Thursday, July 8, 2010

5.7.10 or “TIA: Ready, set, no go”

First off, a few stories from Mwamgongo. Guess who the first kid to latch himself onto the new wazungu in town was when Mitch and Aaron arrived in Mwamgongo? It was Galai, of course. No sign of any of the other children characters from last summer (although I think I remember Hassim, who Aaron mentioned). When Mitch and Aaron were coming down from the water tank while surveying the water system, Mitch got held up talking to someone. Aaron frustrated with having to wait, taught the gaggle of kids surrounding him how to say, “Mitch! Come On!” which they yelled. Suffice it to say it caught on. However it did give us a new way of dealing with kids who all they know how to say is “Givea me my money” or “what is my name” is to teach them a new phrase that they can say instead.

It’s real hard to build momentum when working in Africa, something always comes up. Clara had said when we met with her on Friday that we would have no problem hiring a car from JGI to take the Coffee Stove Group to Kalinzi. Unfortunately for us, she had forgotten that most of the cars were going to be used for Jane and the people with her to go to Kalinzi for the day. So we spent the morning getting supplies with Rita, our translator, and Tuma (her sister, our cook). We got a ride arranged for first thing tomorrow morning. Parker and Wendy headed north to Kiibirizi to get Wendy on the Water Taxi to join Zach and Kanika in Mwamgongo.

We spend a lot of our time in Kigoma walking and waiting for food to be prepared. We have one room at the Aqua Lodge, because it is right next to the lake and we can swim there and it’s right next to JGI. The second cheapest place is the Zanzibar Hill hotel, which is on top of a very big hill. To get food you have to walk the mile to town. We grabbed a quick meal at the New Modern (Beef and rice was on the menu) and rinsed it down with a few beers at the Zanzibar hill hotel. There we saw a rat that was literally 3 times the size of the cats around here (we found out later this was a Gambian rat, which can grow up to 3 feet long). Thus, Parker and Kevin were a little Jumpy on our walk back to the Aqua Lodge, along a path that Kevin thought smelt strongly of snake musk and swore he heard slithering in the bushes. Kevin is afraid of snakes, but the walk was uneventful.

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