Monday, July 2, 2012

Introducing... my Neighbors :)

I'm in Dar!  In case you're not on Facebook and didn't get the memo.  It's taken me a bit to get back on internet though, so I apologize for the delay.  I also arrived sick, so I tried to hide from the world for a few days so as not to infect even more than the three airports and two airplanes full of people that I had already spread this thing to.

Anyway, while I'm here in Dar for a month or so, I thought I'd introduce you to a few of my neighbors.

                                                                                                        is Marie.

She’s from Minnesota-Alaska-Tanzania.  Or something like that.  She's the special needs teacher at HOPAC and is amazing at what she does.

Marie and I were roommates my first two years in Dar.  We had some good times, some hard times, and learned a lot along the way.  We also laughed.  a lot.  (It was better than crying on the craziest of days!)  Whenever the guards had to peak their heads around the corner to check and see what all the laughter was about, or opened the gate to see two white girls carrying a plank of wood a kilometer down the road with everyone staring, or joined in a game of baseball using a marshmallow and a spatula in the dark outside when we were cooking and the power went out... that may have been us.  They usually turned around, shook their heads, and laughed in disbelief. 

Hey, you've got to make candle holders somehow when the power goes out, right?
I have to say I'm very glad I'm starting out here in Dar with this girl in the room next door.  It's making transition a bit easier.  On the other hand, I’ve found a few more neighbors that aren’t paying rent living right around me, too, and thought I’d share them with you as well.

The first neighbor I discovered was the reptilian kind.   Upon walking into the toilet, I felt something drop on my head and had a vague recollection of this being a normal occurrence here in the Land of Tanz.  I looked around for a frog, and found a long tail swirling frantically around in the water in front of me.  Oh, yeah.  Geckos.  I tried to help get him out but he just hid under the rim, so I left him to his own devices and went to borrow another facility.
This isn't the same one, but I thought I'd preserve the dignity
of the one in the toilet by not taking it's picture...

Next came another bathroom visitor.  Or rather, visitors.  I'm used to having ants around the house - this is Tanzania, after all!  But for some reason, these ants decided that our bathroom hand towels were the perfect place to set up shop.  Literally.  Colonies were formed, emancipation proclamations were written as they advanced from the great outdoors, and little pieces of white… something were moved in.  I’m hoping (I think?) that it was food.  Maybe.  Gross.

This is Bethlehem, or Bethy for short.  She was born on Christmas a couple years ago and we've had her since.  Unfortunately, she lost her sister a few weeks back and has since decided to daily remind us with long cries that she, too, is evidently well on her way to dying.  This morning she opted to enjoy the sunshine instead, which meant I got to sleep just a bit longer (or maybe that's just the jet lag wearing off!?)
Walking up to our house, you'll see this.

The house with the red roof is where I'm staying.  The goat... well, it seemed to be enjoying the view :)
 And this.
 And a bit of this.
This guy didn't seem too happy to see me, but I made an executive decision
that I could take him on if needed and kept walking. 
 Don't you keep your lawnmower on a leash?
Later I saw the little shepherd boy responsible for these guys walking one along the path with a rope, that was tied around the goat’s neck and his own waist, but felt a bit conspicuous pulling out my camera from behind him.  So I’ll leave that one to your own imagination.

Last, but not least, is our other lawnmower.
Actually, Stafford helps out with the gardening and watching the house, but when I woke up this morning I heard the sound of snip snip snipping and went out to investigate.  He was happily whistling and worshiping the Lord as he cut the grass away in our yard... pole pole (/pole-a pole-a/, or slowly), bit by bit.  Gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "whistle while you work."  He offered to teach me and I got the hang of it pretty quickly... at least in the 1 foot square block I worked on!  I asked him (in my limited Swahili) why he didn't use a machete instead, which is a popular way of cutting grass here, but he explained that this process is better because it makes the grass shorter and more even.  It also keeps the grass from getting pulled out of the ground, which keeps it looking nicer.  He has way more perseverance than I do, it seems... but I appreciate the hard work!

So... there you have it.  My trusty neighbors, in all sizes, shapes, and multiples of legs.  I've seen a lot of other great people the past few days too that I've missed tremendously, but I've been too busy giving them hugs and catching up to pull out the camera.  Hope you're enjoying life... wherever and with whomever it might be!

No comments:

Post a Comment