(updated this post on the 24th… but this post is actually about the 19th…)
The internet has been flaking out so much, so sorry for not being as quick about blogging as I used to be… But I am catching up for it now.
The day in Arusha and being locked out was very tiring. Even though I was really tired, I haven’t been able to sleep very well. For the past week, I have been waking up at 4am or 5am and I am not sure why. I can usually fall back asleep, but I really don’t know what’s waking me up. Perhaps it’s the roosters. I finally folled out of bed around 7am to get back to work on the KCMC stuff.
Today we are returning to Moshi Village! Tish and Christina would be coming from Arusha, and we would be heading to KCMC on the daladal together from Moshi town. It usually takes about an hour and a half to get here from Arusha, so when they left around 8am, they arrived around 9:30. Christina is officially moving to Moshi to stay with me at the host family’s house, so we went to drop off her luggage, and we went back to the bus terminal to go to KCMC.
After another cramped daladala ride later, we arrived at KCMC! Christina was intrigued about Moshi, but honestly the town is quite boring, and the scenery is certainly not as good as Arusha. We stopped by the KCMC store to get some drinks, and I got this really cute can of soda called Rubicon! It was a sparkling mango flavored soda. The name Rubicon totally reminded me of my little sister, and I wish she was here! The soda is really good too! I think my little sister would’ve liked it. It also came in guava, I should try that as well. Christina bought some popcorn, but she didn’t like it very much.
We got to the workshop, and Abdullah was at TATCOT, so we waited for little bit for Abdullah to get back, and introduced Christina to the staff at KCMC Wheelchair Workshop. Abdullah finally arrived, and we took off in his car to head to the village to visit Peter again! Abdullah likes his bass really loud in the car, and its really hard for us to hear the music in the back seat. But we talked about music and 10kms later, we arrived at Peter’s house.
Peter was so happy to see us! We did another interview, and we were also joined by kids from the school right by Peter’s house. Christina gave them popcorn, and they all kindly shared with each other.
We had an interview with Peter, and he gave us wonderful feedback on the mechanisms of the new design that Tish and Wenxian had worked on. He said that there were a few stability issues, and would like for the parts to be manufactured better for safety. But overall, he was very happy with the design, and would like to have it on his chair! He said that this chair would make it easier for him to get on the daladala, and was very simple to use. He tells us that he needed no help to fold the 3rd wheel on his chair.
Peter also gave us feedback on the KCMC wheelchair design, and said that the arm rests were a bit too high, and makes it hard for someone to bend over on the sides.
Christina was interested to know what kind of things Peter does for a living. He tells us that he repairs kitchenware, umbrellas, and radios! Christina also asked what Peter would like to change about Tanzania. Peter answered and said that he would like Tanzania to have a better economy. He explained that it is hard to give his ideas in society, because the opportunities aren’t given to him, especially when he is disabled (not sure if I am making any sense here trying to explain this…). So he was very happy that we had come to him for input on this wheelchair, and to be able to contribute! He would like to see more job opportunities created for the disabled.
Abdullah added that the group job training KASI once did wasn’t too successful, but he believes that individual job training would be nice if they can have a small business at their home, such as repairing electronics and radios. That really interested me because I would love to come bakc and give Peter a set of tools so that he can ake a living from his own home. When we went to Peter’s hosue down the small road, he showed us this metal stick that he uses to fix radio. It’s just a metal stick with a somewhat shape end. I am really not so sure how he uses it to fix anything. I wish I had my pliers with me so that I could give it to him!
I would really like to come back some time and think of ways to help these individuals with vocational training and materials to help them run a small business at home. Actually, sometimes people don’t need vocational training, because they are often self taught! But it would be nice oif I could help them set up a small shop and work area in their home, a work table and a set of tools for example, would make a huge difference in their lives.
Our visit with Peter was over, and it was very sad to say goodbye. He was such a cool guy, and he is definitely on the top of the list of peopel to talk to for feedback the next time our class visits Tanzania!
And it was time to visit Abdullah’s house! Abdullah had invited us to his house to learn how to cook Tanzanian food. This was very important because Tish is now dating an Tanzanian, and she doesn’t know how to cook! After a short drive from KCMC, we arrived at Abdullah’s house! Oh it was such a beautiful house, and of course, we were greeted by the oh-so-wonderful Fatima, Abdullah’s wife! She gae us a changa (a traditional Tanzanian wrap around the waist for women) to wear so that we would be just like Tanzanian women!
Abdullah’s house has a beautiful lot! He has a ton of chickens and chicks! I couldnt’ resist but to take a picture of the chickens. I told him that I used to have two chickens in Seattle, and they were all in shock! The chicks really reminded me of my chickens. Abdullah’s lot also grew bananas and corn! It’s kind of like my yard at home, except my father grows fruit trees and onions and potatoes! Abdullah tells us that he can see Mt. Kilimanjaro from his house, but the clouds are covering it again.
We were invited to some mango + passion fruit juice (oh it was so yummy!), and we started to prepare the raw ingredients for the food! Abdullah joked around and said that we were his four wives (Fatima, Tish, Christina, and me). Tish prepared tomato sauce. Christina prepared carrots. I prepared chopped cabbage. Tish also learned how to prepare coconut milk! We used shredded coconuts, and she had to squeeze out the milk!
Fatima was a wonderful cooking teacher, and taught all of us how to make the food. We had this dish with meat and collards, and another dish with cabbage, carrots and meat. We also made ugali (maize flour dough like mass).
After the food was done, we were invited to go into Abdullah’s house (we were cooking outside of the house on coal stoves). His house is a very cute place. I would definitely live in a house like Abdullah’s. Abdullah taught us how to eat it like Tanzanians — with bare hands!
(Host mother needs to use the computer… to be continued, as I need to type this up from my laptop to this computer… so glad to be finally catching up on blogging!)
—— Finishing up this post ——-
So to eat the food, you are supposed to take the ugali and make it into a ball, and use it to scoop up some of the other food on the plat. we were offered so much food!!! All of us stuffed ourselves with this food, and I wanted to play around with my food to make it more fun to eat. Makeing the little balls of ugali really reminded me of sushi and I made a bunch of little balls, and put the veggies on top. They actually looked very cute! Christina took a picture of my Tanzanian sushi! Tish saw them and couldn’t stop laughing. I think tha the food must’ve drugged her, she couldn’t stop laughing at my Asian fusion ugali!
We were so full, and stayed at Abdullah’s hosue for a little to let the food digest. I almost wanted to throw up since I ate so much, and the ugali was certainly expanding in my stomach. So I walked around the house for a little, and definitely felt much better. Fatima insisted that Tish should have a small rest on the guest bed since we were so full! I dont’ know how Abdullah and Samson does it, their ugali was like 3 times larger than ours! We sat around for a little bit and watched EATV (which is like MTV for East Africa). A ton of American Hip Hop music videos came on, and also there were music videos of East African music (like bongo flavor and stuff). There was also this TV program on that channel where people post their interests and their personal profile on TV. It was sort of weird…
Oh, and Tish asked for wedding pictures of Abdullah and Fatima! Fatima found the pictures and we all checked out pictures of them when they were younger! Tish and I both agreed that he kind of looked like Taye Diggs (when Abdullah was younger and much skinnier). Now I think Fatima has spoiled him with too much of her wonderful cooking!
Time was 4:30pm, and it was time to leave Abdullah’s house so that we can get Tish back to Arusha by nightfall. I am going to miss Fatima, she is so sweet. Abdullah dropped us back off in town, and we returned home. I did even more work when I got home, since we don’t have a car to go out at night. We were so full from the food we didn’t even eat dinner. Christina and I discovered that we have very similar eating habits! We are both the type that love to eat when we are bored, even when we aren’t hungry! So we snacked on some oranges and they were really yummy!
We were exhausted, and called it a night around midnight.