Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just in case you're missing my beautiful face.

And I've already acquired so much color!
Banda living is interesting, to say the least.  There's no air conditioning, and no fans to dispel the evening heat.  The warm evenings settle quite like a dry heated blanket, only there's no thermostat to adjust the temperature.  We leave our windows open at night, hoping to catch some of the nighttime breezes as they drift through the air (and praying, in turn, that the bugs stay outside).  I never sleep inside my sleeping bag, but lie with it against my side, as if to have a friend sharing the space.  To be fair, like anybody who has ever shared a space with someone, if it get's to be too warm I am quick to shove my "partner" as far away from me as possible, without shame or regret for my hasty motions.
   Sleeping beneath a chandalua (mosquito net) is a bit magical, as if I'm a princess sleeping beneath a canopy.  In fact, I bet Cinderella, Aurora, or any of the princesses with canopies used them for just the purpose of halting bugs from entering their sleeping space (because what kind of princess has any red bumps from bug bites?)
   What physical item do I miss most while living here? Cold beverages.  We have clean, filtered water all around the camp, which is a miracle in itself.  I do, however, long for the days of ice cold, Carolina sweet tea.  In fact, I implore my friends to drink a sweet tea for me, and host a small distance-wake with sweet tea (or cherry), french fries, and a tasty sandwich.  Not to say the food isn't fantastic here in Moyo Hill, because it is! I never go hungry, and (this is mainly an address to my mother) we always have Heines ketchup!  That sweet tomato paste always fixes any dish.
   I'm quite sold on maize and Tanzanian sweet pancakes.  Breakfast is always a treat.  The staff took the time to devise some homemade salad dressings, and they assured us that nowhere would we find thousand island dressing that was as nzuri as their's... and they were right!  We're always quick to complement the staff here, because their smiles and chorus of "asante sana" are a treat.
   One wonderful aspect of this trip - a characteristic that I had no notion of needing until after this week - is the solidarity, stability, and overall easy camaraderie that exists among the group.  There are no cliques or groups, and everyone is friendly.  I never feel that I cannot speak to someone.  And when someone is feeling down, or there's a weak animal among the herd, we're quick to act like a mother baboon is to aid its young.  It's a blessing to be among genuinely happy people, and I hope to bring this happy feeling back with me to Chapel Hill.


  1. See?! See?! I told you you should have packed that little hand fan....this coming from your mother who packs over exaggerated necessary stuff!!! I've been where little things are could have shared with your roomies..

  2. O.O oh look its mr turtle!!! and how is he dealing with all this wildness?

  3. Let me just tell you, Mr. Turtle is loving Africa. He says the new bed is kind of small, but he has 'lil Red to talk to every day while I am gone.