Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blind bowman

Ann met the president of Tanzania.

Well, things in Kibondo are OK. Every now and then, someone from one of the NGOs leaves and we get to go to a going away party. The majority of the people working at these NGOs are Tanzanian, and so there is a customary process, which involves many speeches, the giving of the gift , sometimes a line up to embrace or shake hands goodbye, food and then the disco. And then, after the disco ends, some people go to a local disco until 5am. Some people.

It is a little strange to be at a local disco as a minority of one, i.e. the only one who can't dance right, but at least you get a lot of room. Which helps because the floor is dirt and uneven and its pretty dark and pocked with ankle breakers.

Last night one of the doctors left, he got a posting in Tibet, I think, to help with the refugees from Bhutan. They meal started with soup, which I ladled into my bowl and took a spoonful without really looking at it or smelling it. Then Ann said "If you don't move that soup further away I will puke." At which point I caught a whiff and the after taste of the broth; that quality you'd associate with a certain ambiance. Somewhere between a slaughter house and a latrine. Then I noticed that the things floating in it looked like unscaled sketches from Gray's Anatomy. There was a trachea, oh and is that an esophagus attached? It is good to eat every part of the goat, but the parts that have some of the stuff the goat has eaten in them...I'm not that hungry. Not ready to experience that part of the culture. The barbecued meat parts of the goat were very good, though.

I've been trying to help with computer problems and network stuff for TCRS and Ann's organization IOM. Also, getting ready to do some teaching of Office applications to locals and Refugees. So I got a tour of Kibondo's Folk Development College. The IT Technician at TCRS, Innocent, took me there. They've got 12 PCs on a satellite dish and the teach Modern Computing, Mechanics (Cars and trucks or Gari's and Rollis in Swahili), and some textiles related stuff, I think. We walked around, checking out the buildings, and greeted some people. Towards the edge of the Campus, an old Kibondan walked by us, and I noticed he carried a bow and arrow. The little arrows. So I looked at him and said Salaama, and he kind of stopped and said something, and I realized he had no pupils or irises and one eye was all brown with some marbling and the other was kind of silvery. "He's blind," Innocent told me, after we'd walked on a little. "But he's got a bow and arrow," I said. Innocent was silent, leaving me to wonder and draw my own conclusions.

The ongoing construction of our future home and the IOM offices is going on. And on. Some of the construction pictures on my album illustrate the pace.

A lot of gravel is made by men with picks smashing rocks, which is then sorted by women into different sizes, including sand. Then the women, some of them with babies on their backs, fill up five gallon buckets and balance them on their heads.

This is how many tons of sand an gravel get transported. You know, I have a really good job.

They use the construction hard hats to mix mortar in, they're too hot to wear.

We went and looked around the other day after a sunset run.

Our house will be the second from the left.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to hear from you and see photos. Keep it coming...Andi and I went hiking today to the Mildred Lakes by Lena Lakes. It was a foggy cold day as all of June has seemed to be but we did get a face to face view of a black bear. I did, Andi only got to see it's behind wandering away from us thankfully. He, we think maybe it was a he because he was huge maybe 400 pounds, was about 15 feet away from me when I looked up and we stared at each other for a moment before I realized what I was staring at and started stuttering and moving quickly towards Andi. Anyway, it was a great thrill and we were amazed by how quietly this huge creature could walk through the woods. Makes you think they could be all over and we wouldn't know it. A good day all and all. Great to hear about your goings on...Love to you both...Beth and Andi....