Monday, March 29, 2010
For one health class, I started the class by using a puppet (my sock) and chalk dust; I then made the puppet cough without covering his mouth and they were able to see the spread of germs (chalk dust). Ironically, I had a pretty nasty cough while I was teaching them about covering mouths. I drew pictures on the board of a person coughing wihtout covering their mouth and therefore getting their friends sick and also drew a picture of a person coughing and covering their mouth and keeping their friend healthy. When I asked the kids to draw pictures of how to prevent the spread of germs when coughing they drew some funny stuff. Some copied what I had drawn and others drew pictures of me very sick (in a bed or in a coffin but I can’t tell which). The pictures above are of my favorite ones.
On Saturday morning I went to the huge second hand market, Memorial, with Christina and Laura. This market goes on and on and on with stalls selling everything from t-shirts and dresses to soap and rice. Most of the clothes are shipped from Western countries (I think) and sold at this market. I bought three scarf’s for under 1 USD each and a t-shirt.
After feeling overwhelmed at the market I went back to the hostel because there were a bunch of kids visiting. Some of the people at the hostel volunteer at an orphanage, Kili Kids, and they invited the children over to the hostel for a special treat. The children were adorable and really well behaved. It is sad to think that none of these children have parents. Anyway, when we were all playing outside it started pouring and all of the kids got soaked (so did I). After a while they got picked up and taken back to the orphanage but they had a lot of fun playing with all of us and we obviously had fun with them too.
Sunday, I walked with one of our hostel guards and two of his friends and Grant and Andrea to a monkey forest somewhere in Moshi. It took about 45 minutes to get there and the walk was really interesting because it was through a little village area. I wish I could’ve hung out in that area and talked with the people and kids but apparently it is a really dangerous area for white people to be by themselves.
When we got to the forest Andrea felt really sick so we were going to head back but I met up with other hostel people that were there on a tour. I tagged along with them; Ally and his friend Nate stayed with me so that I would have someone to walk home with since the other girls rode bikes that they had rented.
We wondered around for a while and saw a bunch of different types of monkeys. It was pretty cool. Then we saw some local boys making fishing rods out of bamboo. They were using earthworms (that had metallic coloring on them) and little frogs for bait. We left before I could see if they caught anything or not.
It was a lot of fun but by the time I got home I was exhausted and super dehydrated. I feel like my entries are getting less and less interesting but I am just running out of time to write in a lot of detail (also maybe a little lazy)…maybe soon that will change though.
This past week was a pretty good one…the children had exams so they got out of classes pretty early several days last week.
I went to the hospital with Christina and Daudi (a boy with severe autism and epilepsy) to what I think was the neurology clinic on Thursday. There were tons of children there with different types of disorders and disabilities. There were at least five children with hydrocephaly. It was nice to see all of these children with parents that really seemed to adore them despite their illnesses. Anyway, Daudi saw the doctor for less than five minutes in an exam room that was shared between two doctors and another patient. Everything was as it was supposed to be regarding Daudi’s epilepsy.
Friday was Chelsea, the library volunteer’s last day at Amani. It was also Kulwa, the storekeepers last day. We had a celebration on Friday because the children ended exams and to say goodbye to Kulwa and Chelsea. The children did drumming and dancing performances and then did ‘circus’ or acrobatics, which is extremely scary for me to watch. They do crazy flips and tumbles and flip over stools. Climb onto each other’s shoulders and then do back flips off and the whole time I sit there holding my breath until they land safely.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Everything at Amani has been pretty good. The kids have been very healthy recently, with the exception of some coughs and colds and two burns from hot chai.
Chris, Julia, and the Grill family all sent me packages with the animal bracelets in them! On Monday I gave them to the children. I told them earlier in the day that they were going to get them because my friends from home sent them as gifts for all of the kids and they could hardly wait until after lunch to get the bracelets. They were so excited! The kids really appreciated it and wanted me to tell my friends thank you…so thank you Julia, Chris, and Grills!!! They have been saying the animal names in English and Kiswahili and it is helping to learn the names of the animals.
Chris sent me pictures from the blizzard…the children and the some of the staff were fascinated by the snow. They kept comparing it to what the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro looks like. Some apologized to me for having to live there and others said they love snow and want to see it one day.
All of the children have sandals made out of tires (and I bought some for myself a few weeks ago). All of the sandals look the same and so the kids are always taking one anothers and loosing them. Cassie let all of the children (including me) paint our shoes. It was a lot of fun but extremely messy and it ended up all over everyone’s hands. Luckily there was just enough paint thinner to get everyone’s hands paint-free.
The kids have exams all this week and then off the next weeks for Easter. I made a big poster about adolescents for the older kids for health class after easter break. They should definitely like it since they are all very curious but don’t know where to get information.
The puppy that we had at the hostel has been gone for over a week now. We have no idea where he went. We think he might have went through the gate one night and either gotten eaten by an animal, hit by a car, or taken by a person to keep as their dog (which is kind of what we did). We miss him but we were going to have to give him away anyhow.
I can’t believe I am almost half-way through…I hope that I am ready to leave when six months is up but at this point I don’t think I will be.
Saturday was a relaxing day in Moshi…I did not do much besides lay around the hostel and go to the pool for a quick swim. It started to pour while I was in the water though and it was the first time that I was shivering cold since arriving in Africa.
Sunday, I went to Marangu to see the waterfalls with some of the people from the hostel. We took a dalladalla there and one of the guys that I was with said at one point he counted 25 people crowded in this one van. I don’t know how many people were in there because I couldn’t see past the people in front of me. It took about an hour to get there and once we arrived we met with our guide who is a friend of a friends. He took us to the ‘caves’ that the Chagga tribe used to hide from the Masaai. It reminded me of the ChuChi tunnels in Vietnam but it also reminded me of the touch tunnel at the statue of liberty which are two totally different things….anyway….it was still cool to climb through it. I couldn’t see anything at one point and also couldn’t stand up because I knew I would hit my head but continued to crawl forward in this underground tunnel of mud until we made it out again.
After that he took us to a waterfall for jumping. He got two local boys to jump off of the cliff (about a 15 foot fall) first and then they climbed up the side and jumped off from atleast two or three times that height. I was so scared watching them jump off the higher one and held my breath until I saw their heads come up out of the water. Then some of the people from the hostel jumped from the 15 foot ledge.
We walked to the next waterfall down a steep hill using steps that had been built in the mud. The mud steps had bamboo hand-rails that were there to use as support. When we got down to the bottom of the second waterfall I was ready to swim. As soon as I put my foot in I changed my mind because the water was frigid!! The rocks under my foot were extremely slippery and although I had changed my mind about swimming I slipped on the slime of the rock and landed in the ice cold water. It basically made my body numb and after a few seconds I got used to it. It was really cool to be swimming in a waterfall because I never have before.
As soon as we started walking up from the waterfall I was no longer cold but started sweating again. I can still feel it in my thighs (three days later), which is pretty pathetic and should encourage me to get some more exercise.
After seeing some of the falls we went to a mini coffee plantation where our guide showed us how coffee was made. It was pretty neat to see. They pick the beans off of bushes and put it in a hand-cranked machine to peel the skin off the bean. The beans are then roasted and crushed and then filered into hot water with milk and sugar. I didn’t really like the coffee that much but I think it is because it had chunks in it which I am not used to.
Before getting on the daladala to head back to Moshi we tried some banana beer (a local beer) which was very strange tasting. The waterfalls were gorgeous and it was definitely a great day trip!