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Adventures into Moshi town

TANZANIA | Wednesday, 11 September 2013 | Views [457] | Comments [4]

Where oh where is my benadryl anti-itch spray??? The mosquitos are incredibly sneaky little buggers and thankfully they’ve only discovered my feet. But I had purchased some spray, so I was prepared! If only I could find it…

I was supposed to have lunch today with Katie but the phone number Frank gave me failed to work. Around noon I finally got a hold of him and let him know to have Katie call me instead. So...who answers the phone when they are on a motorcycle? Apparently, Frank. As if he isn’t hard enough to understand on a clear line haha...shhhhhcrrrrppppshhhhh frank shkkkkkkaaaachhh hello? He eventually called me back. By that time, I had called a taxi to make my way into town anyway, in hopes I would get a hold of her along the way. He was going to have Katie call me. That was clear. My driver arrived, named Ingerezi. I think “where are you from?” was the only English he knew. He did understand “coffee lounge” which was were I was headed so that’s good. I arrived to find Katie already there. Had I told Frank I was going there? I don’t remember. She said Frank had given her my number maybe 5 times and it still didn’t work so she took a chance. She had to meet some other people there later for work anyway to discuss one of her street kids getting funding for college. Glad it worked out so well!

One of the great things about Moshi is the coffee. I had a double Latte and ordered a salad with a strange name starting with “aux” containing lettuce, tomatoes, feta, avocado and BACON. Delish. The feta was interesting though. Pretty smushy for feta. Tasted pretty good, just smushy. Hopefully my tummy ends up being good with it. Having lettuce rinsed with tap water is always a risk. So far so good!

I got to know Katie a bit better, what she does here, how she likes it. We discussed the project, my frustrations along with my hopefulness and my trust in Frank. I learned the word “tulia”. A good one for me to hold on to. It means “chill”. :) After Katie went back to work, I thought I’d stick around a bit for the free wifi to see if it was any better than at the lodge. Uh...nope. I did see one with full bars where I could purchase 60 min for $1 but it said my country was restricted or something silly. It was allowing me to pay via paypal, but then got rejected. Bah! By this time I really had to go to the bathroom. Coffee has that effect. I packed up my laptop and headed to the restroom, or “toilet” where there was the option of a regular toilet, currently being worked on by someone, or the ceramic hole in the floor. I had little choice and rolled up my pants, preparing to maneuver the squat, but I looked a little closer and it looked pretty full. I tried the pull string flushing mechanism to no avail. Oh boy. But now I really had to go! Mind over matter, mind over matter, mind over matter. I headed over to the small (but biggest in town) “walmart” type store called Nummata. I shopped around hoping to find something useful for the school. I had high hopes. I ended up purchasing a funnel. Yep...a funnel. No, it wasn’t for me and my current predicament! Though the thought crossed my mind. I thought it would be useful to make water balloons. If only this store also had balloons. I’ll have to find those later.

Well, since I’m in town I might as well explore a bit. Man it was hot, and it’s not even summer. The vendors for the most part avoided me since I attempted to look like I knew where I was going. One motorcycle taxi trying to drum up customers walked along side me and said he had a compliment for me did I want to hear it. “Hapana” came out of my mouth with a slight smile (that means NO). He said “oh you know Swahili”. “Very little” I said. “I love you”, he claims. “You don’t know me” and I continued to walk. He lost interest, apparently. Was it something I said? :)

I started to see familiar territory from last time I was here. Familiar streets but no familiar faces. I turned down a street I recognized as I now started to sweat profusely (ok not really but it sounds more dramatic) and I spotted my comfort zone...the Union Cafe. Air conditioned coffee shop where all the tourists hang out. Thank you, Jesus. Complete with a working toilet. And an ice cold coke. I’m really starting to appreciate the little things in life haha…Ok, maybe a working toilet isn’t such a little thing after all.  I think I’ll stick around here a bit and write as I watch the hustle and bustle of Moshi town outside. Then to figure out how to hail a taxi, or how to even know which cars are taxis and which aren’t… to be continued….

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One of the more interesting things I’ve seen today:

Women here often carry things on their heads. But I found this one gave me a chuckle. Two women walking down the street carrying a pair of men’s shoes. One shoe on each head. Seems like it would be easier to just have it in your hand, but since I’m not one to even be able to balance a shoe on my head for any length of time...who am I to say? Also, I see that the building going up across from the cafe last year really hasn’t made much progress. Maybe a bit more cement?

As for the adventure of finding a taxi, I took the easy route. I still have yet to flag down my own cab. Instead I asked the server at the cafe who ended up calling his friend. That’s kind of how it works here. I’m sure I’m not the only wide-eyed mzungu (white person) trying to figure out the whole taxi thing.

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Tonight I finally feel like I’m making some progress! I have a more clear plan that is already being set in motion. I met a woman named Jill from African Impact and she may be rounding up some volunteers to build the playground. She needed a project, I needed volunteers! Joe and Jenny from Honey Badger are connecting me with someone who has a school with a good playground that is one that can just be put together (good for the volunteers) so I will have Frank call her tomorrow so we can see it and then get the contact for the fundi (construction worker). Joe has a tire to donate for the tire swing so it’s begun!  I feel much better about everything and know now how to bite it off in small chunks.  Looking forward to tomorrow at the project with Frank!


Oh... I found the Benadryl. Didn’t help. I’m still fairing better than last year though.

Comments

1

You sure do make me miss Moshi! Your posts are taking me on a journey back to last year. Your writing is also wonderful! Tell Frank I say hello! Keep up the amazing work.

  Sam Sep 11, 2013 4:09 PM

2

Thank you for getting us up to date on your adventure. It's 2:30 in the morning here and God nudged me awake to pray for you. I can see how totally dependent on Him you have to be and how He has His hand in your project. In just a few short days, things are starting to happen. So sad about the girl that drown.
Glad you were able to already bless the children and the teacher with gifts from the US. We do have so much here and they get excited about a book and some bubbles. Hope you are directed to the right people to build your playground.
Sorry about the mosquito bites and hopefully the benadryl helps some. Impressed about the way you have the ability to find your way around even w/o knowing much swahili. You are definitely prayed for. Keep us posted. Love you

  Joy Dunn Sep 11, 2013 5:45 PM

3

Omg, that is hilarious about the taxis! and I was dying laughing when you said "You don't know me" to that guy. Haha!! Good news re: the playground. Woohoo! So awesome!!! And I SO get it with the toilet situation! Always broken down or super dirty or whatever. NOT for the feint of heart, I tell you!

  Lexie Sep 12, 2013 2:35 AM

4

Visions of Slum dog millionaire came to my head reading about the great gotta go squat...lol.. man, this makes me grateful for my toilet... lol..
I am glad I'm getting a moment to read all you've written as the last couple days have been full of new home shopping which is fun but scary. Bigger home and land for the business means bigger mortgage and trusting that God has opened this door for us for a reason...
Anyhoo... I love that no matter where you are boys are just mesmerized by your big mzungu eyes =) that taxi driver wouldn't have known what to do with you if you'd have said you don't know me but you wanna get to know me?....lol
Thank you for always finding time and a way to keep us all posted about your time there when it seems like its very difficult to do. We all love you and are praying for you!!

  Sperry Sep 13, 2013 12:07 AM

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