Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Running in the Coffee Fields

Sorry for the delay in blogging- as expected, the days have gotten quite a bit busier with work and meeting people and exploring the area. There’s quite a bit to tell, I suppose.

A quick update: the weekend was a social one, what with moving into our new home and settling in. Saturday night we went out to a club called Velocity for a big birthday party. Apparently there is a man here who cuts hair who is very eccentric and quite famous in the community. It was his birthday party and the club was packed all to celebrate him! He had some crazy green hair or something wild. At one point at the club, in true Arusha fashion, all of the power went out. It was pretty funny and everyone cheered in the pitch black darkness. I held onto my little purse tighter. Suddenly every one broke out into singing ‘happy birthday.’ It was a hoot! Drinks here are super cheap, like a few dollars, but we later realized that they watered down the alcohol. Good trick, bar tenders!

Sunday, Liza invited us to her friend’s engagement party which was held in another friend’s beautiful back yard. It was walking distance from our house! So, we headed out onto our dirt road to explore and get our shoes a little dirty. There are many people selling things up and down our street in little shops, so we bought a coke and some house necessities from a couple of stores. There are some delicious looking fruits and veggies being sold which we’re going to try soon. The engagement party was fun and we met more people to hopefully become friends with here in Arusha!

Monday (yesterday) was a crazy Monday again—my Monday’s are packed with two group lessons right in the middle of them. These group lessons consist of about 4-8 kids, ages ranging from 6-14 yrs old. It’s lots of fun and I learn a lot about teaching, but I’m certainly a bit tired afterwards and then I go on to teach for a few more hours in private lessons. Monday night, Alison made a delicious sauce with a bunch of different vegetables which we had with spaghetti. Fresh mango for dessert. My aunt Catherine had a terrific suggestion the other day that I write in my blog about what we’re eating. Well, all this week I’ve been taking pictures of our awesome meals, so next week expect to see some about that.

Today, Alison and I went to work early to go for our first Arusha jog! Guess where it was that we ran? In the coffee fields behind the school where we teach! It was terrific—the mornings here are pretty cool (in the 60’s) so it was perfect temperature, we pretty much had the path to ourselves, and we had the quiet sounds of birds and cows in the fields around us to keep us company. It felt great to get out and do some exercise again! In addition to piano lessons, I did voice lessons today which are going well and I’m enjoying very much! The songs I picked for these two girls are: Girl from Impanema, I Got Rhythm, a fantastic Eric Satie song called ‘Allons-y Chochotte’, and Vaughan Williams’ song ‘Vagabond.’

I’m sorry I haven’t any photos for this week. I will do better to get some footage for you all next week!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, per usual, about time and getting older and what it means to be 22. Never before I have I thought about the passing of youth so much in my life! 22 is such an important age I think. Definitely more so than 21. Both Liza and Alison made good points the other day as they explained what it’s like to transition into adulthood, away from being with your friends in college all of the time, away from home, and into responsibility. It’s just kind of hitting me these days that all I’ve ever known is how to be young. You know, you don’t really reflect on it while you’re in your teens. You’re too busy having fun; the whole time you feel like you’re wise and know yourself and know the world entirely. But, I feel like I’m sort of at the top of hill, able to see into a future of having ‘years of experience’ but also into the past of not knowing much at all about life. I feel myself growing here a great deal, but sort of becoming more of what I was always craving to be as a human. It’s good to have independence—a bit scary, to be sure, but really good.


  1. Certainly no reason to apologize, as we are pleased to have received so many updates from you, well written, and even illustrated by images and video. I can get an excellent impression of your situation there, sounds marvelous. The food details have already been good and helpful. I always avoided ice/water in any 3rd world bar or restaurant, and instead just drank the beer, even avoiding glasses that are washed in water and opting for the bottles. Also, I'm sure you've already been told about never swimming in the lakes or rivers eh?
    I forgot to mention how excited I am for you to be learning the violin. Now you have tackled two of the three instruments that I have always dreamed of learning: Organ and violin. Can you guess which is the third? Marimba! :D
    Today we had a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Washington DC (!), if you can imagine. Hoards of buracrats streaming out of office buildings and then frustrated because the cell phone lines were frozen for a while. A closed-circuit TV video sequence leaked to the media showed the top of the White House and at the opening of the quake, one can see the little Secret Service men running out of an opening in the roof and rushing to their posts to protect the place from "the attack". Life sure is full of unexpected surprises!
    Love you,

  2. Great blog Hon. I can see you running in the coffee fields, but I'd like to see it for real too. I hope your week is going well. Sorry I missed a skype chat today. It was crazy, as always.
    I want to see photos of...your house, Arusha, the coffee fields and whatever else. Love you most! moma

  3. Hey Dani! I'm really glad you're writing this blog, it's a great window into the amazing work you're doing, and I'm enjoying reading it. Take care!