First Impression

We have spent the last few days with our new family. Mama is working with a safari company a hour out of town. She has a big smile and a good chuckle. Baba (as we are required to call them) works, we don’t know where, and goes out every night on errands. Last night he went out for “milk”. He didn’t come home. They have a live in girl, which is very common for Tanzanian families. She is probably a relative from a local village. They have been very sweet and happy to have us.

Although we are staying in a very nice, safe neighborhood, their home is a little, well, different. No running water, although they have plumbing and western toilet and sinks. Mama insists the toilet flushes, but we have never been able to get it to flush. We thought at first it just took the right touch. Today we found out they fill the back tank with outside water when we are not looking. They use a hole in the ground out back. They are trying, we think, to keep up appearances, which is very thoughtful but not too practical.

Tomorrow morning we officially leave for the first day of teaching. We will be going to Engaruka Village, in Massai land. We will be teaching how to vaccinate chickens for Newcastle Disease. We wake up at 5 am and go door to door, asking people if they know about the disease/if we can teach them to vaccinate. The trick then, is to hope they have not yet let their chickens out for the day. Either way, it sounds like there is a lot of running around..

Whooopwoopwoop! Game plan is as follows: step one, tackle unsuspecting chicken, 2 hold back feet and wings, 3 blast liquid vaccines into the chicken’s eyes. Some of the roosters we’ve seen around town have to weigh 25 pounds, oh boy I am totally intimated!!

We have really enjoyed our walking through town meeting all the locals. Every time I have sat down or waited for Alana or walked within a minute or two, someone will approach and strike up a conversation. At first without experience, we felt like it was undoubtedly a sales pitch for some trinket or safari, but now realize that most of the Tanzania people are really light hearted and laid back. Most people just want to practice their English with you, while we get to practice our Swahili with them. They want to find out about what life is like where we come from and we learn about their life and opinionsTanzania opinions and life. Always a really cool experience. We’ve talked about it and tried to understand why so many people love to say hello/how are you either in English or Swahili to us silly white mzungus. We still don’t know why, but we have come to really appreciate the overwhelming generosity of spirit.

Alana F. and Adam M.

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