Monday, June 2, 2008

Wrapping up in the big city

This past week was really busy (as evidenced by my lack of blog
posting). In summary, Thursday I had a meeting with a local
scientist, Friday was the last day of my language class, Saturday was
my last day with Helen, and Sunday I took the bus out here to the
general region of Nyota. Whew!

My meeting on Thursday was great. We talked about the possibility of
Masters students from the local university working on related
projects next year with me, so that we could share fieldwork, data,
and resources. He was gracious and incredibly helpful. We've been
corresponding for several months now so it was great to finally meet

On Friday our language class went to someone's house to cook a meal
together. It was so much fun! We had an interesting and probably
fairly representative group of foreigners to Ukenzagapia in our class:

-one diplomat
-two spouses of diplomats
-one spouse of an aid worker
-two Ph.D. students
The only major group missing would be missionaries.

Our teacher was is from Ukenzagapia, so he helped make the local
fare. The diplomat was from Zimbabwe, which was fascinating. The
diplomatic spouses were from Denmark and Sweden, the aid worker
spouse was American, and Helen is part Arabic. I made guacamole, the
Swede made ice cream, the American provided the house, the Dane
brought liquor, and Helen made salad. I was so full at the end of the

On Saturday Helen and I ventured out of the city to a popular
destination nearby. Oddly enough, we found the place very quiet and
saw only a couple of foreigners, which was not the impression we'd
gotten of the place from hearing other people talk about it. We had a
nice walk around and learned some history of the region. It has been
really interesting traveling with Helen. She is fluent in Arabic, so
she is able to understand a lot of the Arabic influence here.

Mostly we wandered around the town. We both bought some artwork which
we're really excited about. Also, our tour guide said to me, "If you
want, we could get married." Maybe I'll write more later about such
marriage propositions. At the end of the day, we caught rides on the
back of motorbikes to the bus station. It was definitely the
highlight of the day! I would've paid 50 cents just for a ride around
town! That's Helen on the back of a motorbike, taken while I was on
the back of another.

On Saturday night I said goodbye to Helen, because I left early
Sunday morning and she's headed somewhere else. I won't see her again
before she goes back to the UK. It's been great to have a friend here!

Hopefully I'll be able to post again tomorrow morning, but it's
possible I won't be able to post again until Friday or Saturday
because internet is extremely unreliable here. Tomorrow morning I'm
starting a four-day hike!


Paulina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paulina said...

Sorry about that, having some kind of glitch.
What I was trying to say was that when we were in Egypt, the owner of a carpet store tried to get my sister to marry his son. My sister was about 13 at the time.

EcoGeoFemme said...

Wow, it sounds like things are going well!