July 14, 2006

Beginning of our trip

I didn't get that much time to write the last time I was online, spent all my time uploading pictures. :P But it was worth it, so that's okay. Anyway. I'm doing really well. Two days ago was the first day of Wes's leave time, so after Wes finished crazy amounts of grading chem exams, we got a ride to Morogoro and spent the night, and the next day we hopped on a bus to Marangu, a town near Moshi (which is by Mount Kilamanjaro - unfortunately it's too cloudy to see the mountain from here at the moment) to visit another peace corps volunteer. The bus was, well, entertaining...not a bad bus ride, but mildly shady - on two seperate occasions they had everyone in the back of the bus get up and move to the front in the middle of the aisle, and then...duck. ???

But other than that everything was pretty normal, and we got to Marangu without much event...oh, here's something - when you get off buses here (in Tanzania), you are usually swarmed by people who want to give you a taxi ride, or direct you where to go, or sometimes sell you food, water, or completely random things like wooden spoons... anyway, we were surrounded by lots of people at the dala stand who were eager to tell us where we had to go and find out more about us; Wes somehow managed to charm them all. Seriously. I don't cease to be amazed by his ability in this country to make everyone around him almost instantly like us.

One person was talking to me a bit, and I discovered that despite the fact that I know enough swahili at this point to at least get through the beginnings of a conversation and impart basic information about myself and Wes, when actually having a conversation all knowledge goes out the window. I can understand at least the general subject line of what people are asking me, but when actually asked to respond it's ridiculous. The guy asked how many weeks I'd been in Tanzania and I couldn't even remember the word for three; I had to sit there for a few seconds counting on my fingers going moja...mbili...tatu! "Tatu!" Not to mention that I know how to say "He is a teacher" and "I am visiting" but instead all I managed was to point at Wes and say "Mwalimu" (teacher) and myself and say "Mgeni" (visitor). Yeah...welcome to the world of Tarzan. I might as well have said "Me Christina." *shakes head* But on the up side, some other guy was talking to us on the way to the teacher's college where Wes's friend lives, and Wes sat silent and let me talk for awhile, and I managed to speak in coherent sentences that time, so maybe I'm not hopeless after all. :P

Anyway, so yesterday we were travelling for most of day, so just kind of chilled out at Alex's house (the peace corps volunteer) and talked for a bit. I like Marangu, its a definite different feel than Morgoro, and the air is different, so it actually feels like we travelled somewhere. I like it. It's very pretty (not that Morgoro isnt, just pretty in a different way); there's a stream nearby with all sorts of tropical looking trees; I'm looking forward to seeing more of it. Today I think we're going to just relax a bit...our plans are kind of relaxed for the next week or so, but I'll keep you posted if I can. Just letting you know I'm doing well, if you were wondering. :)

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