25 June 2005

my summer home

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This is Mlango moja, the used clothing market across from my apartment building. This is also the view from my front balcony.

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I thought this was rather romantic. (also the view from my balcony)

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Bugando hill (viewed from my rooftop)

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This proves that mosquito netting is not only funcitional, but can also be aesthetically pleasing.

Summer home. Not a whitewashed house on Long Island, not a timeshare in the West Indies or even a Floridian retirement complex. Nope, I am currently residing in the heart of the developing world and doing my best to get a feel for life here. Is that possible (or will it be) in the course of 2 more months? I want to fit in to this town but at times it seems impossible. At other times I have been incredibly welcomed. Let me explain...

First off, the Mzungu stuff:
I've gotten used to the yells and the unabashed stares, but seriously, why must people yell the swahili equivalent of "white person!!!" wherever I go? I know as well as they do that I'm white, and an obvious minority. But can you imagine being in Canada and yelling "Asian!", "Brazilian!" or even "Possibly Filipino or maybe Thai, I'm not sure!!!" out loud and pointing at someone and then laughing at that person? Seriously! Most people are just curious and are being friendly, but at least once a day I hear "Hey Mzungu, give me my money!" At least I've come to expect it now.

Yesterday while I was out walking and a hippie-esque guy started asking me questions:
him "So why are you here in Tanzania?"
me "I'm working with a women's rights org and-"
him "Do you really think you can bring ideas like that to Africa? Do you think it will work?"

Me: "Well it's actually an African organization run by women and men working towards-"

him: "Is it worth the time though. Is it even worth you coming here?"

me: "Well I'd say it's something to work towards. Wouldn't you?"

him: "You have to understand the beliefs here. In the Islamic faith it says that if a man fights his wife, if he hits her like a boxer fights, then she will love him more, and-"

me: "See you later!"

Things like this I find very upsetting.

On the other hand, I continued on my walk for a long time


b said...

Are those pterodactyls in the sky?

Once again, wonderful pics.

Maggie said...

Hey Dallas!

I hope you're enjoying your trip!
As Brian said, great pics.
Can't wait to see more!