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: and enjoy a rainy Saturday morning in Morogoro with me.

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