17 June 2005

oh, the things I have seen.

so, Africa is a little bit different than suburban Canada.
This is my first installment, which makes sense as it's the first time I've had more than a few minutes to sit down and type. I've been writing faithfully in a journal each night, but typing is so much nicer, and reminds me of the conveniences of home.

I guess I'll back up a little. Today is June 17, it is 8:17pm here in mwanza, and 1:17pm there for you all in Canada. I have been here for a week now.

So I left on June 10th and tried my hardest not to cry at the airport. I put on a tough face and walked through customs. The flight was very luxurious and the food was amazing. I treasured it as my last taste of the western world. I slept for a bit and woke up to the sun rising over ireland. Luckily the clouds covered the land though, as I want to see Ireland for the first time when Brian and I go in the next year or so (fingers crossed). we had a 3 hour stopover in amsterdam. In order to fight the jetlag, we opted not to sleep and instead to take a train downtown and walk around. Amsterdam at 8am was pretty much the exact opposite of what you would expect. no flashing red light district to seduce or drug dealers on the corners. in fact, there was barely a person in sight! The city smelled like it had been out drinking the night before, due to --i'm sure--many peoples' nighttime partying on the streets. All around me street cleaners drove around like huffing, moustached rhinos and polished the cobblestone streets to a sheen. Canals weave through the city and are lined with bikes and flower-covered houseboats. I didn't see any wooden shoes, but I did spot a distant windmill or two.
After that we boarded the plane again and I kissed the developed world goodbye.

The old interns, Brian and Cynthia surprised us by meeting us at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya. I was amazed by their command of Swahili, after being here for only 5 months. They were also incredibly savvy and knowledgeable. Nairobi was very busy and dynamic, but also rather dangerous and polluted. I didn't get to see much of it, so I can't make a fair judgement really. I did, however, get to go to a giraffe sanctuary where we all pet and fed Giraffes. Nzuri sana (very nice).

B&C taught us how to eat traditional african food, with your right hand. it was a very fun and tasty experience. Although, being a quasi-veggie, it was weird to have the waiter bring a sheep's leg to the table and to hear the bone crunch as he cut through it with a machete...yuck.

We left Nairobi after 2 days and arrived in beautiful Mwanza, Tanzania. One week has passed and so much has happened. I am feeling happy but terribly homesick and lovesick.
I'll post asap and tell you all about my first week in Mwanza.

baadaye (later)


1 comment:

Paige said...


Everything sounds so splendid and amazing and unbelievable (as I am sure it is to you) but you have a fabulous way of describing everything and I am eager to hear more tales of Africa.

PS- yes, bone crunching is gross, but lamb is good, it must have been good at least?

Miss you!