It has been almost a month since my last update so I thought it would be nice to tell you a bit more about life in Moshi!
I am amazed how different it is from what I had imagined although I am not sure what it was I expected. On one hand my life is very similar as back home. Together with others I live my life with the usual emotions, worries and daily activities. You always take yourself wherever you go I guess and although flying to a completely different country might feel like a big change, it does not change you straight away. On the other hand things are completely different here and the cultural difference is huge. It won't change you from the first moment you arrive but I can feel that slowly things are shifting in the way I think and act.
In my first week I was not sure how safe it would be to walk outside the campus, go into town on my own or travel by bus or bodaboda(motortaxi). Many school teachers tell you it is dangerous but after a week of campus life I felt a bit locked so I started exploring life outside school. On the street people try to talk to you and sometimes follow you around but overall they are very nice and it does not feel unsafe. I sometimes walk to town on my own or take a bodaboda or taxi when I have to travel far or at night. It feels safe as long as you stay on the main road and don't walk alone when it gets dark.
Stephanie, the one in charge of all the volunteers, is a very inspiring person and she often takes me into town and introduces me to new people. With her basic Swahili and open way of communicating she goes around town and visits the local market and other places she wants to go. We often go to the working place of a local group of deaf people. They have their own sowing workplace above a hotel in town and they make the most beautiful things. To control the size of my wardrop I only allow myself to go there ones a week. It is one of my favourite places as they are amazing people and they charge us normal prices. Whenever you want to buy something in other local places you have to make sure you know the price because wherever you go they will ask a ridiculous high mzungu prices. This is very annoying because it takes a long time to get the price down which makes shopping a time-consuming activity!
I start to find my way around and I love traveling with the bodaboda motortaxi. My first bodaboda experience was a slightly weird one though! I was going to visit my friend and I used a bodaboda guy she recommended but when it was time to go back home he did not show up at the agreed time and he did not reply my phone calls. After two hours he finally appeared with a lot of excuses and when we arrived at my house he suddenly started kissing me! It was a very good looking guy but I don't think kissing is part of the bodaboda experience so I quickly went inside and I never called him again. I now have a very nice bodaboda guy who drives safe and keeps his kisses for his wife.
It is time to go out for dinner now. More travel and kissing stories next month!
Geerte de Koe