30 November 2005
It is hot in Zanzibar, unlike Arusha, and so we were wearing tank tops, but Zanzibar is largely Muslim and we didn't want to be culturally inappropriate so we got out scarves and when we came near people, we covered our shoulders with the scarves. (Meanwhile, in Jambiani, we saw some wazungu tourists walking on the road - relative term, it was basically rocks - and the girl was wearing shorts and we gasped in horror and said, as we always did, "That girl did not get the memo." because we had gotten so many lectures at work about dressing in a culturally appropriate way.)
So we stopped at a little store in Jambiani and IE ran in to get some water. Actually, IE ran in to buy an entire crate of water because now that this being lost thing had started there was no telling where it would end. But we did have snacks. It had started to rain and when IE ran in and then out and then opened the trunk and got back in and we started to move again and she took off her scarf, her arms were covered with bright blue polka dots. It turned out that the bright blue scarf she was wearing leaked dye when it got wet, so when the raindrops hit it, it transferred the dye to her skin in exactly and only those places.
There was also this air freshener in the baby jeep, in the glove compartment, which we hated the smell of, so we wrenched it out of the glove compartment (it was stuck to the bottom) and threw it under the passenger seat, but the smell only got stronger, so we tied it into a plastic bag and put it back in the glove compartment, hoping the two barriers would tone it down, which they did not, but we tried. And Ali Keys was not so happy with us when he found out that we had removed the air freshener. But we had not crashed the baby jeep (I am a good driver, even on the beach) and we had filled it up with gas, so he could not say too much.
1. My humanitarian law professor replacing my international law professor for today's class. I just like my IHL professor. I think he's great. And interesting.
2. My new black pants (trousers, international people). I like the way they swish around my ankles. I like them a lot. I look down and they make me happy.
3. The thought of going to Liberia on my own as an adult. I like being an adult. I like being independent and capable.
4. Talking on the street corner to two friends for far longer than I should have, considering all that was waiting to be done. But it was so nice.
Before the talking to the friends on the street corner, where the caterers for the law school kept coming through with carts of herbed chicken and other catering sorts of things which we had to move out of the way for, I ate breakfast at the coffee shop that also makes me unreasonably happy because it is so very normal. It's not a prissy coffee shop with $12 cappucino, it's a hole in the wall where a bagel and iced hazelnut coffee cost me $2.75 and the son double-stamps my frequent buyer card and tried to stamp my forehead. I had to go there because I forgot to buy milk yesterday for my cereal, but I was happy to be there. It was like a minibreak in my day, before my day even started.
Oh, but the story is: I leaned down to smell my coffee to make sure that it was hazelnut (sometimes the father forgets to make it hazelnut or doesn't hear me when I ask for it, although the son never does) and it was but in the process a piece of my hair landed in the cup and now smells of hazelnut coffee, strongly hazelnut coffee which has ruined all other hazelnut coffee for me because they don't actually taste like hazelnut. So the coffee is gone but the lovely smell of the hazelnut coffee drifts along with me.
29 November 2005
The nice thing about not having money is that I'm very definitely learning to prioritize my materialism. And to delay gratification. I keep telling myself that I'll buy these things next semester. But by then I will have forgotten what they all are.
Now I'm sitting before a cup of almond cookie tea which smells exactly like a baking cookie involving almonds and makes me think of Christmas cookies which I will not have a chance to bake this year unless I completely slack off about my exams which are causing me to freak out because they start in two weeks and anyway, my Christmas cookie recipe passed down through the generations does not involve almonds, but it should. Sitting here with this tea, I definitely think it should.
I have to outline a class worth of professional responsibility. I wish I could continue to put it off as I have been doing for days. I can't.
26 November 2005
I still have the unending cold. Boring.
It looks like Liberia might be okay. Maybe. Not to hope too soon - Liberia has turned around from peace before. Anyway, the new president-elect is the first elected woman president in Africa. I'm excited to go there next summer.
Literally, nothing else is happening. Good-bye.
21 November 2005
Also, I can't sleep lying down because my head fills instantaneously with... stuff and I can't breathe. When I sit up it feels oddly empty and dry. In a dizzy sort of way.
Yes, I know that the details of my cold are boring. It's just that it's been a long time since I've posted anything here and this cold fills my head. Literally and figuratively.
18 November 2005
Hope, blue sky, a little boy falling asleep in my arms, and coconut tea (again, I love this stuff).
A three-drawer roll-y thing, a tiny waste basket, and a silverware basket for the dish drainer (it doesn't take much to make me happy).
Living on cough drops for the throat (again).
Five exams coming up about a month from now.
16 November 2005
But I read the wrong thing. I read the reading for next class, the contents of which I will have forgotten by the time Friday comes around. Foiled again.
15 November 2005
08 November 2005
What else to say?
It's Tuesday. End of story.
I left my phone charger in Princeton and was without phone power yesterday - disaster. But a friend has the same charger and I'm borrowing it and charging the phone and sitting drinking tea (self-reward for lots of buzy-ness) and not studying and waiting for 9 pm so that I can call people who don't have Verizon. I don't think. I'm not sure. Why don't phones tell you when you call them? "You are calling a Verizon number." "You are calling a Sprint number." It would be so nice. So helpful.
Can't sit still.
Why do people not answer their phones?!?
07 November 2005
03 November 2005
02 November 2005
J wants his mommy or his daddy a lot. The first time I babysat for them, last year, he cried nearly the entire time, pulling at the door. Now he tears up for a minute and then is okay. He likes me enough, I think. But today he beamed when he saw me at the door to pick him up from school and upstairs, while B was checking his pocket for his Jimmy Neutron so that we could leave, J came over to where I was sitting on a little kid chair and held out his arms. I thought he wanted a hug, so I gave him one, but he held them out still, higher. I picked him up and put him in my lap, facing me, and he pulled my hair around and tried to stuff it into my mouth, laughing. I laughed, too, and then set him down to run off to B.
I could use a few of my own little people, if I ever find a man who takes my breath away.
I'm poor as I've ever been, but not really, because never before have I had to pay $900 a month in rent. So I have a lot more money than, say, college, but a lot more of it is tied up. (Oh, and nearly all of it is borrowed from Citibank, my owner.) I'm trying to recover from the expense of getting this apartment by babysitting like mad and living on the babysitting money and even putting some of said babysitting money in the bank. It's a tightwad's dream. And I might (maybe, possibly) be able to pay rent through January, until I get my next loan check.
From Kigali Business Centre going on the road to the airport, take the 3rd right (dirt road going downhill) immediately opposite the parliament building. Continue for approximately 600 metres and when the road bends round to the right it is the second house on the left (dark green gate).