Monday, July 27, 2009

Chai/More about my homestay

JULY 21, 2009
Sitting in my room, sipping from white mug of chai ya maziwa. I love the milk color of it, like some sort of melted sweet. Spiced with ginger and a tiny bit of pepper. Kept warm by a Simba thermos. Thermoses... memory of lunchboxes and soup ~ chicken noodle or vegetable kept warm inside a thermos, and eating it out of the dual-purpose lid/bowl... losing a tooth in my sandwich... my mind has been remembering so much these past 6 weeks. Things from long ago, things from immediately before departure... just about everything that I could possibly recollect. Things I haven't thought about in years. Years. The other day I actually forgot how old I was. A fifteen second dilemma... I had to actually go search my mind to remember. Do you see the transformations my mind is taking? Time is irrelevant, yet it stares me down in the face. My departure is imminent and people I've met are starting to ask me about it. . . "You'll keep in touch, won't you? You won't forget us? Many people come here and leave and forget but me, I never forget. A friend is a friend for life."

JULY 24, 2009
Mama Safia has arrived home! I finally got to meet her and she is wonderful. I like her very much. On the first night of her arrival, she had cooked up a delicious eggplant dish and I told her I loved it (I did!). The next night, I arrived home and saw that she had waited for me so that she could teach me how to make eggplant. Oil, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, salt ~ so simple, yet so delicious. Although I wish I hadn't seen her pour the oil... so much more than I'm used to. "Now you are eating what you have made! It is enjoyable, yes?" she said, beaming at my small cooking achievement.
After dinner, Abdi came in and I showed him that I had tied back my hair without him having to remind me. He smiled but then looked concerned. "Even the other day I have found a piece of your hair there!" (points to table where we eat). "Ahhh. Very bad for health." I joked that it must have been his hair (which is almost nonexistent and gray) to which he laughed and shook his head. Very amused ^_^

The space where we eat dinner/watch TV. You can see the table, couch, curtains (same as in my room), and a little Tanzanian flag on the corner table. It's cozy.

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