Saturday, May 30, 2009

No hurry in Africa

Things really do happen slowly here. It took an extra day to get to
Nyota because things just take longer. We arrived at Nyota this
evening after a long, lurching bus ride where the windows threatened
to fall out with their rattling and the undercarriage sounded like it
lost a few pieces along the way. I wonder what Click and Clack would
say. Twice about 3/4 of the passengers had to get off and walk a bit
so the bus could go through a particularly treacherous stretch of
road. I'm just thankful I had a seat and that the bus didn't fall
over, nor did my bags fall off.

Shortly after arriving here I met the guys in charge. I introduced
myself, showed them my papers, and they proceeded to welcome me and
tell me there's "no hurry in Africa." They said I can start work
tomorrow if I want but we'll wait to sort out the official stuff (i.e.
money) on Monday, because they are definitely not working on Sunday.
Then they invited me to have a beer and eat some beef with them. Very
manly. So for the next hour or so I sat there with eight men drinking
beer and eating meat. I tried to follow the conversation but only
caught the gist of it a few times. It didn't seem to go so well when I
tried to participate. Maybe I asked too many questions?

Not only do I have to negotiate another culture and another language
(at least part of the time), I have to do it as a woman in a man's
culture. I hope I don't screw this up.

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