African Adventure: Home Is Home

Friday - July 21, 2017 It's cold up here in Mount Kilimanjaro and my body isn't adjusting well - my nose is runny and the sweaters are uncomfortable after climbing up the steepness of the area to reach our work site of the day. Fun fact: the Chagga tribe may have neighbors all over but they don't see each other's houses because they plant like a hundred thousand trees in between. Exaggeration but maybe not, you actually can't see anything past the denseness of the trees. After a morning of filling tubes with soil for future trees, lunch was served once again by the Chagga Mamas. Mine wasn't there because their tribe won't let her out of her house due to her newborn but the other Mamas are just as kind. They let us help them cook, gave us hugs and did a lot of smiling. Asante Sana. Thank you very much. There were a few vendors selling paintings and carvings. My bargaining skills managed to finesse a painting and a wooden carving that has the song they've been singing to us here in Tanzania: Jambo jambo wana hazuri gami nzuri sana wageni Kilimanjaro Hakuna Matata. It's my favorite present to myself thus far. 

After lunch, we helped paint a classroom in the local primary school. These kids weren't as cute as the ones from Rau. Some flicked off Maddie and others started a fire by the trees for some unknown reason. The little girls gave us all flowers and one even put mine in my hair but then she'd get super possessive if another child tried to hold my hand or give me a flower. As a thank you for the flowers in my hair, I gave little Eliza my mosquito repellent bracelet. Maybe she'll always wear the little neon green band. 

An evening at the bar capped our Friday night with the whole group dancing and drinking. However, like the international truths I'm figuring out, men ruin everything. Up to their arrival at the bar, we were all having a great time just dancing. Once there, they not only took over the whole dance floor but they were super gross and aggressive about dancing. They'd stare at the girls dancing like they're a piece of meat. Literally, they licked their lips. I didn't get up again until it was time to go home. Back at the home, over dinner (DING DING!!! Bananas and potatoes!!!! Who's surprised!!!), I asked Irene to translate for me to talk to the father of the house. He was studying sheet music and revealed that he plays the piano in the local Catholic Church. I asked him if he liked living in the mountain and he answered, "Home is home wherever I go. Big or small, home is home." His name is Christian and I'll always remember his answer. Today, I've decided that anything I give my godchildren is going to be purely educational. They don't need anymore toys or clothing. They need books and intelligence.  

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