29 December 2011
Today I went to Arusha National Park! Alison’s brother-in-law is a daladala driver and he drove us, with various family members, through the park. Not the conventional way to see a national park! We saw lots of animals: giraffes, buffalo, zebra, various hoofed animals (some very small, maybe a foot and a half at the shoulder). It’s a very beautiful place. I’d like to go back sometime when I have more time and fewer children, and am not taking pictures from a shaking dalalala (they all shake)! I got some good pictures.
On the way there, Alison asked one of her nieces about school. This niece failed form four (the last year of secondary school, like sophomore year for us Americans) and so her parents decided to spend extra money to send her to boarding school to re-do it. There, she eats polenta and beans every single day for lunch and dinner. Nothing else, ever. For breakfast, corn porridge – no sugar, no tea, except on Saturday, when they get tea. The school has a garden, but the vegetables the children grow go to the teachers! So nutrition is lacking, to say the least. At the market the other day, I saw they were selling bags of clay soil. The pregnant women eat it; their bodies crave the iron.
At this point you’re probably expecting to see some of my shaky animal pictures, but alas, the slow internet has defeated my patience for now.