22 December 2011
We started today by going up to Marangu, the tourist center we went to yesterday. I used the internet cafe, so my parents know I’m here and safe, at least. It was market day! We bought some food to bring home. Mostly people were selling fruit and vegetables and lots of bananas, but there were also dried fish and various home products, soap and whatnot. Then we went for tea at a restaurant. When they said all they had tea with milk in it, I thought they had just already put the milk in the tea. But actually, they made the tea…with milk. No water involved. It was very much whole milk, and it was like drinking a mug of hot cream. I like cream, but whoa. Back at home, we talked about coffee growing in Tanzania: preparing seeds, nursery areas, growing them, transplanting them, maintaining them, and common pests that attack them. Lots of information, though of course I know absolutely nothing about coffee except that it takes a while to produce a crop, so I was starting at a pretty low base knowledge.
Later in the afternoon we went to a slightly bigger town in the opposite direction, Himo, to buy me a phone. Interesting place – very poor looking, sort of very run down, and very dusty. The dust got in my eyes. But I was succesful in purchasing a phone. I’m very tired today, and very frustrated with my lack of Swahili. I know I’ve only been here a few days but I still feel like I should have learned more. I can’t communicate with anyone else in the family, and I feel very awkward around the girls who stay here, because they are essentially waiting on me, simply because I don’t know what to do, nor do I know how to communicate that I’m happy to help. It’s also not clear to me whether or not, as a guest, I’m supposed to be helping.
PS, where the F is Alison?!