The recorded ramblings of an unschooled writer, aspiring biologist, amateur equestrian, ardent bookworm, avid music appreciator, increasingly addicted runner and college student spending the summer in Ely, MN.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lala salama!

Lala salama!
Good night/sleep peacefully.

September 8, 2009

Wow, just finished typing up all of the blog entries since Saturday! I did end up bringing my laptop back to my host family’s house which might be kind of awkward, but it has oddly enough kind of become my comfort item, so hopefully things won’t be too awkward. So this blog is likely to be short…maybe…writing chases away the homesickness so excellently.

This morning mama wangu pretty much kicked me out of the house at 7:45 so that I wouldn’t be late for school, despite the fact that school starts at 8:30 and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk there. I arrived way early even after wandering up and down Kibiria Road for a bit, but there were actually already many people there when I arrived who had similarly overzealous mamas.

Swahili classes continued in the same groups as yesterday. The highlight in my group today was when we had to role play a restaurant situation and Alex (the waitress) kept hitting on Zach (one of the customers) in Kiswahili. Great fun and lots of laughter all around!

During lunch, Rachel and I wandered around for a bit, found out that we are the only two who live down the right side of the main road (though she’s quite a bit farther down it than I) and showed each other where our houses are before visiting an internet cafĂ© to check e-mails quickly before class started again at the cheap rate of 1 shilling/minute. She is going to lend me her USB drive so that I can put the blog entries typed on my laptop onto the cybercafe computers straight onto my blog without having to do any more typing on those horrible keyboards with sticky/missing letters. I am very grateful to her!

Micheal and his host brother are going hiking in the Ngong Hills this Saturday and invited anyone who wants to join them to come along. I am going to check with my host family and see if they are ok with this. I would LOVE to go out for a day hike, plus it would mean only one more day in the car with Uncle George before my homestay in Riruta is over instead of two, so it would be a plus in many ways, I just don’t want to offend my host parents because they have been so nice to me.

We finished school today with a group discussion about women in Africa. That could be an entire blog all by itself so I won’t get into it now, but at some point I will try to post a short paper I wrote for the class about the topic. This leads me to what I really wanted to tell all of you at home about. My baba (host dad) is so incredibly cool. Most East African dads don’t help with anything around the house – they just walk in and demand dinner at the end of the day. More than a few of my L+C peers haven’t even ever spoken to their host babas because they are just so busy being in their man world they could care less about the mzungu living in their homes as long as mama continues to do all the work.

My baba on the other hand helps iron the kids’ school uniforms while mama dresses them for school, helps mama in the kitchen and even cooked a whole dinner all by himself tonight. It was actually the tastiest meal I have had since leaving the US (vegetables and tomato, garlic and ginger soup) and that made me really homesick because at my house, my dad is the best cook too.

Baba also talks to me a lot. He helps me with my Kiswahili homework and laughs with me about how useless the Kiswahili dictionary is for helping me come up with words that real people might actually say. He also loves that I am a runner and just this morning we had a fabulous conversation about how Ethiopians and Kenyans are the best distance runners in the world (totally true) and how some Australian fellow thinks he can beat them, but baba is sure they cannot because even though this fellow has been training in Kenya for four years now, he does not have the same determined spirit and tactics as a true Kenyan runner. Baba also says that Americans can beat Kenyan sprinters because sprinting is all brawn and no brains. Baba thinks Ussain Bolt’s attitude is appalling but would also love to see him run. Baba thinks it is funny that so many white people run who have no chance of ever being good at it. I assured him that I was definitely one of those people, but that I genuinely do enjoy it as a recreational activity.

I went for a short run with Laila this evening (20 minutes) and wanted to go more, but unlike yesterday when running made my stomach feel better, tonight it just got worse and worse so I gave up in favor of going home and studying and writing home.

I miss you! If you are my family and reading this please call me. I am very sad you haven’t tried to get in touch 

Lala salama (sleep peacefully/good night),

1 comment:

  1. Hillary, I so love reading all about your adventures! I laughed about your baba cooking...making you homesick....John sure could cook some yummy meals!! I'm so glad you are seeing and learning about another part of the world! For me it was leaving Kansas and going to Massachusetts...a smaller scale, but many friendships made and life lessons learned. Take care!