Sunday, October 29, 2006

a really really bad week

I have maybe had the worst and best week ever all in one. B/c I dont want to have the public read it, please check your you all and wish me luck, my health is not doing so well-I will be going to Dar to the hospital there for further tests. Malaria parasites in my heart? I have been told that I have a left ventricular haeert strain....I have no idea, but its not getting any better, but worse. I will let you all know when I return from dar:)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

my one month aniversary

I have officially made it ONE MONTH living away from all my loved ones! I cannot beleive how fast time flew! Everything here is still great-My language skills are at the intermediate low level, and in 6 weeks I will have to test at th intermediate mid level-so, not that bad, eh? My family is doing wonderful....everyday I like living here even more. This past weekend, I went hiking to a place called Morningside, an old German hideout in the Uluguru mountains, from WW2. It is a 4 hours hike to the top, and going down makes your legs just as tired:) I went with my sisiter and my friend Gregor...the night before we made Mandazi, little donuts like things, to bring with us...they call them "bites" instead of 'snacks'..I love that! We ate them by the waterfall we found 1/2way up the mountain-gorgeous!!!! we got rained on on the way up, but the afternoon turned out to be symmetrical. Rain in the morning, beautiful weather at teh top, rain right at the rains here a LOT more than I ever thought it would! On other notes, I have been having some interesting chats with my family-apparently leg hair and chest hair is the sexiest thing in the are cankles and thick legs! I am set! I really should stay put here-I would be a rockstar! (no, i do not have chest hair...the guys here do though:) ) Last friday I went out and had quite a little adventure with some of my buddies....we went to study/hang out/drink a beer on a friday night, and then by the time we tried to gt a taxi home, none of the taxi services were working b/c of, I ended up getting a tazi 2 hours later, after my friend broke the toilet off the wall at some hotel, spilling water evreywhere, and realizing that it was 2am....the time I have to type this does not give this story any justice...nontheless, I had a REALLY great night friday, relxed Sat and hiked a mountain sunday. I am running every morning with my dada(sister) and trying to stay in shape. since I have no protein and no fats in my diet, I am losing a lot of muscle I have to keep running to stay toned, I guess. I live my this river that one of my neighbors told me I could go swimming in-I got really scited to do this until my sister, on a run, told me there were crocs that lived in the river and would eat me. My neighbor doesn't like me? I'm not sure.....
My fmaily is doing well halth wise,including me. I do not have malaria, although the deadly mosquito lives in Morogoro, which makes me a little nervous....fannie, my little bro has Malaria as do all the children at some point. I guess its not that big a deal here? Most of them get over it fairly quickly.
I just taught for the f9irst time this wekks-my class told my contact teacher that I was a great teacher and that they wanted me to stay, which made me feel really great....A lot of peole have asked me for teaching advice, makes me feel like a mother hen. Friday is midterms for me(I have to take a oral exam and a written exam) so wish me luck!
Time is out, so I love you, please write!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Well, its definately getting a lot hotter....sweating severly has become a daily occorace, and I actually look forward to taking my bucket bath both in the morning and when I come home from school....School has been quite the adventure this week, and we have all been given the lessons topics we are to teach at the schools we are training at as well as assignments from our PC trainers to research on our free time. So, when I'm not busy at school or sleeping, I'm hangin out with the fam-I really felt happy this week b/c I have finally bonded with my sisters. Everynight last week they woudl always whipser and talk and wouldn't say anything when I walked in the room. This week, however, I talk to the often, and dont want ot go to bed b/c I am having so much fun haning out wiht them. It helps to know that they actualy do like me...makes me feel like part of the family. I went to town this morning to buy some clothes-got a skirt and some material to make a dress, and a scarf that will serve amny purposes. Other than that, not much is new...I have been feeling a little werid-my muscles are all ache-y and my head has felt weird...signs of malaria, but I am just being apranoid. I am doing a blood slide test just to make sure. I can't ell if I have a fever or its just the heat...Apparently I can still get malaria even if I do take my medicine-didn't know that until yesterday! Anyways,I send my love-please write to me soon!It is so wonderful tog et letters from you guys...thanks you Geoff Knight for your beautiful letters-I loved them and I have posted my pictures you sent on my wall. It brightens my day and you made my week so much better:) Keep me posted on your daily events!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life continued

WEll, twice in one week is a HUGE deal everyone, so just to let youy know,it wont probably happen often. Today we took a feildtrip into town to 'discover' the market. All I can say was WOW! Beans.peanuts/ was awesome, and of course I took some pics...The only thing that truly disgusts me as of right now is the sardines. I came home from school yesterday and my mama asked if I like fish-I told her yes, not knowing what lie ahead. She then offered me these minnow looking fish in a mango paste(it looked like human guts). I told her I wasn't hungry but she insted I try at least one...I chewed on that stupid minnow for about 5 minutes, about ready to gag. I was just about to say I didn't really like it when sh told me it was a family favorite and that everyone loves them. yippee! :( Then today at the market I SAW where these sardines came from-they are in HUGE piles in these flat baskets...basking in the sun...gross gross gross! I also tried cocnut milk for the very first time with the cocnut flesh-it was AWESOME! That I will do again hopefully soon.
Back to the education system. This place needs some work. 60 students 1 classroom. no chalkboard-just chalkboard paint on the wall, some students are sitting on a bench meant for 6 and they are 16. Some students are sleeping b/c they had to leave their house at 5am to get to school on foot by 745. Some are sharing books with those lucky enough to have money to buy them. The problem with the secondary schools here is that the govt made it a requirement that everyone should be able to go to praimary school and get and education. They opened a lot of new schools, so secondary teachers, money and supplies all went there. Now the students are older, mroe and more secondary schools are being built but with lack of teachers and neccesary things. The teacher on duty is in charge of being janitor, principal, discipliarian, role taker and teacher. It switches each week, but with the Aids epedemic in full force, so many teachers dont even show up let alone students. Thats where the PC comes into action-we get to teach at secondary schools that need teachers. Basically, the things we write on the board, the students copy and consider their textbook. Taht means no mistakes, and perfect diagrams. no pressure, right? Besides the fact that you will have to teach in 'special' english...meaning that most students don't speak english very well. Secondary school in taught only in English -so the students who dont know english suffer. If we talk extraordinaly slow, some pupils might get a grasp of what we are saying, and can explain tot he rest of the class.....I'll let you know more when this happens:) I'll find out in 2 weeks!
Time here is so weird-the first week it felt like I had been here for 5 months, and this week flew by...hard to beleive that this SUnday I will have been gone 3 weeks already!
My mom had asked wabout my living conditions-my room has a cement floor, 2 largewindows that dont have glass-I have a screen and a metal thing so robbers can't break in on the outside of the screen. My ceiling is wood paneling and I have a large bed(usually sleeps a family of 5). My toilet is a 'western'...very unusual...but it doesn't flush so I have to pour a bucket of water into the basin to vlush it.....any other questions?
I ahve a new kitten 'doto'..dream...he got fleas pretty bad, but he is SO CUTE! keeps me company at you all! until next week!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Habari za leo? Za nyumbani? HOw was your day? Your home? Nzuri. fine. The langauge here is actually a thousand times easier than I thought it would be to learn. I am speaking tarzan swahili at the moment, but everday I learn a cool phrase and make my host family chuckle by using it at dinner. My family: wonderful and warm. The make me feel better when Im having a hard day-all the little kids running out to greet me after school, to take my bag for me and to hold my hands and pat my head when I sit down. I love it! Although I feel like Im livingin te 50's. Dad is alwasy right, kids should be seen and not heard, women do chores while the men play. women should not drink or else they are easy....never show your knees in public, but whne your are home "BE FREE". I am a littel tired of eating rice....but I'll get over that. I think I'm going to introduc my fmaily to Grilled cheese-wonder what they will think? Still am fighting with all the stupid ants in my room. Kill one, 1000 more show up. grr. The scenery here is stunning-mountains right in my backyart-and in the morning, its nothing but stunning to see at sunrise. Yes everyone, I do wake up at sunrise. Why, you ask? The mosk. and the roosterthat lives next door(I can't wait until he is EATEN!) The mosk blares out the call to worship everdya at 4am...sleeping through it these days though. Cathy knight, you will be proud to know that I wen to church this Sunday......for EIGHT HOURS! I think thats enought church for me to last 5 years! And to top it off, I didn't understand a word! I did get a free meal of rice and beans out of it though. I have just purchased a cell phone and will email you all my number...I receive calls for free, and can text, but calling it about $3/min. So you call me! I start teaching next week...observed a class being tought math. 2 of the 5 problems were taught incorrectly....and in English that I didn't understand. I can't wait until I am under fire! Must go, but more latr! Loveyou all!