Jambo katika Tanzania!
This has been quite the interesting week. I guess the weirdest part is that baboons have been all that’s on my mind for at least 5 days. I’m pretty sick of the little things. Funny how writing a pretty boring, pretty long paper about something can really skew your outlook on life.
FIRST of all, Saturday and Sunday I went on a two part safari-but-actually-educational-and-a-lot-of-work trip to LakeManyara National Park. There were many neat things like giraffes and zebra and jackals! But so many baboons. SO MANY. They run all over the road and are loud and dirty and their butts gross me out and of course I had to write a paper on specifically THEIR behavior. Also there were supposedly the only species of tree climbing lions the history of forever there…but they are elusive and I saw not their beauty.
Monday was lame.
Tuesday was the first day off of classes that I’ve had since my arrival! We went and visited and Iraqw boma, which is a traditional house. We learned about the traditions and customs, and saw a dance. Then we went into the nearby town Karatu and spent a day at the market. It was pretty crazy. People do not take no for an answer. Even when you say it in their language! Hapana!!! Hapana asante!!! Nope. Stubborn, they are. Also there were many, many live animals. Also also, there were many, many more dead animals being roasted for sale on a stick. And corn too! And sunburn. :(
Wednesday I finally had my first Swahili class! The instructor had been off getting married until Tuesday. She is absolutely fantastic. I can imagine that this is what the children of The Magic School Bus must have felt like under the direction of Ms. Frizzle. Every day is a new adventure! I have to remind myself that this is a college course, because when we’re singing the fruit song and jumping up and down it feels more like I’m back at Roosevelt Elementary. The best part, though, is when you get an answer right, the whole class has to reward you with praise!!! We rub our hands together and mumble “pasha pasha pasha pasha pasha…(warm warm warm warm warm…)” and then clapping and yelling say, “choma (heat)! tena (again)! tena (again)!” It’s super excellent. She is the most energetic, vibrant, happy woman in all of Africa! I forget I’m actually learning.
Yesterday we went back to Manyara to conduct a survey on the grassland. I mean, I’d be lying if I said I wanted to do it again. Grass isn’t that interesting. But the day was saved by almost being stampeded by wildebeest. :) Hooray!
And now I’m back to today…where nothing has happened yet! I suppose this is where I call it quits. I wish you all the best from the bushland! Really, really missing cheeseburgers right now…
EDIT: Being without internet for 3 days I have now had a new experience…among writing TWO research papers…Adam Winegarden has consumed his first (and hopefully only) goat testicle. I watched the goat walk into the camp on its own free will, and 4 hours later I was eating it on a stick. Such is Africa!
Thanks for reading, yo!
Asante sana squash banana,