December 13, 2008
I cannot recall ever feeling this exhausted in my entire life. This is not the exhaustion that stems from sickness, or staying up too late to write a college paper, just hours before it’s due, it’s the exhaustion of working to live. What’s that? I’m wiped out because of one week, one lousy week, of farming! I have a new found respect for every single person on this planet that has to farm to live.
I feel like someone has attached two small, high-powered vacuum hoses to my eyes and with them sucked out every atom of energy in my body. How the hell do people do this all of their lives? No only that, but then they go home and cook, and clean, raise families, wake up and do it all over again day in a day out! And, on top of that, they are always willing to stop and chat it up. Like the last thing I want to do when I’m make the ½ hour hike out to the field with my hoe burning it’s weight on my shoulder is stop and talk. Maybe I’m just the holiday Grinch. Or maybe I’m just a little girl from the burbs trying to hack it as Bibi Shamba (Farmer Grandma) when secretly I dream of hot bubble baths, working out in the gym, watching the boob tube and MICROWAVING my popcorn! Like I said, I have a new found respect for my village farmers (AKA everyone) because this is a really tiring life.
So, as you may have guess, I’ve spent much of the last week farming. In fact every morning at 7 Mama Witi came over and we rocked out my farm, or her farm, or whatever. Then stopped before noon because the sun gets too hot, then started back at it between 3 and 4. My farm is really way to big for one person, so Mama Witi are splitting the work and I’m probably just going to give her all of the veggies. I am sure that will cause jealousy within the village, as quite obviously Mama Witi is my favorite person, but I don’t care any more. Nobody else has asked me to share my farm. (However a women did ask Mama Witi, in Kibena-the new secret language, why I don’t pay some people to help me & then offered her services. Seriously, I am not going to give people money to do the work that any Tanzania living in my house would have to do, just cause I’m the token white kid doesn’t mean that I have money or that I can’t do physical labor!)
We have planted about 3 kilos of corn, 1 of sunflowers, some potatoes, onions, and carrot. Next week we have a bunch more to do, but I can hardly think about getting up to wash my face, brush my teeth and get in bed, no the less everything that we are going to plant next week.
Aside from farming, I’ve also been working on getting together my people who want to start fruit tree farms, I’ve talked to the head master at the secondary school about teaching in January, Kate’s teacher, Mr. Weir e-mailed me about pen pals, so I am getting all of that ready to rock for next month (and I’m really pumped, this is going to be really cool for everyone…mainly me!). I re-bricked the little patio leading to my ever crumbling porch yesterday and I think I’ve read 4 books since Monday. All in all, a successfully fatiguing week. Thursday I popped into town to buy more seeds and I’m back again to see my friend Greta, but I’ll only be in Njombe for the day, well worth the 6am bike ride to Nyombo (a village close to mine) so that I can get on a bus, get to town, get food, use the computer, get on a bus, get back to Nyombo, ride home annnnnnnnd go back to farming! Ah, the life of the American girl wearing the Tanzania kanga, sewn into pants.
Also, wanted to say thanks to some awesome people who have sent me mail. Mom and dad, as always, you guys rock. However, my teeth may fall out from eating a bag of candy corn in one sitting. Devon, thank you SO much for the wedding pictures (and the pictures of Jack!), you’re officially hanging on my wall. David & Frannie, thank you guys so much for the wedding and baby pictures! Erin, I laughed till I cried when I got your Halloween pictures, you guys are out of control. Please wear that wig to some random family function! And to my Gareaus, Anna, Grace, Rachel, Joey, Molly, Aunt Ann and Uncle Pete, thank you so much for my gifts and pictures and letters. I didn’t laugh till I cried, I just cried, but that’s because I just love you guys and miss you all so much!
And that’s a wrap. My eyes are no longer in their respective sockets and I have to wake up really early tomorrow to ride my bike up the hills! Love you all, miss you all. Hope that all of my cousins have a fabulous time baking cookies with my Mema! Please bake and eat a bunch for me (especially the frosted sugar cookies…and a huge glass of cold vanilla soy milk, oh man!)
These are some wazee at Eliza's Kipenmara, they wanted me to take their picture!
This is Winnie, me (after spending a morning sick as a dog, Eliza's friend, Eliza and Godwin eating some pototoes, beans, rice, greens and whatever at Eliza's Kipinmara
Mama Witi and Witi at the party!
Eliza cutting her cake. It's chocolate banana straight from my jiko!
This is one of my favorite preschoolers. His name is Samwellie. His mom is who had the still birth a few months ago. Love his eyes! : )
Mama Witi and her preschoolers! This was the day I brought my guitar in and we danced!
My farm! Well 1/2 of it. We're lighting the "taka taka" on fire. Smokey the Bear would have been worried.