Happy February, hot over hur

Trip Start Jan 09, 2011
Trip End Dec 04, 2011

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's up people?

So It’s been around 3 weeks or so in Africa and I feel pretty Tanzanianized. I live on campus in this really old dorm; my roommate’s name is Matt. Him name is actually is something like Shia, but since I can’t pronounce it he told me to call him Matt, or I just started calling him Matt, I really don’t remember. Anyway, the dorm live is pretty exciting.

I’ve decided the thing about living in a third world country is you can’t just bum out and be all pissed that you don’t have hot water or MacDonald’s. (Even though I miss MChickens, a lot.). You just gotta be happy with whatever you have, it’s no better, no worse, just different. For instance, in Tanzania the public transit system is a large composition of second hand buses and large vans from Asia. They retrofit them and charge you about 30 cents for a one way trip to a part of the city. There are downsides and upsides to traveling in these buses, but when it comes down to it, it’s just different.

The culture over here is different too. People aren’t in a rush to go anywhere; it’s pretty rad because it’s like impossible to be late. I’m taking some cool classes two. I was really excited they offered us a pretty good variety of courses considering the University semesters are way different (school year starts in November, ends in July). Anyway I’m adjusting to living on campus for the most part, it reminds me kind of a tropical UCSC, mostly just because it’s so huge. I live in hall 4, block D, instead of an R.A. we just have a Warden. On top of the buzz cut’s me and my buddies Elliot and Teddy just got yesterday I would say it sounds a lot like a jail! It’s no worries though living here is easy, and pretty relaxed, and yea I cut my hair off, sorry Merced homies, and other homies concerned with my sick dew. Trust me though, I look hardcore.

Alright this is getting long so I’m gonna go ahead and write as much more as I want because this is my blog and I can do that. In the past couple weekends I’ve ventured around Dar and I’m gonna tell you. This place is wild. We went to the fish market and walked through this store complex one day, at one point we look up and I kid you not I saw the biggest spider just sitting on a web. Now you may think big is like maybe a overgrown pumpkin spider, naw. This guy was about as big as a tarantula, and he had buddies just chillin in his web with him. Freaky. I didn’t even take a picture because I don’t want to remember that.

The fish market was legit though. We stopped and all tried octopus soup. I like this group of kids that are here with us because they are all down to try things like that. We’ll all pretty fearless. We all go around the shops like we’re locals. And even though we get called mzungu’s(means white person, it’s not that derogatory) we have a killer time. In bartering with the people here I have found my calling, It’s tough to rip off a clever short white dude.

Did I mention everything here is crazy cheap? Fresh fruit for less than a dollar, rice and chicken for less than a dollar, by the way if you’re planning to come to Africa and you don’t like rice, bummer, everybody eats rice, and it’s delicious. Ugali is also popular here, it’s this corn meal stuff you eat with your right hand, remember right hand. It’s pretty plain without anything but when it’s with beans it’s pretty delicious. I’m going to gain weight here. It’s already happening. I can feel it. But yea, everything is cheap, I bought a little handcrafted leather drum for 20,000 Tanzanian shillings, so about 15 bucks, it’s a good deal. Shopping here is cool, I’m bringing back presents for everyone, well I’m gonna try too. The markets are so cool, and the clothes are cheap. I saw a pair of nice nikes and I’m sure they wouldn’t cost more than like 15$, but alas, I digress. I did not come here to just shop. I have a lot of adventuring to do, but I might just take it easy for a while. It’s funny, before I left I thought I would come here and go crazy, but It’s pretty relaxing to just kick back and do my laundry on the roof. That’s right, hand wash it, don’t worry though, if you don’t want to do it, there are always people who will do it for you, people here are too cool.

I also decided not to intern in natural sciences while I’m here. Instead; I’m gonna try and volunteer with this group that is going to try to repopulate this extinct to the wild frog species. As for my intership though. I’m working with another American Kim in a Day Care Center. It’s amazing. I’ll write more about it later, just be aware that I am having a killer time singing songs and playing airplane with the kids all day(not being sarcastic). Ok well that’s my scattered and unorganized update for the first three weeks. I’ll update again sooner than 3 weeks, but if I don’t no worries, I’m on African time, gotta slow my roll.

Hakuna matata,

Grant gwreckz I.L.
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