Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Day in Dodoma

Yesterday we spent the day in Dodoma. Dodoma is a pretty big city about 25 miles from Chamwino. After getting ready for the day and eating some ugi (porridge) for breakfast, we headed out to catch the dala dala to Dodoma. The dala dala is basically an old, crappy van which seats about 10-12 people. The only catch is that they usually shove about 20 people in. Each seat is cramped, in and of itself, but gets way worse once you throw in twice as many people as your should.

Our first stop in Dodoma was an ice cream shop called Alladin's. It was really fun to get an American treat after days of eating rice and beans. We then spent time walking through their open-air markets. After running a few errands that Brian and Nicole had, we went to a restaurant called Wimpies to have lunch. I ordered a "beef burger," but what came was far different than a hamburger. It had a hamburger patty and some of the fixings of an American burger, but was smothered in a strange, bright pink sauce. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea, so I ate about half of it, finished my chipsi, and called it a meal.

When we got back to Chamwino we got to be a part of a cool experience. Nicole's dad is a 4th grade teacher in Colorado, so once a week his class will Skype with a class here in Chamwino, and that happened last night. The kids loved asking each other questions and singing songs for each other. The American kids have been learning a few Swahili words and the Tanzanian kids love getting to practice their English. What a great cross-cultural experience!

Last night's dinner and conversation was interesting because it happened in the dark. We lose power here pretty often, and last night was one of those times. We cooked spaghetti over a propane stove and ate by the dim light of a kerosene lantern. It was actually fun, though,  and reminded me of all the luxuries we have in America that we probably don't really need.

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