October 13, 2009
Today has been a pretty quiet, uneventful day. I wandered around the city with Rachel and Lydia and now the whole group is back camping at the Peterson compound in Olisiti Village. We are spending one day in Olisiti, mainly so that the general culture students can get ideas for their independent projects, and then leaving for safari on the 15th.
I’ve actually got quite a bit to do still tonight, packing and doing some reading for our discussion tomorrow about the culture of the Arusha Maasai as compared to more pastoral Maasai, so I’m just going to make a quick list of excellent/amusing/odd things that happened today.
1. I have claimed spotted hyenas as my topic of study for the big vertebrate presentations that the biology students have to present at the very end of the program. I am super excited and hoping that we see many of them on our travels so I will have some good video for my presentation.
2. I am officially a biology major with L+C and Ken is my advisor! I’m really excited because as the animal guy on the bio staff he should be able to give me great advice as far as classes, potential careers, etc.
3. While waiting outside the internet café for Lydia to finish up her emails, a slim Maasai man, probably in his mid-twenties walked by wearing a t-shirt which read (in English) “This Is What The Best Grandma Looks Like”. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing, as he looked to be quite a serious fellow.
4. Rachel and I had the most amazing mocha milkshakes at “McMoody’s”.
5. In “McMoody’s” one of the waiters was quite smitten with Lydia and her tattoos and inquired repeatedly about her marital status.
6. The guy at the stationary shop was super nice and after Lydia and I were giggling over the sign for Barbie erasers, he took one down to show us (it looked like a tube of lipstick and you would turn the bottom to push the eraser up more as it wore down) and insisted on giving us a demonstration while having a good laugh with us. We bought some new pencils and sharpeners for safari from him.
7. I spent a very long time this evening petting a very friendly black lab – it was amazing.
8. The dried fruit that I purchased at “Shop Rite” seems to be working wonders for my intestinal troubles.
9. I ate so much salad tonight! We were warned that on safari lettuce will likely be a rarity and when a volunteer was needed to finish the final bites of tonight’s salad, I gladly stepped forward.
10. I bought Rachel a variety of chocolate cookies to surprise her with on her birthday during our first full day of safari, while Lydia and Peggy kept her distracted in the Shop Rite! Unfortunately, I didn’t purchase her a card as the only sentiments available for purchase were “Congratulations On Your Marriage” and “Good Luck On Your Upcoming Exams”, neither of which seemed particularly appropriate and all of which featured really ugly floral designs.