Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I came back from Kigali (6 1/2 hours bus and shared taxi) to find that the water had come back on briefly, but was out again.  I went several days without a shower.  Luckily the weather has been cool.

 I walked home from school one day and it was pouring rain.  I didn't have an umbrella but my pashmina protected my face from the water and kept me warm, even though it got soaking wet.  My shoes took 3 days to dry out.  Heavy storms and dirt roads are not a good combination, especially with a little thunder and lightning thrown in.  The roads are usually bustling but almost no one was seen walking or driving.  No motorcycles or bicycles in sight, and no taxis.  Only stupid mzungos (white people) walk in the rain, I suspect.  It wasn't raining when I left school, but the storm lasted for a few hours after I got home.  Usually they are over quickly, which is why I kept walking.

One of my teachers is helping me deal with the plumber in Swahili, trying to get our kitchen sink drain that was running directly onto the floor fixed (he took a week and a half to get there and do it)  and to get hot water hooked up in our shower.  He arranged for the plumber and electrician to meet at our house on Saturday, but only the electrician showed up, and he can't do anything until the plumber makes a connection in the shower pipe for the heater.  My teacher friend came to my house with him when he came to fix the sink, and has called him several times about the other, but the plumber often doesn't even answer calls or texts.  Tanzanian time, again.

I went to Rulenge for fellow WorldTeach volunteer Lauren's 23rd birthday celebration.  I was alone since roommate Bree and neighbor Rob had gone out the night before to bake the birthday cake.  I walked the 40 minutes to Ngara town then it took over an hour in a shared taxi (sharing the front bucket seat with a man this time; my leg fell asleep from having the circulation cut off).  They had arranged a party at Mama Penda's restaurant, which was a walled in outdoor compound and very pleasant.  I met several of her teachers and her headmaster, as well as her and her roommate's piky piky drivers, who were invited.  They were pleasant young men, and when we were told we would have to stay there overnight because there were no taxis available, they got a friend to take us back to Ngara.  So we were able to make it to school Monday morning.  It cost us 40,000 shillings to come back, though, versus 3,000 each to get there.

Another week has come and gone, and still no plumber.  We had a dinner party last night with about 7 Mzungos.  Jeremy is a medical student here for two weeks from Australia and Amy is a new Womencraft recruit from Chicago.  Everyone was under 30 except me and "other" Rob, a 40+ missionary from Australia who is staying in Murguanza with his wife and 3 young children.  He was happy to be able to have a beer with us in our home, since the diocese does not allow him to drink in public.  Bree made her aunt's cabbage salad recipe and we had rolls she found on her way home.  There were supposed to be peanuts in the salad, but Rob and Vanya reported that the usual sources were not around so they could not get any.  Protein is severely lacking in our diet, but at least we are trying to eat more vegetables.

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