that there is always room for one more. You would not believe how many people can fit on a dala - 30 is not unheard of. Dalas in town are shillings, about 15 cents.
The dala to Gene's is shillings. For Mgeta, one buys a ticket at the stand, then has some time to wait, depending on how full the dala is generally, they only leave the stand when full. Gene had said that I could probably claim a seat and then do some shopping if it wasn't leaving right away, so I asked the conductor which seat was mine, and if I had time to do some errands. He said yes, and took my bag to put in the luggage area on the roof. I went to the local store and picked up some treats for the weekend - cookies, drink mix, a bottle of rum. When I got back to the dala stand, the dala was full, standing room only.
I looked questioningly at the ticket guy - he shrugged and put me on then next empty dala. I guess reservations are only for regulars. A nun who had seen the whole thing came over from the original dala to offer her seat to me, but I declined - I'm not religious, but there's no sense in pushing your luck; it would just be wrong to take a nun's seat. Related Note from about a month later: It was Gene's birthday, and the Morogoro folks thought it would be nice to send congratulations the day of. However, Gene does not have phone service at his site - he can climb a nearby hill, but it's a minute round-trip, so it's a trek, and hard to know when he'll be there.
However, I had heard of something called "bush mail", where one can go to the dala stand, and give the letter to a driver headed in the right direction. This seemed like fun, and definitely the way to go for a special birthday message. We prepared a note, and I went to the stand and found the dala passing by Gene's site. He noticed me, and I said I had a letter for Mgeta. Without another word, he took the envelope and handed it to someone in the front seat. No request for delivery fees or anything. Gene got it in a few hours. So things may be chaotic, but they work. Back to the stand and the new dala: It was empty, but the ticket guy pointed me to a seat in the middle. Now Gene had told me that the seats in the front were best, but I assumed they were spoken for.
A minute later, I saw the ticket guy usher another guy over, and he got in the front. I asked him how he got the front seat. He said he just took it. I asked if I could ride there too. He said he doubted it, as they usually put three in the front, plus the driver, so two are usually children. I found the ticket guy and asked him if I could buy another ticket and take the "two" places remaining in the front. He was fine with that. Mgeta is up in the hills of the Uluguru mountains, so after 45 minutes or so of gently sloping dirt roads, we started climbing up hairpin turns. The roads were nicely engineered, with concrete roadbeds, excellent drainage, even the occasional safety marker.
Still, there were a lot of blind turns around escarpments, and sitting in the front, I had a breathtaking view, and was able to observe that our driver was, I can say, familiar enough with the route that he apparently didn't feel the need to drive cautiously. Also the horn didn't work, so there was no signalling drivers coming the other way. But there was a guy riding on the roof, which our driver spent a lot of time looking at in the mirror and talking to. So I felt pretty safe. I arrived at Gene's site safe and sound, and had a great few days there.
We didn't do much of anything, but Gene is a superior host and cooked some excellent meals. He has a great library and he was kind enough to share some books he had finished. It started with a couple of nights at the Holiday Inn in Dar, always an oasis of civility. On weekends there are even mimosas, and it's all you can eat. July 8 was an independence day party at the Embassy. And just when the party seemed to be winding down, the Marine security contingent invited us back to their house to keep things going. I'm pretty sure we rocked even harder there, but at some point one of the Marines decided tequila shots were in order, so I'm a little fuzzy on the details.
The next day, we flew off to StoneTown in Zanzibar. We stayed at the Tembo Hotel, which was beautiful, with a great view of the channel and beautifully decorated rooms. We wandered through the crooked alleys, looked at lots of crafts, and had a delicious seafood lunch. Dinner was at a place called Sambusa Two Tables, which was recommended by some folks we ran into during the day. It was smack in the middle of the proprietor's house his children were watching television in the next room and was a seemingly endless series of small courses of Indian-type food, all delicious.
The following day we were joined by Tenney, and took a minibus to Nungwi beach. We stayed for a few days at the Paradise Hotel. It was pretty basic, but cheap and on the beach. We ate fantastic seafood, drank at beachside bars, and walked up the beach to Kendwa. We got caught by the tide coming back, turned back when we got up to our necks, and had to hire a boat ride back. Then it was back to Dar for a night. Holiday Inn had screwed up the reservation, but Marc deftly turned that to our advantage by getting us transferred to another hotel, the Kempinski.
Now, I have a hard time putting in words just how luxurious this hotel is. Modern rooms with dark wood and glass walls, fixtures out of a showroom, flat screen TV and well-stocked minibar in the room. Marc then made the heroic trek out to Morogoro for a day. He got a tour of my house and college, and we had drinks at the New Acropol Hotel and a nice dinner of Indian food at the Oasis Hotel. I'm sorry we didn't have enough time for kitimoto but maybe if he returns The next day it was off to the bus stand, where he braved the return trip to Dar alone. It was so great to see everyone again.
We went out almost every night, and because I didn't get per-diem since I live in town I'm broke. But we had Im lookin for quick oral release in shinyanga lot of fun. One highlight was "MulletFest", in which many of the more hirsute members of the class decided to get the classic "business in the Woman sex tonight in rezekne, party in the back" haircut. Although suitably coiffed, I declined to participate. In an attempt to redeem myself, I did organize a final night of feasting at Mama Pierina's - goats were grilled, salads tossed, and many beers drunk.
It was a very good time. I will always miss him. Everyone looked so nice and was so happy - maybe graduations are pretty much the same everywhere. Today was also the end of Alexander. I figured the best way to make sure everyone got a little and to avoid having the better part of a sheep carcass going bad in my refrigerator was to have him slaughtered for the big staff supper after the ceremony. Unfortunately I was thwarted - the principal said this would not be possible. Doubly unfortunately, especially for Alex, was that the order for his demise had already been transmitted.
By the time we reached the abbatoir to serve his stay, it was too late. It was suggested that the right thing to do was to distribute the cuts to a select group after the Rencontre def. Surprisingly, most of the members of this group had already been notified. I was suspicious, but at least I knew them all. Protas and his friend did a nice job butchering, and deservedly claimed some spoils as well. I got a shank, which made great mishkaki with mint, but if I have the choice again, I might like to try the chops.
Sunday morning April 2nd Courtenay calls me to ask if she can stay at my place with a bunch of PCVs that I'd met the night before: Of course I say sure, because I like having guests and hanging out. They say "let's meet at Dragonaire's", I say "how about 6: Just before 6pm I get a text saying they're coming to drop off their stuff. I haven't left yet so no big deal, "karibu". A few minutes later I get hodi'ed at the front door and there are Megan, Court, and Jen. I think to myself "where are the guys" but don't worry about it, I am occupied with greetings etc. A minute later one of them says "I think you're getting hodi'ed at your kitchen door" and sure enough I was. At this point you might think that I would have known something was up, but no, I'm clueless.
So I open the kitchen door, and what should I see but a sheep, tied to my security grate. Standing behind, Josh and Jason, with, sorry to say, sheepish grins. So I'm thinking, ha ha, this is pretty funny, they've got a sheep with them. Then they say, "This is Alexander, your new sheep". I wait for a good few minutes for them to say "just kidding". But apparently they're not. They say "Look how great he is. See, he'll eat almost anything. Amid many laughs I manage to extricate myself for a few minutes and call one of my counterparts. He is at home so I wander over to apologize for the interruption and explain the situation. He says "Don't leave it outside, it might go missing".
He suggests putting it in the kitchen. Sounds good to me, he's the expert. Later he told me that where he's from they don't raise anything bigger than chickens. When I get back I realize there is much sheep-mischief to made in the kitchen, but the bafu looks suitably spartan after removal of cleaning sundries. So into the bafu he goes, and off we go to Drag's. There was some bleating as we left, but he calmed down eventually or at least by the time we stumbled back. So, I had a sheep living in my bafu. An interesting change of pace. I would wake up early to take him out for morning relief and some grazing. When it was time for staff chai, back to the bafu he'd go, and after he would come back out; I would spend the rest of my day on my porch, grazing him.
I tried to be a good sheep dad, and avoided taking showers in the bafu, lest Alexander get damp and then sick. Well, more sick, since he already had a runny nose and would occasionally sneeze, showering whereever with sheep snot. But I started thinking that at some point in the future, particularly if I were to once again allow guests to my house, it would be nice to take showers in the bafu and not the choo. Also the bafu was beginning to smell more like a stable and less like a place one might go to get clean. And the grazing schedule, while relaxing, and a huge encouragement towards neighbor interaction, was definitely interfering with my productivity as an ICT volunteer if only I was in the environmental program.
I realized the sheep had to go. Very luckily, there is a fundi at the college, Protas, who raises goats. My counterpart put us in touch. After some negotiations, some funding on my part, probably some fundiing on Protas', a lot of Swahili that I didn't understand, and three days of waiting, Alexander went to live with Protas and his new goat friends. I scrubbed out the bafu, swept out the house sheep shedand starting going back to the computer lab. When I got lonely and had trouble sleeping, I counted my sheep one You should see the guest book. I know nothing about sheep. He had a goat too, but they chose the sheep. I believe the thinking was that sheep are less kali.
But I think they're fussier, so maybe the goat would have been the better choice. Also I did not know this sheep have a very funky rear flap in place of a tail which flat out looks weird. I know, goats have huge balls, but I'll take that over the flap any day. The ideal would have been a mama goat, then I would have milk. You don't have goats near you? I think goats cause more trouble. I told my sister, ex-vet science major, that I had a sheep, and she said "be careful it will eat anything, even your clothes, but at least it's not a goat, they're even worse" Kate: I don't know if US or TZ goats cause more trouble. I haven't seen goats in the US so I don't know Kate: I thought goats were everywhere here, because they're easy to take care of.
Sheep seem to be sort of unusual. People said if I wanted to sell it, I'd have to sell it to a wazungu restaurant. I said why, they said because people here eat goats Kate: I'm sure he'll be back. Sure enough, a week ago, Protas appeared with Alexander in tow. Alexander happily munched on a plant this time, not one planted by me. More Swahili was exchanged, little of it understood. Eventually, I figured out that Protas assumed that, since the next day was Easter, I would want to do some slaughtering. More negotiations, more funding, no fundiing, and Alex headed back home with Protas. Not sure when he'll be back.
But it's good to know he's doing okay. I really hope Protas sits around with his buddies and laughs at me, my Peace Corps friends, and the sheep. Because otherwise, he's probably annoyed at us. And I hope Alexander is happy. It was a great group and we had a fine time. Mzumbe is a perennial Peace Corps site, because it's one of the top secondary schools in Tanzania. And it doesn't hurt that one of the education program directors was headmaster there for many years. The last volunteers at the site had a special barbecue made, from an oil drum.
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But it was somehow lost between Im lookin for quick oral release in shinyanga departure and Wes' arrival. He had been looking for it, and magically, just before the St. Patrick's day party, the search for the "holy grill" was successful. It ended up being my responsibility to get the fire going while Wes took a group to observe Mzumbe's renowned sunset. He directed me to the grill and a bag of charcoal, Blonde escorts in saint-stanislas was unable to come up with any kerosene, which is pretty useful in fire-making. I asked for newspaper at least, which was forthcoming. I had previously attempted, to light a fire using no kerosene.
I had figured out that crumpled balls of paper don't work, but tubes with small pieces of charcoal above do, so I set about constructing the fire, and was thankfully successful in getting it going. The key to a good fire is plenty of air. We cooked a few kilos of meat as mishkaki and it was delicious. It was pretty intense. I had no idea what to say during small group discussion. Hopefully I will be able to make use of my role as an educator and IT person to make a small difference, though making a page on a web site seems like a puny effort compared to the magnitude of the problem. Dodoma town was very nice. We stayed at a conference center which had hot running water SO wonderful and friendly staff.
I got lots of social time with PCVs which was a real treat. We ate out a few nights at Rose's Restaurant excellent curry and the fancy New Dodoma Hotel great gnocchi, good chinese and mexican food too, and delicious South African red wine. A few weeks ago, we had our first heavy rain. This precipitated a massive swarm of flying insects - I'm told they were termites. They came out towards the end of the rain and were flying around, even while it was still coming down hard. They would fly for a while, then land on the ground and chase each other around. Interestingly, my neighbor's children were also catching the bugs. I asked why and they said in order to eat them.
They were generous enough to offer me some. Also a few weeks ago I had a little going-away evening for some Swedish exchange students here at the college. My house was full of delicious food and beautiful womenjust as it should be. Afterwards we were full. Another story, from quite a while ago at this point sorry that I forgot until reminded in Dodoma: There is also a Street Chicken in Dar, but it's not the same. It's just a generic name for a place that serves up barbequed chicken, chipsi, mishkaki, etc. Invariably delicious and reasonably priced. Anyway we were sitting outside, eating our food. This is not unusual in Tanzania - one must be alert or one may fall into a hole at any point.
Some of the ones in Dar are really deep - you could lose a cow in them, or at least a goat. Weeds out the unobservant I guess. Bana believes that some of the roots of the problem lie in the financial downturn in the area around Lake Victoria, one of the regions where there have been the most killings and abductions. The result was diminished harvests. Every above-average catch by the little guys was then attributed to superstition. This is when witchdoctors started peddling the belief that people living with albinism or their body parts, most of whom coincidentally live in these regions, could be used as good luck charms.
Hence the association with politicians. But for years this population of about 30, people has existed under the threat of abductions and ritual killings, and in recent years the situation appears to have worsened. The Tanzanian Albinism Society says it is almost impossible to know the numbers of those abducted or killed since the beginning of the year. What they are sure of, though, is that the number of victims will be higher than the two cases that made it into police records in Mostly a close family member, even a father, is involved in the killings and abductions.
In such cases silence wins; his wife will probably be an accomplice in the crime. Witchcraft and the law in Tanzania Read more A total of cases of violation of albino rights have been reported to Tanzanian authorities sinceaccording to a study pdf released in March by Under The Same Sunan NGO working to combat discrimination against people with albinism. The study, which gathered together data from 25 different countries in Africafound reports of albino killings, in addition to violations that include mutilations, other forms of violence, and kidnappings. UTSS has been actively pushing the United Nations for four key resolutions aimed at ending all forms of discrimination of people living with albinism.
A total of cases of violation of albino rights have been reported to Tanzanian authorities since