Monday, July 26, 2010

Tanzania, Day 9

July25, 2010

It is a 'memorial' day for Tanzanians today. They remember countrypeople who fought in WW2 (I guess they were Tanganikans then, or maybe British citizens). And they also remember the Tanzanians who fought against Idi Amin's Ugandan army in 1971. But for us, it was just Sunday & a very, very welcome day off.

We got up late, lingered over breakfast, spent some time reviewing the work completed & the work left to do, came up with a rough game plan for the days ahead, & then headed out to the market. Dodoma has a great market -- large, sprawling & busy. We had a couple of shopping goals in mind. Doug was looking for some material for Anne, who wants to make some cushion covers. I was looking for dental floss, & we were both looking for packages of Kilamanjaro tea (which comes in a beautiful little box & makes a very nice cup of tea besides). We wandered up & down the little alleyways, dodging motorcycles & negotiating with the entrepreneurs. During the couple of hours in which we browsed, I saw only two other Caucasians the whole time. You get accustomed to being stared at but for the most part the market people were polite & not overly aggressive with marketing. We did find some great fabric (too much choice, really) & we found the tea but nobody seemed to carry anything that looked like dental floss.

It actually felt hot during midday so we wandered back to the hotel to rest & enjoy a cold beer. Thinking about it... we really haven't been outside during the middle part of the day; we have been inside, working, with some degree of airconditioning in our classroom. On the whole, the weather in Dodoma region -- during this 'winter' dry season anyway -- is just lovely. It hasn't rained since we've been here & they tell us it won't rain, period, until November. The evenings are cool & we sleep with blankets pulled up. Mornings & evenings are very pleasant, with temperatures in the low 20's. It is sunny for the most part, & often breezy.

By 7 pm we were both pooped. I decided to get some photocopies for our workshop tomorrow & then spend some quality time on the internet. I went into the internet cafe & the young woman there assured me that she could photocopy my handout. 15 copies, 16 pages each... She had to print each page & then print the reverse side manually, so it took a while. By the time she was ready to log me into the internet terminal, only 15 minutes remained for the internet cafe to be open. Why couldn't she have logged me in at the beginning? And why does the internet cafe close an hour early tonight?? Do I sound just a touch frustrated & whiny...???

It's probably just as well; I still have my presentation to plan for tomorrow & given the fatigue, really should get an early night.

No comments: