I’ve been busy this week with my shadower and soon-to-be neighbor Jenna, and it’s been a great time. I’m pretty sure I hit the jackpot w/ neighbors – Jenna is easy-going, nice, adorable, fun and has a great attitude about TZ and her service. She’s also pretty great at Kiswahili for only having been here 5 weeks. Since I’m her closest neighbor I’m in charge this week of showing her the ropes and taking her around before she goes back to Muheza to finish training.
I went to Dodo on Saturday to hang out with Yue and have a town day before shadowers showed up. I had a fish burger at Sipe, and an espresso of course, then we, Mike+Mindy (the married couple who extended w/ World Food Program), Yue, Chris (WFP intern), Ellen, Chuck, Eric and I made a big spaghetti dinner. After so much time in the vill it was so refreshing to see everyone, especially Eriki who complimented my new hair do Short hair can work w/o a blowdryer.
On Sunday I baked a mango pie for Jenna’s arrival. Since everyone else and their shadowers were staying at Ellen’s we, Jenna, Yue and I, got most of it for ourselves. I made a caramel sauce to go on top – by far the most delicious pie and pie crust I’ve ever made – and on a charcoal jiko (stove) to boot!
Yue and Chris killed a chicken in an attempt to make fried chicken, but that didn’t work so well and everyone felt a little ill afterwards. I missed out on the chicken since all of us w/ shadowers and Eric went for Chinese food. In order to prepare for their arrival, Chuck, Eric, Ryan, Kristina and I started hammering beers at Club Aziz, then moved to a spot at the standi in order to have beers-in-hand when the Newbies arrived. I was so excited to meet them I could hardly contain myself! Our new additions, new Brodomans are Ally, Kacey from Indiana, Deanna and older lady from Arizona/S. Dakota and jenna from Miami. They are all fresh and positive, and I feel good about the change in the Dodo vibe that they’ll bring. Unfortunately I’m not a true Dodomite since I’m close to Babati, but I’ll see them every so often anyways.
After picking up our protégés and drinking beers standi-side we headed to get Chinese food. I was a little disappointed that we nixed the plan to get pizza at the Italian place, but once I saw the menu all was better. It’s the best Chinese food in country and probably some o the better Chinese food I’ve had in my life. Deanna and I shared Dim Sum, my ultimate favorite, and Ghang Pao chicken or something like that. SO delicious. Wine topped off the meal, and we all called it a night, Jenna and I hopping a taxi and the rest going to Ellen’s by foot. It was such a nice evening of getting-to-know-each-other, and a good kickoff to shadow week and to the newbies’ service.
Jenna and I decided to stay another day in Dodo rather than spend a day in Kondoa, even though we forgot bathing suits and couldn’t go to the pool, and Sipe was closed so ice cream and coffee was out <-tears. We made a good day of it though, gorging on sambusa and pilipili – hot pepper stuff with Ryan, Kristina, Ally and Deanna, stopping by the safi duka (fancy foodstuff store), fabric shopping (Jenna got some nice fabric for her swearing-in dress and we ordered a dress from my favorite Dodo fundi/seamstress, I’ll pick it up for her before I come to teach at training), meeting up for lunch and cold sodas with everyone again, and doing some shopping at the market for stir-fry at Yue’s. We took naps before cooking, as the sun was super hot and we were exhausted from all the walking, then cooked, ate family style w/ Yue and Chris, watched ‘The Other Guys’, and ate the mango pie w/ caramel sauce. Drooool. I still wish I had taken another bite before leaving early the next day to head to Kondoa and then Jenna’s soon-to-be village.
They recently moved the Dodo standi to a very far-off and inconvenient location, forcing us to buy a 8000 shilling taxi ride to get there (the same price it takes to get to Kondoa). Now we know that we can get on the bus in town though, so we won’t make that mistake again. I heard in April construction will be done on the new standi, closer to town, so this won’t be forever.