Saturday, October 25, 2008


Some things I've noticed:
-I love kangas
-Swahili sounds similar in a lot of ways to Chinese (dad is baba in both!)
-It's usually better to walk on the side of the road in the 'foot-traffic' area rather than the middle, because in the dry season at least, you won't kick up mushroom clouds of dust with each step
-Although I thought I would miss Mango season, I'm catching the start of it! And pineapples, avocados, teensy bananas...
-I'm not a natural when it comes to clumping rice with sauce. Sauceless, I'm alright, but sauce really throws me.
-I'm so glad Africans here drink milk!
-The chai here is uber-sweet and very tasty to my palate, but so hot that my tongue rebels and most teachers have finished their full cups before I'm halfway. I usually end up gulping that last bit, when the temperature has finally reached a level that I normally would begin drinking it.
-Tanzanian mamas and babis (mothers/grandmothers) are awesome.
-There are tons of types of bananas...
-crusty boogers. yech.
-electricity is here one minute, gone the next. such is life :)
-British Airways and Kenya Airways serve amazing food! For dinner on BA, I was asked 'red or white wine?' which has never happened to me on an american airline. Sure, they serve wines and such, but it was interesting to me that it's just assumed you'll have wine with your dinner.
-Even out here, 2 1/2 hours bus from the nearest city, Mbeya, it seems like everyone follows American news. I've been asked by many about my thoughts on Obama and McCain.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pole pole ndiyo mwendo

slowly, slowly is the method.

That's how I got here... after a long night in Nairobi's fine 4am air conditioned airport (really, 4-5am was the air condition time..) and many modes of transportation, my more than able guide got me to her home in Tanzania's mountains!

It's good to be here and studying a new language.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

no pictures

because I look like a melting mess. The heat coupled with emotional woes and technology breakdowns...

the night in the nairobi airport sans the checked bag would have been fine. Or making it not onto the 8am but the 8:30 am flight to tanzania.

but really, leaving my bag in London after saying they'd have it in nairobi? I could have made the flight last night if not for that blasted bag.

So yeah. I'm still in nairobi. But checked in for a flight to tanzania. Oh yeah. Had to buy that ticket.

This is Africa.

As it gets worse progressively, my hopes for reunion in Tanzania rise.

I might just melt into a slobbering mess.

egads. I hate these stupid emotions...sleeping a few hours out of the past 30 I know is in part to blame.

So yeah. There's an update for you all, my dear friends who I miss and wish that one of you were here with me.

Misery loves company...and even though I've run into dozens of people extremely aggitated at flight situations, I'm still jealous of those that have been able to face it all with a friend at their elbow.

That's not a good enough reason to get married, is it? Because if it is, sign me up!


Sunday, October 05, 2008


Today, in 1956, my grandfather was staying at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago so that he could accept an award for having built 100 homes.

Meanwhile, his wife was in labor a trainride away in Mishawaka, Indiana, giving birth to their 3rd child, a son.

They named him...


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

International Travel, Straight Ahead!

Now that I've been able to do some real-life shopping (internet shopping from Cedarville is much better...less distracting from the privacy of your own pc) in the big city of South Bend, got some pre-travel travel out of the way, and almost have the kinks of getting ready taken care of, it really feels like I'll be in Tanzania next weekend. Less than 2 weeks. 9 days (if no delays from London...)

If you can really feel like you're actually going to be in a place, a city, a continent, you've never been before...

I wonder how it will feel to transfer from connectedness online to my many friends (gotta love the facebook phenomenon) into one-person connectedness in the flesh...and this in a culture whose language I do not speak, customs I do not know, and land I have not seen before. Poor Amber! I'll be overwhelming her with my news from the states, my fast English-speaking, and my own overwhelmedness by it all. I do hope that our excitement in seeing one another after 27 months' absence tempers the storms.

Yeah, I know, you may say, "Sarah, how can someone be overwhelmed by you? You're such a calming person..." to which I can only raise my shoulders and smirk. You got me there. And I guess Amber will be the better judge in all this.

So, you may wonder about some of the specifics...well without going into much detail for those of you stalkers out there, I'll be at site with Amber in southwest Africa for about 4 weeks, then traveling a bit with Katherine (we've heard of one another and talked via email but not met...) including Zanzibar for a couple weeks; then we'll fly to Morocco for Thanksgiving with some friends that I don't know yet...after that the details get sketchy for me, but tentatively we'll visit a friend or two of mine from Cedar as we go through Spain and France, as well as a monastery; finishing up the trip with some time in Luxembourg with a friend of Amber's. Who knows, we might hit up my sister city Wiesloch while we're at it...or maybe just Heidelberg?

Let the jealousy continue...I'll put up pictures for you when I can :)

I leave you with a pre-travel travel pic - at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where Erica and I saw Hazel Dickens tell some stories with spunk :)
Kennedy Center