Friday, October 8, 2010

"I believe that one laugh can cure 100 unknown diseases" - Professor Mwamhanga


Thought I would update you all about my life here from the past few days. Well I guess you can say they weren't too too exciting as they were mostly consumed by studying and taking our WE, EP, and WM exams. I think I did alright... It was hard to get into study mode here - I think it was a mix of "senioritis" and just being in an environment that makes you want to do anything but study! Regardless of how I did, I'm glad that they are done and behind me, now I get to look forward to conducting my directed research (which is the other half of our grade here)! And even though we are done exams we are no where near done classwork for our TZ professors. I still have to write two essays for EP, one for SSC and other work for the remaining classes and expeditions we have.
To celebrate finishing exams we went into Karatu yesterday and shopped around this giant market. Apparently the town holds one every 7th of the month. It was huge and there were so many people, vendors, and merchandise! I'm grateful for the opportunity to practice my bartering skills every time we head to town, and this market was no exception. It will be weird going back home and having set prices that DON'T fluctuate with your facial expression or the amount of money you say you have in your wallet. I've learned you can't act too excited when you see something you like and always first offer half of the price you are willing to pay. So there you go, Zarah's Bargaining for Dummies: Lesson One. OHH!! Speaking of Zarah... I met another Zara(h?) for the first time ever! It was quite exciting. One of my little vendor buddies, Jackson, introduced me to his sister who has the same name as me! Apparently Zarah (pronounced Zah-da) is a Iraqw tribe lineage here and is a name passed down through females. I asked him if it meant anything and he said it meant you were important. Duh!
On the health-front: I hope you all enjoyed the very detailed picture of my jigger, I've been hearing some very enthusiastic feedback! In case you are wondering my new jigger total is 3 but that's still very far away from the record high of 14 my friend Katie holds. And unfortunately my stomach has still been bothering me, not sure what's triggering all this nausea, but I guess if the only ailment, out of all of the ones Africa has to offer, I suffer from is an upset stomach, well I'm not going to complain too much. 
So today is our preparation day for our Serengeti expedition! In case I haven't explained it to all of you, we are going to the Serengeti for 5 days and camping! Erica debriefed us about what to expect and I now know to check the area of tall grass around the bathrooms before I enter and exit, not to panic if I hear a hyena digging around our tent for food, and to not leave the tent if I hear one of our vehicles running - it's just one of the guards using the loud engine to scare an elephant out of our camp. And apparently the last SFS group that went to Serengeti missed a cheetah killing an impala in the campsite, but the staff that had stayed behind for the day got plenty of pictures as proof. Say WHAAAAAAT! Oh, I'm so excited! I feel like this will finally be AFRICA. We will be having traveling lectures and game drives basically the whole time we are there, so not much down time, but still I'm sure we will be learning about as well as actually experiencing some really neat stuff! Obviously I will take many pictures so I can share with you when we get back to camp. And I should probably mention that, naturally, there is no internet at the campsite, so I won't be able to respond to emails or fbook messages.
Well I have to go help pack and prepare for the 'Geti; each cook crew has been assigned to help with a different part of packing and my group is helping Arthur, our chef, pack his traveling kitchen into one of the large trucks. Talk to you all in 5 days!

xoxo Z

OHH, Happy 22 to Dee! MUAH!

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