17 July 2005

music and more

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I didn't mention it before, because I wasn't sure if it would work out...but it's finished and quite awesome!

Today I went to the makeshift studio of a friend, Martin, to pick up my first Tanzanian recording. As in I recorded a Tanzanian dance song. Oh man, it is just hilarious, you have to hear it. It's called "Hili Penzi" this love (no relation to the Maroon 5 track) and it's a dancehall rap song. I sing the melody and am joined by two Tanzanian rappers. We recorded it in two afternoons and I had a blast doing so. It's completely in Swahili, so I really have no clue what I'm singing about. I had to learn it really fast as the producer wanted to have the first bit recorded in only an hour. So, upon my return I will have some kind of CD release party. Music, African food and drink should make for an interesting night. Come one, come all.

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Community kitchen for the yogurt project. It's been halfway finished for months.

Other than that I have been working hard to pull together loose threads of a program that is not working at the moment. Most of our contacts back home are M.I.A., leaving me extremely frustrated. We are doing as much as we can on our end of things, but are receiving very little assistance from home. Nevertheless, We'll continue to accomplish whatever we can here.

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This morning I went to visit my friend Pendo at her home. She is 37 and has 9 kids but she is so friendly and funny that I don't notice the demographic differences between us. We were treated to some vitumbua (fried donut-ish snacks, see above) a huge pineapple, mango and hot tea. We sat around the coals as her mom and sister prepared everything for us. Her mom alternated between sorting rice and dancing, while her sister brought out some family photos.

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pendo's mom and the rice

All around me the crowd of neighbourhood chilren was growing by the second. It's big news when mzungus come into a quiet suburb. Inside the house, her husband lay passed out on a reed mat, sick with malaria. I felt really awkward being there but Pendo urged me to sit down and relax. Oh, he'll be fine, she insisted. Her daughters brought in fresh water to wash my hands and begged me to take a million pictures of them. It was a really nice Sunday morning.

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boy outside Pendo's house

Earlier this morning, my cell phone rang around 5:30 am, waking me out of a deep sleep. A strange voice was on the other end and--in my sleepiness--I had no clue who this confused man was. After several minutes I realized it was Brian, out on the town in London. Apparently he and some of my other friends were right in the middle of "Guys gone wild II" and had decided to call me. After brief words with Bacon and Pranay (Bacon asked if I could bring him home a machete, and yes, they are sold on the side of the road here) while Pranay told me I sounded dead. It was very funny and so nice to hear some familiar voices. I love technology this summer. Thanks guys.

The rest of the weekend was spent at various restaurants. Post-sickness, I also made a return to that stunning beachfront restaurant, Tunza. The sky was incredible

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Ian befriending a baby lizard

On the weekday evenings, I sit outside on my balcony and watch the sun go down. It's lonely, yes, but lovely.

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For transportation I mostly walk, but when I need a cheap ride in a hurry, I hop on a dalladalla and cram in with at least 12 other people. The smell leaves something to be desired...

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the road ahead

I am almost halfway finished this internship. Next week I will talk more about that but for regards.

I hope you're all doing okay in the crazy heatwave I've been hearing about!


Gillian Edworthy said...

dal i cannot wait to hear your musical recording! haha, we are definitly having a CD release party - it will be a good time all around!
the sunsets look amazing, and remind me quite a bit of the sunsets here in crescent beach,
i also understand your frustration with not receiving help from home - that would be hard to deal with, but if anyone can pull it off on your own - you can

cheers dal - i miss yah

Ashley Audrain said...

Hi Dallas,
I'm not sure we've ever actually met in person (although crossed MIT paths a few times here and there) - I linked to your blog from someone else's, and I'm just so amazed at the experience you're having. I find your posts fascinating and your pictures captivating. What an incredible thing you're doing! I am in awe of the extreme differences in life that you're experiencing, and how thoughtfully you seem to be taking it in. I really admire you're decision to do this internship and I wish you all the best in the future. I look forward to reading more details!
All the best,

Paige said...

Dallas! I love being updated as to what you are doing, and the more and more I read I see just how you are exactly the right person to be on this internship-- and you're documenting it beautifully.

The boy picture.. wow. He looks like he could be a model, it's so graceful and charming.

Talk to you soon, and I can't wait to hear the song :)

Leslie said...

Your photographs are outstanding, what a collection you will have when you return. Keep shooting and posting, it lets us feel closer to you.
love you,

Matt Bacon said...

Dallas... it's Matt Bacon... it's Bacon, understand this: I never, EVER even read blogs, let alone post wordy responses full of emphatic CAPTIAL letter words, but a little birdy reads blogs for me and tells me when i'm mentioned, and thank goodness.

You must, please, very very VERY please, bring me home an African street machete. I do not remember asking for one, but regardless, it's the best idea of had in hours... maybe even months.

If it is at all legal/possible/safe please buy me a giant African death-knife... i mean a tree cutting down knife. In response I promise to continue reading your great blog, constantly checking back... for pictures of you holding my new machete...

Love Bacon

dallas said...

Thanks so much for the comments, especially to the new readers! Ashley, I've admired your writing in the 'zine and the Gazette since I was a frosh! Also, I believe your sister was my frosh this year.

Bacon, I will do my best but I don't know what the Kenyan guards will have to say. They open up your suitcases in front of you here. Last time the inspector thought my tampons were food...very awkward. Thanks for reading though

Jonathan Tan said...

Fantastic to hear about your time in Tanzania, Dallas -- your experiences look and sound incredible. And I'm very interested to hear this Swahili recording when you return!

Glad to hear you're engaged in so much there, and I can't wait to hear more first hand when you return.

Thanks for sharing some beautiful photography and memories.

- Jon

redredjonina said...

hey curow. i just got your post card in the mail and i got a rush of old memories just from looking at your handwriting. thank you so much for taking the time to send that. i cant even believe how beautiful your pictures are. i am in awe of what you're doing. and i hope you are feeling better. i cant wait to hear what you're doing next. thanks for sticking by me. love you.
p.s. i know its not the first thing on your mind but the half blood prince should be the first book you read when you get back

dallas said...

Thanks jonina,
oh, my mom is mailing it to me! I'm expecting a parcel next week!

Sorry I'm not posting more often...expect a long one in the next day or two. internet cafes make it difficult:(