Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Adventures june 07

WOW, a lot has happened since I first got here. We have been to Mbande twice now and it is a really cool place. The people are incredibly friendly and fascinated by us, especially the children. It is very draining going there as no one speaks English and it takes a lot of work to try and speak Kiswahili with them. The children are definitely the best part. This past Sunday I took all of my hoola hoops (which I finally finished) and I spent all day playing with them with the children The little girls and a few boys just loved it and were so good by the end of the day. I can’t wait till we actually get to go and stay there.

I have been downtown a couple of times now and am getting very comfortable with it. I found a great little French patisserie and had a cappuccino and pain au chocolat on Wednesday and I can’t tell you how exciting that was. I can also converse well with the people at the market and the food here is amazing. I love being able to go to the market every couple of days and get fresh fruits and vegetables (I don’t know how I will ever be able to go back to shopping in Canada) I have also been to the Khanga market twice now and bought myself six Khangas. Khangas are the traditional dress of women here, they are beautiful pieces of patterned cloth with Kiswahili proverbs written on them and they are less than four dollars a piece for like 6 yards. I haven’t found much jewellery yet but I think Zanzibar will be the place for that.

Yesterday I went to Kariakoo market with a meteorologist named Kurwa from Tabora who is taking a course at the airport. Kariakoo is the biggest and craziest market in Dar and it really is big and crazy. There is a huge section that is actually underground and everywhere there are little shops selling all sorts of things from traditional medicine, electronics, clothes and the coolest men’s shoes I have ever seen. (All the men here dress really well) After wondering around the market we went for lunch at a little restaurant on the main road. I had some really good samaki (fish) and mchele (rice). The fish here is sort of weird and creepy though as it is always whole with the head and eyes and fins all still attached. It definitely makes it harder to disassociate it from being a real animal. After lunch we walked back to the Jeshi, which is a really nice walk especially in the early evening when it is a little cooler. Along the way we crossed one major road that was lined with Mganga selling traditional medicine, which was a cool site to see. Being in a major city there is such a struggle between using traditional healers and modern medicine. Many traditional medicine shops are right beside pharmacies.

Today we had Kiswahili class, which is going very well. We have classes Monday to Friday from 8am until 1pm. It is a lot in one day but it is good. I am definitely feeling more confident in speaking the language. Later I think we are going to go into the city and check out the local Hookah bar and maybe go dancing (which I am craving immensely despite my hoola hooping everyday) Speaking of which I think it is time for my daily hoola.

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