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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bagamoyo Update

There's so much going on here and I haven't had the time to think about how to communicate it.  And there is so little opportunity to use my own computer and there's usually a line waiting at the internet cafe.

This is a wonderful experience and I'm not sorry to be having it.  The people who welcome us are wonderful but there are many more who are not happy we are here.  I'm very comfortable in my skin color here as far as not really feeling different inside myself when I'm out on the street.  I could forget that I'm white except that we are the local entertainment in a way.  Everyone looks and points.  The women giggle and hide behind their kangas (head veils).  The children run up to us and want to hold our hands and then very soon they ask for money.  The men are either abrasive or try to pick you up.  Age doesn't matter.  They assume you will be happy to give them money.  It is not safe to go more than two blocks from CCS after dark even by bajaji (a small three wheeled taxi).

I miss the freedom to move about freely, stop in a local cafe for a coffee, or eat outside the compound.  We are lucky to have very good cooks making our meals but the food is the same every day.  On the other hand we are being fed and that's more than many people can say here.  It also feels strange to walk into an oasis in the midst of such poverty and then be  locked up and guarded all day and night.  There is one bar/restaurant we can go to that is two blocks away.  The food is not edible but the wine is excellent.  It is the highlight of our day.  At 4:30pm, the mamas (as 4 of us are known) head for Hillside and have two glasses of wine before dinner and being locked up for the night.

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