Saturday, April 11, 2009

Will the Easter Bunny bring my basket to T-Zed?

Memories suffocate my ability to focus on the moment in action. A whiff of nostalgia and I’ve wafted back 8,000 miles and 15 years ago bundling up in fall jackets and hats to pile into the car with Tommy, Mom and Dad and head off to the cider mill on a beautiful late October afternoon. Watching the apple press squeeze the sweet cider out and into confusing machines, eventually making its way into our cups, eating warm doughnuts, watching the water mill, walking in the wet leaves next to the river with the smell of hay and sweets lingering in the air.
Come back, Come back to this moment- Oh yeah, here I am, wiping the sweat off my brow as I pull weeds from my carrot bed in Africa.
I need to be less of a time travele, but I enjoy these vivid recollections of my life. I am learning to enjoy not only the simple pleasures of here and now, but also the sweet taste of the here and nows past. My life is rich and good and I am nothing but grateful for every memory, each experience (good or bad) that has brought me to this present understanding, It feels so free to live knowing you know nothing and everything you really need is locked close to your heart (ok, with the exception of water which is usually available somewhere…)
I get lost in my recollections of the past, I always make then sweeten then how it really happened but I don’t mind because how I decide to remember an experience is how it really happened according to me. I get lot in dreams for the future and force myself back to the Earth, where I’m presently losing myself in the milky cover of stars and the piercing, ever waxing and waning, luminescent moon.
Yeah man, it feels good.

BUT, I’m sure that you are much less interested in my state of mind and much more intrigued by my current state of being (assuming that being is doing)\
Well, life here is good. My work is what I choose and that’s almost more taxing then having it chosen for you. The mgahawa is going well. I made French Toast the other day and it wasn’t too scary for the Tanzanians to risk it and test it out. Once we get cinnamon and vanilla for the mgawawa I think it will always be on the menu because everyone loved it. Haha…and the cultural exhange grows!
Pen-pals are really fun and the kids LOVE it, but they had big exams for the last week, so the headmaster is cutting my translation time and now its vacation and the process of writing back is in a major hold up.
I had a meeting with the doctor the other day to call him out on his very bad example of “do as I say and not as I do” with the nurse sex scandal. Well, the man cried and asked me what I wanted him to do. I told him to just work it out and figure out want he thinks now that he has ruined his reputation. I was not my place to call the man out, but maybe I made him feel bad enough that it won’t do it again…haha, that’s SERIOUSLY wishful thinking!
The SPW volunteer from England and her Tanzanian counterpart are here now. They are my new neighbors since Anita (the nurse involved in the previously mention scandal with the doctor…) was kicked out of the village. I’m looking forward to working with them, but I am not looking forward to watching REALITY and DISSAPOINTMENT come crashing down on their SAVE IKUNA VILLAGE dreams…They are both really nice people, but man it’s weird speaking English in my village.
I think that my school grant finally went through so look for more on that later….
I’m teaching the Mamas at the dispensary on baby weighing day this month and I am really looking forward to it.

In garden news:
Place is a disaster area!! I’ve got some super sunflowers and corn, but my cucumbers were eaten by bugs. Damn. The onions and eggplant never came up but the squash and pumpkins are making little babies. I’ve got more edible leaves that grew as weeds then I could use in a year and my carrots ROCKS! (It’s only one bed, but 50+ carrots is tons). Beans are ready to be picked and dried and my huge peanut square needs a weeding bonanza #2. The potatoes…well, I have no idea cause I haven’t looked! My peach trees are done for the season, but I may have some bananas soon. All I really have to say about all of it is that I LOVE THE RAINY SEASON!

So, basically I have been in Tanzania for 10 months. Insane! I’ve grown the eyes of adjustment to the following things (which I need to think about in terms of shock value)
 Old ladies with no teeth, moonshine breath and hands as coarse as sand paper
 People picking their nose for extended periods of time
 Mamas in the field with a hoe and a baby tied to their back
 Grandmas wearing dirty old fabric and CONVERSE ALL STARS
 Kids carrying kids/babies on their backs
 People dying
 Having to wait hours for a bus after they tell you it’s leaving right now!
 Busses breaking down
 Being told “you have arrived” hours before you are really there
 Being asked for anything and everything under the sun, to the moon and back
 Being hazed in the fruit/veggie market
 Seeing man urinate anywhere
 Tanzanian’s undying love of Celine Dion
 General apathy towards everything
 Being ripped off
 Being screamed at in Kibena. Yes, I WILL understand if you say it louder…or not.
 Power outages
 Eating enough beans and rice to bore a Mexican
 Being gawked at when I do physical labor
 Meeting people who don’t know where Michigan is…what egocentric lives we live!

OKAY! That’s good for now. I’m off to work it out, share the love and do something really really important like eat some M & Ms. Haha, I miss and love you all.

HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!! Sending big love from this crazy world.


chrisc said...

Margaret My Dearest your blog is so amazing and powerfull and inspirational with a tear in my eye keep it movin and groovin!!LOVE&HUGS Dad..

Mema said...

Margaret - You have a way of stirring our memories too and I can guarantee it's not how it really happened (HAHA). We love you and miss you. Like dad, I never get through one of your posts without a tear in my eye.

Faye said...

Happy Easter. If you want to reminisce, I remember when we were kids, we would gather our baskets on Easter morning and we would sit outside (weather permitting) and share the crazy stuff we got.
Oh how time flies.
Miss you and I'll write to you again soon!
Love ya,

Renee said...

Margie B. I love you! I have so much to tell you. I need to write you ASAP. I hope you got my last letter. :)

Renee <3

Anonymous said...

Your list made me laugh and it made me sad and it gives you a taste of reality- the good ol' 'out of sight out of mind' lives we Americans lead... tragic.