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Monday, October 4, 2010

Bagamoyo Heat

A typical street in Bagamoyo
I wake up every night at midnight in a puddle of sweat laying directly on the mattress.  My sheets are knotted up into balls at one or the other end of the bed.  My skin is sticky, hair is wet.  I watch the mosquito net sway back and forth as the light from outside filters through it and wish that I could feel the breeze from the fan.  I'm fantasizing about fitted sheets and air conditioning.  Even the cold shower is a welcome relief now.  And while I lay here for hours wide awake and miserable, I try to feel grateful because I have a bed and a mosquito net.  I know that Masiga, Irham, Tashi, Asha, and Amulike sleep on the floor without either of those things and I also know that I get to leave here in a few days.   I'm buying some of their paintings because they're wonderful and I want to support them.  They refuse to sell them to me at full price, anywhere between $20 and $35 US Dollars because I am TEACHAH and they love me.  They need 50,000 shillings to enter their dancers in the festival next year and to have a booth to sell their artwork.  That is less than $40.  I will see the children are entered and they have a booth scheduled for next year before I leave on Friday. I will also leave detailed notes for the next volunteer so he/she can understand what they need rather than begin by teaching them what they already know, as I did.

We laugh our way through English lessons.  They tell me they are the comedy team as they say "bling" for "bring" and "pahple" for "purple."  Actually, they are learning very quickly because they are so hungry to learn.  I will share some information on supplies they need as soon as I have all the appropriate details just in case someone wants to help with a donation.

The heat has intensified the last few days.  We are going into summertime here.  Last Saturday, I walked the couple miles to the internet cafe and when I returned home, the smell in my room was so bad that I thought another rat had died in the vent system.  Turns out, t was me.  I don't think I've ever smelled like that in my life.  So far I haven't found a pleasant smell in Africa.  There are no flowers except bougainvillea.  Most people no matter how much they bathe have body odor because of the constant state of sweating, and then there is the garbage burning in front of every home and the smell of gasoline from the busses and bajaji's.

I'll have information when I leave about some ways to help if anyone wishes to do so.
Cooking Dinner
Playing at the Dressmakers

Mambo.  Poa.  Money.  Money.

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