Tuesday, July 20, 2010

11-7-10 “Coffee, Coffee, Coffee”

The water crew went out for more water samples with their local guide, the Tanzanian equivalent of Mr. Myagi. A Mr. Myagi that hikes in flipflops, goes all day without drinking water, and smokes cigarettes while climbing mountains.

The stove group started our day with a follow-up visit to Maggie’s to pick up the UCB after its 24 hours of logging. After downloading and resetting the UCB, we did a first visit with Siwema, a delightful woman who lives nearby. We managed to do a much smoother job with our testing, and just as we were finishing up, another of our volunteers, Annetta, showed up to visit. She said she was on her way to a meeting, but despite that took us to her house so that we would know the way. We made our visit brief so she could get to her meeting, but she continued to accompany us on our tour of Siwema’s woodplot, which began to confuse us. As we were finally parting ways, Parker asked if he might be able to buy a half kilo of coffee, to which both Siwema and Annetta cracked up laughing and insisted that such a small amount would be free. I think we were caught off guard by their generosity.

Our authentic Tanzanian Coffee experience started with husking, for which we set up a little coffee sweatshop in the dining room, with all six of us gathered around the table shucking the “parchment” off all of the beans. Tuma saw us and laughed, then put us all to shame by shucking more beans in five minutes than all six of us had in twenty. Our beans roasted during dinner, then we ground it up and brewed our delicious treat in time to head out for the World Cup Finals.

As we walked over to the “Video House” to watch the game, Parker suddenly yelled and took off running, which didn’t make any sense to the rest of us, since we were right on time. It wasn’t until we saw the stream of people pouring out of the only other video house in town that we realized what was happening. We got through the door at the nick of time, and were whisked to the front by some sort of divine power before the mob packed the building in behind us. A noisy (the 4 foot tall speakers were within as many feet of our ears) and cacophonous experience, but one I doubt will be forgotten soon.


No comments:

Post a Comment