So I walked into the shower in the morning and there was a frog chilling in the corner. He just kinda looked up at me disinterestedly, being all like “sup bro?”, and then went back to staring straight ahead. Not entirely sure how he got there, since entry into that room would involve hopping up the back stairs, through the kitchen and living room, and then David Blaineing his way through a closed door. That, or he came up the drain, which I’d rather not think about. At any rate, me and the frog had a lovely shower together.
Speaking of animals, it turns out that our guard dog isn’t the remorseless killing machine I once thought. We’ve come home late a couple times and she’s just jumped up and tried to lick my face, without so much as a bark. So with that in mind, she needs a name. If it was a male dog, the obvious choices would be Shia LeWoof or Fetch Ruffman. But it’s a girl, so any suggestions are welcomed.
This morning was the first day where we didn’t have a morning meeting in town. In fact, it’s the first weekday where we got to sleep in (10:00!). So far I’ve spent the morning washing every piece of clothing I’m not currently wearing. I’m in a bathing suit right now.
Later today we’ll probably go to the Acropol hotel to get some work done. It’s owned by a lovely (if not slightly eccentric) Canadian lady who gave us free food last time because she’s friends with Donald, the East African regional director for YCI. We also got some of the fattiest bacon I’ve ever seen in my life.
And there are rumours that a cheeseburger can be acquired at her establishment. This is exciting news, since burgers are few and far between. We had one at Ricky’s Cafe last week, which was a hand-made patty on a bun swimming in what looked like thousand islands dressing. It was still delicious, and a step up from every other restaurant in town that has clip-art burgers printed on their menu (if they have a menu), but don’t actually serve burgers. We were at a cafe for lunch 2 days ago that let us name every type of food we could think of before informing us that they didn’t actually have any food yet that day. So anyhow, we’ll be going to Acropol to get some work done. We have a big presentation for Faraja at their weekly meeting on Friday, so we’ll be making a PowerPoint in English and Kiswahili. For anyone wondering, it seems that “Swahili” is the culture, while “Kiswahili” is the language. Like the difference between “Anglo-Canadian” and “English”.
Yesterday we had to pick up some US dollars for a Safari we’re going to take on Saturday. I was a little perturbed when I got $125 US in 5 and 10 dollar bills. I felt a lot better about myself when Lonny stepped up after me and received $125 in 1 dollar bills. I shit you not. It was a brick of money. Needless to say, we now know exactly what Snoop Dogg feels like every day of his life. We rollin’ in it.
It’s supposed to be one of the best times of the year for animal watching, so that’s good news. Our guide says he saw a cheetah last weekend when he went out, which is super rare. The only notable thing they don’t have in Mikumi National Park is rhino, but I saw like a billion rhinos last time I was in Africa (conservative estimate). I could see a rhino walking down the street today and I’d just be like “whatever, rhino”.
I finally got to call my friend Lutangu in Zambia today, which was awesome. I talked to the whole staff that I worked with last time. He says they’ve had a lot of volunteers since Tim, Phil, and I, but we were the most fun. Obviously he’s right. I mean, have any other volunteers insisted that he take them to a local bar called Beer 4 Less, or drink Chibuku out of a rain barrel with him? I’m sure the answer is no. Would he like any other volunteers enough to tell them that the sweet chitanga shorts they had tailored gave them total African street cred, despite the fact that not a single Zambian wore anything even remotely similar? That’s love, folks. I think my favourite Lutangu memory is him solemnly explaining to us that after a night at Beer 4 Less, it would be our duty to portage him to the school like a canoe, sit him up in his chair at the front of the class, put a piece of chalk in his hand, and leave him there until the kids arrived in the morning. I don’t have the money right now, but Dambwa hasn’t seen the last of me. They say most of the students I taught are in high school now, which is awesome. It’s good to know that my complete inability to do (much less teach) long division hasn’t stunted their academic development. If they had a question on the entrance exam about the water cycle, I bet they nailed it. I drilled that one into their heads well and good. For anyone who saw my pictures of the school when I was there in 2008, it’s night-and-day compared to now. It’s amazing what a difference a donor can make. Uniforms, food, a brand new building, a kitchen, internet on site, a chalkboard without a giant hole in it. Here’s the link.
Plans for tonight: telling our German friends that I can sing their national anthem, and then launching into a heartfelt rendition of 99 Red Balloons.