18 November 2009

Sights and smells of Dodoma

Kate asked for more pictures, but I'm that girl who carries around a camera and never ever takes photos with it unless they're specifically required for work. I think part of it is an inferiority complex brought on by working with media geniuses (geniusi?) like Dan and Casey, but here are a few of the sights and smells (can't wait for smell technology on the internet!) of my week:

Smell: Pilau
Pilau is this awesome rice stuff with spices in it. Often it also has big chunks of irish potato and bits of meat. It's like the original, first and best Rice-A-Roni. My roommates made pilau on Monday, and at one point it actually kind of smelled like Cup-a-Noodle, which made me all nostalgic.

Sight: Pomegranates
The pomegranates at my house are beginning to be ripe, so Jackie and I sat outside Monday evening and ate a pomegranate each, fresh from the tree. We also stole one off of our neighbors' tree because it was hanging on our side.

Smell: Goat fart
There are goats that graze in a field that I walk through every day on the way to work. Yesterday as I was passing by them, one farted. Sick.

Sight: Dead rat
'nuff said. It was laying dead on a cinder block in one of the yards I cut through on the way to work.

Smell: Marijuana?
It's not really marijuana, but when people burn trash around here, it often smells like the first floor of Hewitt Hall in Fall 2001, if you Linfielders know what I mean.

Sight: Rosey and her mama
My friend Chitema's daughter Rose is always around, ready to play. In fact, because of her I've had lots of practice saying "Sichezi!" (I'm not playing!) Her mother, Chitema's wife, is probably seven months pregnant and the most beautiful and graceful woman I have ever seen. Yesterday she was fetching water, wearing a muumuu and plastic shoes, but looking for all the world like she could be posing for the cover of Vanity Fair. She had Rosey along to "help".

Smell: Smoke
Because the rainy season has started, lots of people can't cook outside anymore for lack of cover. Many of the families of the kids in our program here have only one room that functions as sleeping and living quarters, and, when it's raining, cooking quarters also. Lately whenever I've picked up a Lahash kid to sit on my lap I've been breathing deep the smell of charcoal or wood smoke in their clothes. It reminds me of camping and my friends who used to smoke pipes.

Sight: A small yellow ball whizzing at my head
Jackie has a game she likes to play that is basically like two person dodgeball. One person stands against the wall trying to dodge the high velocity pitches of the other player. You score goals by catching the ball, then throwing it back at the thrower. If you hit the thrower, it's a point. Jackie and I played for about 20 action-packed minutes on Sunday, then we did some stretches and the only yoga poses I could remember. We had some little competitions for stair-stepping (I lost because I fell off the stair) and wall-sitting (I lost, but I think she was cheating). I can kick her butt at arm-wrestling, though.

Final sight: The watchman's bemused face
Jackie and I did our stair-stepping competition outside, and our brand-new watchman, Maduka, just watched us like we were crazy. I suppose we are a bit. He's cool, though, and still likes us and we like him.

1 comment:

thatoneguy said...

Count me out for online smell technology. Imagine getting spammed; and the pop-up ads! Yeesh.

Pilau, it seems, is a middle-eastern influence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilaf

I think Augustine wrote about stealing apples... gotta start somewhere, I guess :-)

I like this post. Glad to see you're getting a good multisensory experience over there.