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.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Around and around the old stone town...

Around and around the old stone town…

October 1, 2009

So, I’m feeling pretty good today because we’ve officially finished up the general culture part of the program and its pretty much bio from here on out. I turned in my last essay today and had my Kiswahili verbal exam (which went alright, but not great). We also said goodbye to Rose and Daudi, our Kiswahili teacher and history teacher and gave them each presents (Rose a book and necklace and David a new kikoy, another sort of man skirt that he is particularly fond of). I also finished reading a book that Devin lent me yesterday called “The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe about the development of psychedelic hippy culture in California. It was extremely well written and entertaining, but overall kind of depressing. However, some of the summarization occurred in kind of a free verse poetry that was really fun and being as I am, a magpie, copycat of a writer who seems incapable of developing any sort of style of my own, I think I’ll write my entry for the day in such a fashion:

Five am. Air raid, call to prayer sound rushes in.
A voice chanting to Allah, to Allah, to Allah,
A man’s voice – a woman’s, no a boy’s
Pushes me out of bed and into running shoes

And around and around the old stone town
A flock of mzungu hens
Polepole, polepole we run
Polepole past the sea and the shops and the waking up sun

Crows watching us, the whole gang eating breakfast
Curved beaks wanting to tear off
Chunks of toast and bites of egg,
Slurp down passion juice

Then fingers run across keys stumbling and sticking, racing to finish
final words and thoughts for the final reflection, to try and describe,
to try and fail to put EAST AFRICA into
plain black words on a plain white page, ignoring all the greys…

Then speaking in a strange and foreign tongue
Yes, I have one horse
He lives with two goats
She verifies it in English

To make sure I am not crazy
But maybe I am or everyone is
Because a whole gang of us are eating
Smoothies for lunch and daydreaming about

Macaroni and cheese with cheese
And turkey thanksgivings
Burgers and fries and mashed potatoes
And chocolate chip cookies and more

There’s a bakery here
With bread and chapati – tan and bland, bland, bland
And a walk through the tourist town
With hustlers hustling us wazungu along

Relaxing, lounging – do we even know how
To do that anymore?
But we do, converging like ants upon
The pineapple that Anton bought, deep in conversation

Pack, squirrel away supplies for tomorrow’s adventures
Pizza pie dinner by the ocean
The sun slides away,
Chased by a sail boat on the waves

Return to (relax, lounge)
Drink something that burns
And smells bad too
A celebration

A month in land so far from home –
Wishing the lights weren’t so bright
Because if they weren’t we could see
If the stars and the sky were the same

Well, that was an interesting experiment. Perhaps I’ll have to try some more different blogging styles in the future. You may have no idea what I was up to today, my friends at home, but it was kind of fun to write something different even if the effect was less than successful and not even approaching Tom Wolfe – I think that kind of thing is easier to write if you actually are high on LSD.

Missing having internet to talk to you all already,
Hill

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