Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Last

Its hard to believe that our time here is up. It has really flown by and it is extremely bittersweet as we begin the preparation to return home. I’m not sure either one of us will realize for quite some time what this really has meant in our lives and for our future. Coming to Africa, we both had thought we knew a little of what to expect. Not only did this trip far exceed any and all wishes we shared, it completely blew them out of the water. We had the opportunity to meet some of the most generous, honest and loving people we have ever come into contact with and truly it was our pleasure to be here. The people of Bagamoyo and this program have given us more than we will ever be able to return. We have so many memories and stories to share with all of you as we return home, but our single greatest wish is that more people could and would make this journey. We promise it will change your life! Thanks for sharing in this adventure and mark my word this will not be the last of the sisters on safari.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last Weekend in Baga

There is a local food here called ChipsMayai (pronounced Chips My Eye) and it can be found almost everywhere. Basically it is an omlette with fries inside. Yeah, I know sounds really weird but words cannot describe how wonderful it is. It is something you must try for yourself. As with just about anything else, people start to develop the affinity for CM at certain establishments. For quite some time, there has been disagreement around who served the best CM; however, after this weekend we hope to have some clarity on the issue. Bridget and I helped to arrange the first ever ChipsMayai Challenge, or Tour De Chipsi if you rather. We along with two other friends visited five dining establishments and ordered the same dish. Then using a 1 to 5 rating scale, we rated the dish on the following characteristics: Temperature, Appearance, Overall Taste, and Overall Experience. Knowing me and my love of food, it should not surprise you that I loved this event. We all made notes, filled in evaluation sheets and took the ratings very seriously and came to an overall satisfactory conclusion. So if you are ever in Baga and want to know where the best ChipsMayai is, just ask! Here is a pic of each CM…which one would be your favorite?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Seven Weeks...

After spending seven weeks in Bagamoyo there are several things that we have mastered. Here is a top 6 list to give you an idea of how we have been spending our time.

1. Sharpening pencils with a knife. Quality sharpeners are very hard to come by and luckily knives/razor blades are not. Just ask one of the kids for one.

2.Temperature acclamation. It is winter here and so sometimes the temp drops to a freezing 80 degrees. Yup you heard that right! This means that everyone starts wearing jackets, sweaters and snowsuits. The first couple of weeks we thought this was absurd; however, last week we were actually a little chilly and considered putting on a jacket. Wow, we are really in for the 100 degree weather we will be returning to.

3.Drum making. Our friend Ibram offered to teach us how to make a drum and honestly this has become one of our favorite memories thus far. From picking out the cow hyde-yes it looked like a dried up cow-to cutting the flesh into strips, this really became an event to remember. And the best part is, we have amazing drums to show for it.

4.Kiswahili. Learning the language wasn’t easy but with a lot of practice we are now able to carry on basic conversations with the locals. At best, we are always able to order food here! Be patient with us as we readjust to non-broken English. Our skills also include interpreting what locals are saying to us in English. Example:
Local: points at you and says “What is my name?”
Us: confused look “What is your name?”
L: still pointing “What is my name?”
U: “AH, MY name is Monica/Bridge. What is YOUR name?” (pointing)
L: something in Kiswahili

5.Planning what and when you drink based on when you will need to use the restroom. Don’t get us wrong, we are not looking for posh; however, there are definitely some facilities that you do not ever want to use nor smell. BTW when we say facilities, we of course mean a hole in the ground.

6.Being a celebrity. We have never felt more love than in this place. Based solely on how we look (white-american), children and adults alike come up to us and want to talk, hold hands and sometimes just touch us. A typical conversation with an adult male:
Male: mambo!
Us: Poa.
M: Unatoka wapi? (Where are you from?)
U:Marakani (America)
M: We love you! (We love you! ☺)
U: Smile and walk on….

Can’t wait to share more stories and a ridiculous number of photos with everyone! Love you all! M & P/B

And because we know you love them, here are some pics:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour Anyone?

So we heard the video blog was a hit and decided to try another. Hopefully you will laugh, because we most definitely did. Enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010