Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's probably normal for East Africa

Finally mid afternoon Lars got his passports from the Morogoro Immigration Officer. But not after being “detained” on purpose because the authorities think he’s purposefully doing something illegal by studying language on the wrong kind of visa. After getting their passports (for a fee) the Stenlands started down the road to Dar es Salaam to get it further straightened out there then realized they needed one more bit of paperwork from the immigration office in Morogoro. Although the current visa expired today the Stenlands should have a 30-day grace period to get everything sorted out.

It all seems so unjust but I think now it was a matter of the immigration authorities showing whose boss in the situation. I am sure our Tanzanian director sees it a bit differently.

Tomorrow they will go back to get the last bit of paperwork then head to Dar. Thursday is a holiday (again) here and so it might be a bit before they get it all worked out. I for one will continue to pray.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What to do, but pray...

The Stenlands, the Norwegian family here studying Swahili at the language school have become pretty good friends. These are the folks I traveled to Zanzibar with and had an adventure or two there. They are facing huge unnecessary trials at the moment.

They are here with the Norwegian Lutheran Mission. Their organization has been working in this country for over 50 years. Lars and Kjersti will be working with a very isolated people group in the interior of the country when they finish language school. They had received a residence permit to do their work through all the proper channels when they arrived. The established church in Tanzania had written a letter inviting them and done all the work necessary to get the correct kind of permit. The Stenlands realized one problem, their initial stamp was only good for three months, and language school is four months. So after Easter they made a special trip to get things straightened out.

The proper authorities in their area didn’t get the paperwork done and somewhere along the line somebody realized a technicality, they are students right now, they need a student visa. So they started the work of sorting that out.

The language school has a man who gets our permits for us. He went to the local immigration office to get a student visa. Last week our man explained they needed not just the stamp in the passport but the original (paper) to cancel the current residence visa and get the new one. That paper was filed away in an office on Arusha, an eight hour drive from here. Oh well, they got it mailed to them and our man went off to finalize it today in town.

But he came back to get Lars mid morning. Someone in the local office was saying that they had done something wrong and needed to pay a fine of $500 per person. Now their visa expires tomorrow!

Arrr. This is the point at which everything in me screams, this is so wrong, no one should pay a fine that is just a “little something” (bribe) to come here to help the people of this country. The principal of the thing really has me upset. Lars has a totally legitimate visa and just needs it renewed. On the advice of their mission leaders in Arusha they will drive to Dar es Salaam (three hours) tomorrow to try the immigration office there. But first they must get their passports back for the immigration office here in Morogoro. What happens if it doesn’t work? Not sure there is a back-up plan but leaving the country comes to mind.

Lars calls this Good Missionary Training (GMT). I say the training is over, this is the real thing.
I start working on my resident visa when I get to Kenya. The tourist visa I have now expires the day before I arrive back in Kenya.

Nime piga simu - I have hit the message (phone)

Well, I just made my first phone call in Swahili! I am so proud of myself for making a hair appointment all in another language. Now let's see if I can get a daladala and find her in town on Wednesday. I hope kesho kutwa means the day after tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What's on your bicycle?

Here in Morogoro, as in many parts of the non western world bicycles can be used as a main mode of transportation. Below is just a sampling of what you might see on a bicycle here. If I come up with another good list I will post again.

A basket full of coconuts and a few more hanging off the handlebars
My girlfriend
15 flats of eggs (30 eggs to a flat)
25 empty 5-gallon buckets stacked together
My wife
3 cases of full coke bottles
Huge bag of homemade charcoal (5 feet tall, turned sideways)
My family
Huge load of firewood
2 25-lb bags of flour and a 5 gallon bucket full of something
5 6-foot logs (maybe poles for mud house walls)
Basket full of live chickens
A pig
My customer (as in a bike for hire with a driver)
A spare Land Rover tire

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Name in East Africa

When I lived in East Africa before, I found that the name Jan really isn’t in existence here. If I tell Africans my name it Jan it becomes Jane. I used to be more adamant that people call me Jan over my given name of Janet. To be sure, I still strongly prefer Jan. I think it is because I associate my full name with being called by angry parents, not to mention that is sort of sounds like (or kind of rhymes with) a certain phrase used when swearing. But now when I’m here, I have given in to telling people its Janet, it’s just easier.

After getting to know several Kenyans well the first time I was in East Africa, they got the concept of Jan being short for Janet and used it. For example, Jaynie and Rosy took to using Jan on a regular basis. They even did the typical East African thing and made it into Janni which reminded me of being called by my older siblings. (Who were never angry with me. – smiles.) In fact, these gals are really named Jane and Rose but we never call them those names.

The Tanzanians absolutely love that I am named Janet since it’s a relatively common name here and they can remember it. The other day a couple of our cooks from the kitchen were looking for my room. They knew the block (set of six rooms) it was on but not the room, so they were calling out my name – and it came out, Janeti! (Imagine it with three syllables and the middle one is stressed.) Now how cute is that!? I guess I really don’t mind being called Janet, at least not here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hand Bag

Yesterday I mentioned on Facebook that I made a new handbag in the afternoon. It’s really more of a briefcase. I had this in mind since I first got here. I was inspired by the beautiful (maradadi) kitenge fabrics available here in Tanzania and by the need to have something to carry my book back and forth to class. After considerable thought as to how to put it together and creating a pattern. I resolved to try to finish it with a borrowed sewing machine on Sunday afternoon. Here is my friend, Sophia modeling the bag.

I am already thinking of an easier pattern for a simple book bag.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

International Cooking Day

It felt like a holiday here but it was just lesson 40 on cooking vocabulary. The school’s coordinator, Chuma decided to make it possible for the students representing at least 4 different continents to share their food with everyone. Most of our teachers stayed for dinner. It was a blast! We all had a great time! I think I had much more fun making the food than I did eating it. I had a team of one of our teachers, God Bless, another young man from the Congo, Blaise, (he’s a student) and me. They were the muscle for mixing!

I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe found on our small group’s recipe blog. We sampled curried cassava and chicken masala from India, potato pancakes from Korea, and these potato balls things and an apple cake from Norway. Julie, the other American made real tacos! She had just gotten a care package with seasoning packets. Our regular cooks made a number of Tanzanian dishes. We were tired and stuffed by the end. Please see the photos at my photo site. We really had a great time. And I am glad not to be cooking over little charcoal cookers all the time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Feeling Bugged

Since arriving in Morogoro, I have been fascinated by the overwhelming varieties of bugs! Dudu is the Swahili name for bug. I think since the rainy season started they have become even more prevalent. We have all manner of creepy crawly things; not just bugs but other little creatures. This place would be an entomologist’s dream come true.

We have caterpillars, mosquitoes, roaches, snails, ants, flies, termites, lizards, beetles, crickets, spiders, bees, wasps, geckos and oh so much more – crawling things that are tiny and huge, flying things that are so big they are almost the size of a bird, things that buzz loudly...

I think my favorite so far is a metallic purple and green bug about an inch in length. I noticed it one day while having Swahili lessons. Moreto and I were admiring it for a few moments, then went back to the lesson. A minute later one dropped from the rafters of the banda onto my lesson book. I shrieked and jumped and made such a fuss that other groups looked my way from across the yard. I think it’s harmless.

You will find photos of this one and some others I’ve seen posted on my photo site. My sight groups them by day so they are a little spread out, but some of my favorites are there over the weeks especially the past week or so, but some from earlier days too. Look at March 13th I think, plus this past week.

Access Disclaimer

Dear Readers,

I am so sorry that I haven’t been able to blog much lately. Our Internet connection has become very slow and more and more sporadic. I hope that it gets better. But that’s about as good as it gets. Even if we ask for someone to come and look at the router or climb the tower, it may be issues with the ISP or something else. It’s just another reason we say TIA. It might get fixed but that might not happen until after I leave. Anyway, it’s making it more challenging to post here or on my photo site. Please bear with the quiet for a bit and if it’s not better soon, there’s always faster Internet in Nairobi. I’m praying it gets better.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Worker - Friends

Our campus at the language school has several young men in their early 20’s that work in various positions around the grounds. Sylvester is the cleaning man; there are two or more landscape guys. We have a gate keeper named Erik, and the laundry man is Eliudi. All the fellows I know by name are ever ready to practice Swahili with me and are not shy about correcting my grammar or helping me find the right word. I don’t think this is very usual behavior for East Africans. I think they have learned to be extra helpers to the ever rotating language students here at the Lutheran Junior Seminary.

When I first arrived here two months ago by public transportation, the large bus dropped me at the end of the drive where I was met by Erik who welcomed the hot and weary traveler; carried my luggage and directed me to the office of the living quarters at the language school. I felt indebted for his help since I was so bewildered and actually sick with a bad cold at the time.

Eliudi has become a friend in the sense that he works just a few feet away from my room. I see him every morning on the way to school and we exchange greetings. Most days I see him at every break when I return from the classrooms. He has helped me when I need to wash the grime out of sandals or wring out a hand-washed piece of African kitenge fabric.

Some of the male teachers along with Eliudi live in a block of rooms not too far away from our area of school. Erik tends to be a bit of a joker, teasing by telling things that aren’t always true. Erik is suited to his job of greeting all those coming through the gates. I think Eliudi is the hardest worker here, his biceps would verify that.

Erik is often calling me mrembo. When I ask what it means (I’ve had a hard time remembering) he tells me queen. The other evening Erik and Eliudi took me for a walk over to the living quarters to show me the place. Its little dorm rooms in a row and a cooking room on the end. (Not a kitchen, just an extra room for cooking.) Both had taken to calling me mrembo and I kept trying to discern if it was a backhanded comment or what. I finally looked up the word in the handy online Swahili dictionary I found. Mrembo means beautiful or elegant person. I felt comforted that it really wasn’t queen they were calling me. I told my German friend, Sophia about this reference. Sophia is a one year volunteer here and she told me she gets called mrembo too by these young men. This satisfied my doubts of them possibly mocking me. And I actually felt complimented. But then the next day I got called ‘queeny’ by Eliudi. Now I am back to wondering…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Moreto can understand animals!

I realized today that I have said very little about my language school what I actually do for the bulk of my days. Each morning the day starts with breakfast at 7:00, devotions at 7:45, class at 8:00 until tea time at 10:00. At 10:30 we have lessons again until noon. After lunch at noon we can rest or whatever until 2:30. When I was sick I was in town during that early afternoon time and realized that many places of business also close for those couple of hours (not restaurants, of course). We have class again from 2:30 to 4 when we have tea time again and then we are free for the rest of the day with dinner served at 6:00. During class time we are out in the gardens of the language school grounds in small groups or just one on one depending on the student’s level. In the garden are several bandas; these are made of cement foundations with iron poles that support a thatched roof. This way we can be shaded from the sun or rain depending on the weather.

Each week our teachers rotate around to different students or maybe it’s the students that rotate. This week I have Moreto. It’s my second time to get this soft-spoken, clear-skinned young man as a teacher. Moreto is Maasai. In this part of Tanzania many Maasai have settled into villages and build permanent bomas (dung and stick homes) but still raise cattle for a living. Moreto is the seventh born of his mother’s eight children. But his mother is the first of eight wives. So Moreto has something like 50 brothers and sisters. Moreto is 20 years old and has a good education through secondary school. He is working towards going to college in Dar es Salaam.

Today we marveled at a metallic purple and green bug that wondered into our banda. That prompted Moreto to comment on the birds in the bushes on both sides of us. He explained to me in Swahili that these birds were talking to each other and one was saying to the other, “Come over here.” The other was answering back that these people were in the way. I thought this a funny explanation but eventually one bird flew off down the hedge of bushes and then met its mate on the path outside the hedge. Moreto then pointed out that they were not looking for food as they hopped along the ground.

When I chuckled again at the narration Moreto told me that he really likes bird and he understands what animals are saying. I must have looked incredulous because he insisted and started to tell me a story to illustrate. Mind you this was all in Swahili. But he is so careful to speak slowly so I can catch every word:

One day when he was out with his cattle letting them graze, the cattle had become full and were just resting. Moreto fell asleep too, under the tree he was leaning against. He told me that after a while some birds woke him up. One bird was on the ground on his right and the other was up in a branch on his left. They chirped loudly and when they woke him, he said they looked at a snake in the tree directly above him to cause him to look in that direction and see it too. When he realized the danger he snuck away from under the tree and the birds ‘ran’ away.

I was completely mesmerized by the story. So he added that birds don’t like snakes because they steal their eggs and they hope that humans will kill the snake. I got more bits and pieces about how to kill a snake. And even how Moreto can be frightened by a small rabbit if he is without his ‘tools’ but isn’t at all afraid of a lion or snake or elephant if he had his knife, stick (club), bow and arrow with him. It’s so hard to imagine this mild-mannered young man dressed in Maasai wraps and carrying a club and knife in his belt. It must be much harder for you to picture.

I wondered if Dr Dolittle might be real and comes from Maasai blood.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game Park, no parking...

As I write I am downloading photos to my photo site. This was a fun outing. We got up really early to try to get there before or at sunrise, which it when lions come out and eat. But it took us a little while to actually get on the road or our efforts were to no avail.

I think the funniest incident of the day was when we got stuck in the mud and had to all get out of the bus. I wanted to avoid the bus sliding off the road and into me and avoid getting splattered with mud so I walked up the small hill to stand and wait for the bus. I guess that small act of independence cause quite a stir in the park guide and therefore others in the group who were sure I would get eaten by a lion.

Since I know lions aren't woman-eating and I knew the bus would be up there shortly I didn't think it a big deal. And I was the first one back on the bus when it got out the the mud. The photo looking back at the bus was only as far as I went. The animals were more interesting though.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An African Kind of Day revisited...

Just want to assure you that God is looking after me. With a little help from the Tanzania director of the language school, I was able to catch the busy man I needed and get my fedha or pesa or dough. I'm no longer in debt to my friends here at the school and have what I need for the coming weeks.

Early tomorrow morning I'm off to Mikumi National Park for a game drive. I hope to post some great photos upon my return. Prayers for safety are much appreciated. Thanks!

An African Kind of Day

There are several things that could contribute to it feeling like an African kind of day. In my mind the expression could be used negatively or positively. Today it’s not so great.

Just over two weeks ago I asked my organization to wire money to pay my bill at the school and to have a little pocket money as I was a little wiped out after the long weekend in Zanzibar. I thought it would take a few days. After about 4 or 5 days I inquired. It usually takes a week to 10 days I was told. I’m amazed anything could take that long with today’s technology.

One thing I have learned about Africa though is that everything takes time. When I am here I find that for most things I have magnanimous patience. When I was told the length of time it would take to get the money I realized it might take even longer than that. I refrained from asking each day. I was told I would be notified. I find it relatively easy to wait for an hour for a bus or 20 minutes for the ride to town to finally get going. I do best with some idea of what will happen. I have always been like that. And since I have lived here in the past I know that things that people say they are going to do come to pass eventually. I just might need to wait for them.

But since today marked two weeks I decided to ask again. Lo and behold Mrs. Mwambashi in the language school office said my money had arrived. She handed me a receipt and told me to see the finance office. I knew the place from an earlier inquiry. The office was closed and dark even though the somewhat cryptic Swahili notice outside the office said he should be there until noon. Mama Mwambashi said he must have gone for a cup of chai. I popped in right after chai and found the cash office window still locked and dark.

So about 11:30 I interrupted my language lesson to try again. Since it was still locked I asked Mrs. M what I should do. She said, “Let me help you.” I trailed around behind her back to that office. I followed her to the back and through a maze of offices. She asked a woman for me about getting someone to help me. It’s only then I found out that the cash office guy had gone to Dar es Salaam and the other man that could help me went to Morogoro town on a bunch of errands and would be back in the afternoon. But not sure what time since he had a lot of places to go (no doubt all on foot or public transport).

Here I have been so patient, and the friends that have loaned me money so patient as well. I can blame myself for not planning ahead better. I should have some cash-getting alternatives; I should know all this takes time in Africa. But I still am disappointed. Our class has a trip to Mikumi National Park tomorrow morning early. I have enough to pay the entrance fee in USD but if I can’t get the money today it will be Monday before I have another chance to find someone to help me. I have my doubts I will find the person I need this afternoon, but stranger things have happened.

There are some wazungu sayings about things like this. One is: Africa wins again. The one I prefer is TIA: This is Africa. This is just how it is, so get used to it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

22 Swahili Words (or Phrases) that are Fun to Say

Abraham Piper started a blog that is very inspiring. (Sorry for my long posts.) He posted a list of English words that are fun to say.

I have often thought of certain Swahili words in the same light.

Pronunciation key: a is a short a sound as in about, e is a long a sound as in make, and i is a long e as in creep. R’s get rolled, but it’s not a long roll. O is a long o as in over. If you have two vowels together it’s like you say them twice in a row and between them is the syllable break. Emphasis is always on the second to the last syllable. At least that’s my approximation for quick lesson.

Some of the below words are new to my vocabulary and others I have enjoyed saying for a long time. Have fun!

22.) Furaha (happy)
21.) Sherehe (party)
20.) Porini (in the African wilderness)
19.) Halafu (then)
18.) Milele (forever)
17.) Acha (leave)
16.) Hadithi (story)
15.) Umeme (electricity)
14.) Njooni (plural polite command to come)
13.) Jaribu (try)
12.) Mkulima ali lima lini? (The farmer cultivated when?)
11.) Baada ya (after)
10.) Lala fofofo (sleep deeply)
9.) Kukumbuka (to remember)
8.) Malizeni (plural of you finish)
7.) Nafasi (opportunity or chance)
6.) Zidi (more)
5.) Kutafuta (to look for)
4.) Zambarau (grape-like fruit, the color purple)
3.) Yafaa (good or better)
2.) Kama kawaida (like normal)
1.) Kwasababu (because)


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Paradox of Time and the Morning in Morogoro

It seems like time is going so fast and so slow. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 6 weeks already. When I stop to think of when I arrived here in Morogoro: it was swelteringly hot here and frigid winter there, I was still sick with a cold and cough and compare that with now, it’s much cooler here and the cough I never thought I would shake is gone; it seems like a long time. I have been here long enough to learn my way around Morogoro town and find some favorite places to shop, go on a trip to Zanzibar, get really sick with typhoid, get to know some of the mamas that work in the kitchen, to remember a lot of Swahili vocabulary and confirm my grammar is horrible. In some ways 6 weeks seems like such a short time to have done all that and more. Now I have six weeks left. Will it go quickly or not fast enough? I long to be settled into my work and life in Kenya, but I wish I had a better grip on all the Swahili tenses and noun agreements! It seems hard to imagine this old grey matter might be able to really grasp and use it all in such a short amount of time.

In the meantime I enjoy Saturdays for a chance to go to town and practice my bad grammar. Today I carried my camera. I have hesitated to take it for a few reasons; some locals think you sell their photos for money, I didn’t want to have it snatched. But last week another student from the school and I sat on the edge of the market waiting for our school’s bus to pick us up for about an hour. She kept telling me that she had no words to describe the market to her friends at home. I eventually realized that I had never really tried. In fact, I thought the markets so normal that I couldn’t imagine you not knowing what they were like. Haven’t people seen this kind of thing on TV? She was adamant there was no way Americans had a slot for a market like this in their brains. So I promised her the next time I go town I would get her some photos. After all, why did I get a pocket-sized digital camera if not to be able to shot from the hip, literally?

Photos shot from the hip are not the kind you can sell. So you won’t be very impressed, but it’s better than my attempt at description would be. Check out my photo site at: http://www.dropshots.com/jan2514 and enjoy a rainy Saturday morning in Morogoro with me.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Feeling Better

Thanks so much for asking and for all your prayers. I am doing much better regarding my sickness with typhoid. I have just about a day and a half left of the antibiotics for it. I have been able to attend classes all this week. "Nime pona."

If you are inclined to pray please continue to hold up my health. I have not been able to determine the origin of this. I have deduced that it could even be the food or water I have right here at the school, so I could get it again. I definitely don't want that!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Most Difficult Thing about Zanzibar, and about Africa in general...

Our day on the spice tour included several stops: We were to tour the experimental farm, stop somewhere where local woman had prepared a traditional lunch of rice pilaf and a sauce and vegetables. Then on to the Slave Cave, a place slave traders held slaves by a deserted beach after slave trading became illegal in Europe. When we finished all that we had an hour or so to lay or an undeveloped beach or swim. It sounded like a very pleasant day, but things changed soon after leaving the spice tour.

When we got to the main road, at the intersection, we stopped to let one of the Tanzanians out and another one in, the one that had first picked us up in the morning. Off we headed to our lunch awaiting us. Maybe our driver felt we were a little behind schedule. Maybe he had been told-off by our guide about not being right on time when we finished the spice tour. I had noticed in the morning our guide seemed a little on the bossy side when talking in Swahili.

We were barreling down the road when the driver hit the brakes hard. I looked up from my seat right behind him. One of the Italians in the front seat yelped, there was a thud. Out of the corner of my eye I had seen the top of the black head of a child. It had sounded to me like we had driven right over him, but the boy was on the pavement in front of us.

Immediately I started begging God for mercy. I think the driver was a little anger. I remember him throwing his hands in the air in disgust. Some of the out group were saying, “Don’t look!” Others were getting out saying, “I know CPR.” The cry not to look tempted me. What I saw in a very short glimpse was a small boy lying on the ground. I didn’t see any blood nor did the boy look crushed. He only looked as if he were napping on the road.

A crowd was already forming and quickly closed off my view of the boy. In another few moments the crowd was shouting into the van at the rest of us inside. I couldn’t make out a word and thought they were angry with us for some reason. Our guide called from outside above the voices and in English for us to get out of the van. In seconds the boy was scooped from the pavement and our van was making a three-point turn in the road. It looked like about 4 people were in the van when it howled away. Our guide was standing with us on the roadside along with the crowd that had amassed.

I heard one man in our group say to no one in particular, “Shouldn’t we get off the road?” I turned to our guide, “Can we get off the road?” We were all so bewildered, but I think he realized how hot the sun was once I asked about moving. He said yes and started walking several feet away from where we were to the overhang of a small building. Not all of them followed. But eventually some noticed we weren’t all there and turned to the others. I motioned for them to come and stand in the shade. The crowd now of mostly children packed in with us. They probably came because wazungu are so strange but maybe they wanted to comfort us too.

The Italian that saw it happen was very shook up, but also the German college gal that had been traveling with the American gals. She couldn’t have been more than 21 and had been working with children in Arusha. She burst into sobs a couple of times. She had been one to get out seeing if she could help. Eventually another van came to pick us up. I offered to ride in the front, the Italians were all too happy give it up. My offer came so they wouldn’t have to sit there. A young British gal named Helen climbed in with me.

The rest of the day was quite somber. Lunch was hard for everyone to eat. I was next to the German gal on the floor mats where we were eating. She seemed not to be able to go on. As she started to cry again I put my hand on her shoulder. I hoped to somehow comfort her but I didn’t know how. I said nothing. She did finally eat.

Our guide made several phone calls throughout the afternoon. He heard the boy had regained consciousness and had a fractured arm. They did not have the results of the x-rays yet.

God have mercy… on that boy, on his parents, on that driver, on the tour company director/owner, on that community. May they all come to know Your true mercy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Swahili Girls at the Ocean

Surinam is a long way from Zanzibar

Several weeks ago I was out to dinner with a few new friends here in Morogoro. We went to a place called Dragonaires that mainly caters to the university staff and Tobacco Industry folk of Morogoro. I was amazed to see so many white people in one place.

In keeping with my observant nature I spotted the one “African” I was sure was not from Morogoro, Tanzania or anywhere in East Africa. I pointed out to my friends that this fine featured dreadlock sporting woman must be American. We nodded hellos as I passed her.

The second evening I was in Zanzibar I mounted the steps to reception after a long day of touring and saw this woman standing there. Without a hesitation that I might be mistaken I said, “Hello. Are you from Morogoro?” She replied, “Yes, I’ve seen you at Dragonaires!”

The next morning we sat at adjoining tables for breakfast and visited. She originally hails from Surinam in South America. (A country I know nothing about.) But her husband is Belgian and they work at one of the Universities in Morogoro on a rat project. She had her two girls with her, ages 3 and 11. Maureen invited me to see their project and left me her phone number. I bumped into her again on the streets of Stone Town before heading back from vacation.

When I reached Dar es Salaam I took a taxi to a large shopping mall to wait for the Korean couple that attends my language school to pick me up. I had about 2 hours to gladly kill while I looked in stores as big as Target and Rainbow. I did have a couple things on my list. There in the big department store I came around the corner and ran into Maureen and her girls. “Do you need a lift to Morogoro?” she asked. I had that taken care of. But I think I have a new friend from a very faraway place.