POA KICHIZI KAMA NDIZI!
(according to locals thats the swahili equivalent to "what up dog")
So now that im at the internet cafe after my placement i feel like i can spend a little more time updating you on whats going on and elaborate on some stuff.
I wanted to mention how RIDICULOUSLY SMALL our bathroom is in our bedroom--- although its nice that we have our own bathroom (we are in the summer house; the main house has one bathroom to share between everyone, and has no a/c) it is so tiny that the shower is right in front of the toilet. the entire bathroom is roughly a tad bigger than an airplane bathroom, with a place to shower, like i said right in front of the toilet. its hard to explain without pictures, but i will post them later... its really interresting. we also have a "badayo" im not sure what that means exactly but itsl ike a little spray hose meant to wash your privates...? and i should probably mention that we have no hot water. at all. which you would think would be fine since its so hot in africa, but the water is ice cold! not cool.
as for the safari im going on, i have time to explain it now! i planned it for 9 of us. we all leave tomorrow (friday) after our placements at 1:30, a driver comes to pick us up to take us four hours to a national park. i forget the name-- but it begins with an m... when i get back ill be sure to let you know which one it was. once we get there, our driver (he does everything! hes even staying with us) is guiding us on an afternoon safari. as for saturday, we are going on an early morning AND afternoon safari, changing hotels for the night (so we are staying in two different ones each night) and going on a morning safari again on sunday before coming back to the home base on sunday afternoon. I'm really excited because i was able to negotiate our safari trip price from 600$ a person to 200$! i'm not afraid to bargain so i guess thats why i was put in charge of planning it by my friends, ha. the 200$ includes EVERYTHING, too- transportation, hotels, food, and safari park fees for the entire weekend. the only thing it doesnt cover is water/drinks--- go figure--- so our park guide said he would stop at a shoprite (YES, they have one here, about 2 hours away in the city) to get whatever supplies we need before we really get on our way. i forget if i mentioned this in my last post--- but previous volunteers went to this safari and said elephants came up to their table while they were eatting dinner--- so i cant WAIT to go!
I will be planning a trip to zanzibar island for next week soon, which will be really fun because we are all allowed to take next friday off of our placement to leave on thursday night. the hotels and everything there are really cheap--- like 60$/night--- so thats cool. plus they have american food! all of us girls are excited to feel a little more at home there when we go, since its a tourist island and has resorts, etc.
A funny thing about my placement is that my main mentor--- not pascall, but marie--- considers me asian [OF COURSE]. she keeps asking me if i have a chinese or japanese parent, because of my eyes--- she never believes me when i tell her i dont! its really funny. she is also trying to teach me swahili, so whenever i need to ask for supplies--- mostly for the crafts and posters i am making to use as teaching aids--- i have to use the swahili terms, and i have to say them correctly. its actually pretty helpful!
The other day, i did some local shopping. I was able to get this AMAZING hand painted picture on a tarp type fabric of two zebras for 15000 shillings--- 15$ us---- bargained down from 25000! i want to get it framed when i get home so i can display it in my apartment. i always bought two different fabrics for 7000 shillings--- 7$ us---- to be made into a bag and a dress to bring home. they are both traditional prints, one has swahili written on it which says "marraige is for everyone"... haha, figures i get that one ! but they are both beautiful and im excited that i was able to purchase them. im going today to other shops to look for little gifts to bring back home for everyone!
haha oh, and i think my favorite part of africa is that they LOVE obama here--- the first thing a tanzanian said to me, when i got off the plane was, "who you voting for??? OBAMA???" they hate bush and mock him constantly, but always shout "obama!" at the volunteers. its great! i feel right at home! ha
Im going to head back to my homebase now because i think my friends are waiting for me--- talk to you later!