September 1, 2012

I’m laying here in bed.  Starting feeling a little funny yesterday, but it hit today.  I guess it was time!  I have moved to a new home for the week.  My Swahili teacher, Christina, has graciously, and her family, agreed to let me stay with them.  It is totally different from where I was.

The family is Catholic and religious tradition is followed, i.e., prayers before meals.  We also wash before and after meals.  Christina teaches me along with other various teaching jobs.  Her husband, Masawe has gout in his arms & hands and does not work.  Her eldest son Elto is away at university with her second child, Godfrey, getting ready to leave shortly.  He hopes to be a doctor.  Her daughter Anna is about jr. hi age and her niece, Fabiola, is in secondary school.  The girls have most of the responsibility on them for cleaning & cooking, laundry.  Now remember, no machines!  This takes a lot of time to complete.  You finish making breakfast and then do the dishes.  Now its time to start making lunch.  It’s a never ending cycle!  It’s very obvious that the men sit back while the woman work, but, it is the mama of the home that makes most of the decisions.  Everyone is very polite, not just to me, but to anyone they see.  This is what I was told was traditional culture here.  They will not let me do anything so it gets a bit boring.

Masawe and I had a great conversation on US presidency and upcoming election.  It is amazing how disliked US is, but the basis of this is on all wrong information!

Here, white Mericana is looked at like a god.  It’s strange.  We are going to Christina’s nephew’s communion tomorrow and she is so excited that he will be able to have a picture with a white person.  I don’t get it and its actually uncomfortable feeling.  You don’t like US, but in awe of a white person . . . .

I am finding more similarities than differences here to home.  I have worked in poverty situations and this is no different.  The attitude and concepts are very much the same.  I I leave Thursday, 9/6 for Dar Es Saalam and then Friday morning for R&R in Zanzibar.  I’m excited!


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