Day one we were oriented around the bustling town of Moshi by CIDA-sponsored interns. Moshi can be found on the lower slopes of the towering Mt. Kilimanjaro and population-wise is only a little bigger than Kingston. It is home to a number of schools, a little industry and plays as home base for climbers from all over the world who come hoping to bag Africa's highest peak.
|Jill contemplating baby theft|
On the job site though, Duncan had better access to Swahili lessons then the Lonely Planet guidebook. The guys taught him all the most important words…“whazzup?”…. “Mambo?!” with the response “Poa!” Or if you were feeling particularly good the response would be "Poa Kichizi Kama Ndizi!" Which, as you probably guessed, means "Crazy cool like a banana!" (Just kidding, who would guess that? If you did guess correctly then you were probably East African in another life. Just a heads up.)
We also learned about “Shikamoo” which is a greeting reserved for those whom you respect or hold a high regard. By “Shikamoo” you are conveying an admiration and esteem for that person. When we were in the communities, "Shikamooing" the elders, won you a huge toothy (or toothless) smile and the response "Marahaba". After greeting with a stranger and after learning the various ways to say it in Swahili, it opened the doors to learning so much from the wonderful people of this country.
|Woman and her child waiting for the doctor|
As some of our group were buying cell phones I noticed a merchant selling just about everything you could imagine, noticeably some decent looking sunglasses. I had left my better pair at home knowing full well that I tend to lose my glasses more than Waldo and they'd only have a one way ticket on this mission. It had been sometime since I had been in a country where you could barter for merchandise and I was intrigued to get back into it. I asked our intern what he thought was a reasonable price for sunglasses, about 3000 Tanzanian shillings or $2, and headed across the street. The dialogue went something like this:
"Hello my Rafiki!" - Merchant
"Habari za Asabuhi! Can I try your sunglasses?
"Of course Rafiki, which ones do you like?"
"This pair looks pretty good, how much for these?"
"For you... 25,000 Shillings!"
"For me? A bad price for me? How about a good price?"
"How much you wanna pay?"
"Rafiki! These are the best! Okay, today special price... 20,000"
"That's the Mzungo price! Okay, 1000 Shilling seems fair."
"Alright, alright. 15,000 Shillings! Good price for me, good price for you!"
After our orientation the whole group met at the current PTE Women's Centre where the medical caravan was getting oriented for the next two weeks or Caravans. Meanwhile, the builders were anxious to get the first glimpse of the site and find out what we were in for. A rough plan sketch and a few pictures had given us some idea of the tasks ahead though you never really know until you get there. These are the first shots we got of the site and we knew we had our work cut out for us.
|Looking, uh, East, East-South-East, South-East, South-South-East and South|
|Supposedly the female Vervet Monkeys are really big teases.|