One of the biggest challenges that I have here is communication, not just the fact that I don’t know the language but that I don’t really know what to ask for. I just came back from getting food and Moshi asked if I wanted chai tea. I thought I said “I’ll have coffee”, in english, and a few minutes later the waiter comes back with a cup of chai tea and then he empties a packet of coffee into the tea. I’m way too shy to say anything about it so I just drink the bizarre tea/coffee combination thinking “yuck!”. I’m sure Moshi and the waiter were thinking “what a weird Canadian drink” but we were all just talking like it was all very normal, that they serve this all the time. I’m putting a lot of weird things into my body.
A few nights ago I went to a restaurant and did the back and forth greetings with the waiter. We chatted for a bit and I thought I ordered stew. We sat with the owner watching the news and talking for about 45 minutes. I got up to wash my hands thinking the food should be there soon and then Moshi said “Did you order?”. I said “I think so but maybe we should check.” Nope. I didn’t order so we waited another 45 minutes for the food. I’m never quite sure what I have ordered or even if I have ordered at all. I have had to crack open one of the bags of candy I was going to give to the school kids as a replacement for dinner ordering debacles. How terrible is that?
Storytelling is very much a part of the culture so when Moshi and I are working together my simple questions turn into stories. Like I was wondering how many tourists come through Kondoa and I heard about almost every person that has ever come through. I’m exaggerating and I love it but it makes getting any work done almost impossible. Today, however, we did get most of the writing finished.
I want to mention one last thing. Showers. I was going to say that cold showers are the most uncomfortable thing in the world but there is one thing that is worse than that…no water! Luckily I brought little wet ones and who knew you could replace a shower with a tiny little wet napkin. Don’t laugh but I brought a blow dryer and straightener that sit VERY unused in my closet.
Tomorrow we are off to the village which I am so happy and excited about. I am actually going a little stir crazy.
Hawaelewi (I don’t understand) wait yes ninaelewi (I do understand)