Sunday, January 18, 2009

i love pizza in malindi

So this morning I woke up early and started washing my clothes. Since I haven't washed clothes since Loitokitok, there were a lot! Even though I wear skirts and pants 2 or 3 times. Ugh! And they were dirty!!! Loitokitok dirt followed me here! Had to change water 4 or 5 times - should have changed it more! Pain in the butt!!! I need to find a nice old Italian couple that have a vacation house and will let me use their washing machine!!! Haha! And dryer! Things take forever to dry and I'm worried when I wash my sheets that I won't be able to use them that night. Anyway, I was not in a very good mood this morning but it was something that needed to be done and I'm happy now it's finished. What put me in a terrific mood today was...

First, when the girl came with my tea and mandazi, I had ice and made iced chai and it was delicious! And I didn't start my morning already sweating profusely.

Second, I had a nice walk to town. It's pretty far and I could take a matatu (taxi van) but I wanted to enjoy the 40 min and really appreciate where I am. There are bright gorgeous bougainvilleas everywhere!!! So I walked all the way to the beach and went to I LOVE PIZZA. Delicious!!! I had the 4 cheese pizza (mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola and I forget.) Had 2 glasses of passion fruit juice with crushed ice (!!!) that was also delicious! I could have sat there forever! But I didn't, I walked down to the pier and just looked out at the Indian Ocean for a while. Sun was bright but there's a great breeze today. Headed back into town and bought food at the gas station since all the shops are closed on sunday. Jumped on a matatu and headed home. Since I had such a big lunch, dinner will be a delicious peanut butter and banana sandwich! And I'm excited!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I bought a fridge today! I'm like a little kid running over to see if it's cold yet. Not exactly the ultimate Peace Corps experience but, with the level of humidity and the number of bugs at my place, I decided I couldn't do without one. Now, when my neighboor brings me hot chai in the morning, I can make it iced chai!!! Beyond excited about that! I'm actually going to have ICE!!! Tomorrow I'm going to do some major grocery shopping, now that I have a safe place to put it. Hmmm... wonder if I can make some bourbon slush...

It's funny, Malindi is a major Italian tourist area so the "howareyou!" of Loitokitok has been replaced by "ciao!" and sometimes even "ciao, bella!" I tend to ignore the shouts because, first of all, I don't really know what they expect me to say in response (the expected response to "howareyou!" is "fiiiiiine," saying "good" was usually met with blank stares and disappointment) and, secondly, I do not want to further their idea that I am an Italian tourist. One thing that should separate me from the other "mzungus" is that they all seem to be in their 50's and 60's. But perhaps that's just a seasonal thing since it's not really vacation time.

There is a nation wide teacher’s strike planned to start on Monday (but some teachers started practicing last week.) I’ve heard varying opinions about the expectations of what may happen and it seems that there are varying degrees of seriousness across Kenya. In other parts of Kenya there will be demonstrations and Peace Corps volunteers have been told not to go to town. But here on the coast I think we just stay away from school and relax. Malindi teachers are so relaxed about the strike that I’ve heard teachers from places father west and more serious about the strike may come to our school to make sure teachers don’t work and perhaps even try to start a rally. As with most things in the Peace Corps, I’m not allowed to have an opinion (not that I feel qualified to make one after teaching for less than a week.) Most people I’ve talked to here think that it will all be over as quickly as it starts but other areas in Kenya may feel differently. As with everything in the Peace Corps, only time will tell. I wonder what they’d have us do if there was another strike like in ’98 and teachers were out for 3 months.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The things I miss the most

My puppy dog!!!
A well-stocked and easy to use kitchen (I can do without a microwave easy, I’d just like to not have to worry about bugs so much)
Cinnamon (I brought some with me but haven’t gotten a chance to use it yet)
Being able to go out after dark
Surfing on etsy and craft blogs (allowing pics online costs too much but I miss daydreaming about where I’m gonna move to and which bloggers I’ll meet and what I’ll sew/knit/create when I get there)
Furniture (I’m collecting “pole pole” (slowly))
An endless supply of drinking water
Sleep (Always want more!)
Bourbon slush (at home it’s just something we have during Christmas but it’s freezing cold and delicious and would be so good right now)
Not feeling sweaty
Clean feet
Washing machine
Time (no matter how early I get up and how late I go to bed there just doesn’t seem to be enough – not enough time after school to go to town and get supplies, not enough weekend, not enough time to think about how long 2 years is)
Letters from you (I know my mom loves me!)

I’m sure this list will change in the future – things will be added and taken away. A lot of this stuff I was prepared for but I miss them just the same. Despite this list I am happy and I’ll do a positive list (The things that excite me the most or something) soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Days of Fretting

A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change. ~ Katharine Butler Hathaway

So, here I am in Malindi, Kenya. I’ve spent one night in what will be my home for the next 2 years and I’ve visited my school. My school is very large (about 2,000 students) but the Deaf unit only has about 22 children. Tomorrow I go to school to observe and decide which classes I would like to teach. 

My counterpart is very kind, lives close-by and has fed me 3 meals today and taken me with her to drop off her daughter at boarding school. I met with a current Deaf Ed volunteer who lives not far from here. We ran into each other saturday at a KSL class for teachers that she helped with and she came to visit me today and show me around town – the beach, the good shops, good food, etc. Still, I had my little freak out yesterday and this morning worrying about teaching and what I’m doing for the next 2 years and fretting over the roaches. (They’re much bigger here than in Florida!) But walking around town today I got excited about buying things to make this house feel like a home (and some bug spray.)

I’ll see what tomorrow brings (and what visits me tonight.)


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sites and Song Success

My home for the next 2 years will be in Malindi, Kenya!!! I'm very excited! There are a lot of us along the coast. Two of the other Deaf Ed trainees (volunteers tomorrow!) are pretty close and there's already one Deaf Ed volunteer at a school about 15 minutes away from mine. And there are volunteers from other sectors nearby, also. Tomorrow we swear in and become Volunteers! Then, we travel to our sites. My supervisor says he found me a very nice house with electricity and an indoor choo! I'll let you know more once I get there.

In other news, Paul downloaded a program that was able to get my music off my mp3 player. He has saved me from being medically separated for mental illness because I would become very stressed if I didn't have my music. You should still send me mixes though!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Obama Year!!!

Before I post my planned entry I have a special request. Yesterday, on our way to Nairobi, the sound on my mp3 player went kaput. I have an ancient mp3 player and we're trying but, have yet to get it to work with anyone's computer. So it's now even more important that you send me some music so that I can put it on my computer. I have nothing on my computer because it's brand new! I can get some music from the other volunteers but all the local bands... I could cry!!!


Deaf Ed celebrated the New Year by renting out 2 cottages at a local place and sharing music and laughter and making some “avocado smash” (our invented sign for guacamole.) I couldn’t party too much since I’ve been sick the past 2 days, but I had a lot of fun and the hot shower (instead my usual splash bath) and sit-down toilet made my week! No tv countdown and no fireworks, but waking up in 2009 under Mount Kilimanjaro definitely makes up for that.
A lot is happening this month! Yesterday we left Loitokitok and headed to Nairobi where we will learn our site placement, meet our supervisors, swear-in, head to our sites and get to work! I’m excited and nervous - I love the Deaf Ed group and will be sad to leave all my new friends, but I’m ready to get to my school and settle in to my home for the next 2 years.
Oh, 2009, please be good to me!!! My site, Obama… there’s a lot of potential!!!