..I was asked today while in a bookshop in Arusha. None, I replied, I prefer the bush. I realised, then, that since I’m here I did not talk almost about my social life. First of all, I don’t have only one, but two, as I’m divided between Mkuru camp in the bush, and Arusha town on the other side of M.Meru.
Secondly, .. I do not have any!!! it’s not completely true but if I compare it with the life in Ispra or even Arezzo.. but, the few chances I have for hanging out with people, I enjoy them a lot.
So let’s start from Mkuru. I like to spend time in the bush, either early morning or late afternoon, and meet my friends dik dik, vervet monkeys, and some Maasai children taking care of the livestock. Ninaitwa Claudia, jina lako nani? ..usually the first reply is very difficult to understand, but now I know that names either are English (!! luckily nobody’s name is Jeiar, as it happened in Italy after Dallas) or coming from the Bible, so very similar to Italian or Jewish.
I also like to work at my tent, especially now that I created ”my corner”, looking in front at the dam, the trees, the dust moved up by the wind. Since “autumn has started” there is a special light. I like it so much!!
Then in Mkuru it’s very interesting interacting with guests, those who are speaking English because my Swahili is still to poor for replying to questions like “what should we do with globalization??”, “how do you motivate students if you don’t punish them?”.. or… “biologically black and white are the same, but why then black people have lower IQ??”… other times we talk about lighter topics, like marriage.. when I say my age they stop talking about that!! 😉 😉
Then, once in a while we also have some other occasional guests usually very interesting people. Like a photographer from Italy and his peruvian partner, and an American teacher who was speaking Swahili very well. Thanks to him I also started to try to spend more time with the staff in the kitchen, to make practice. Then he also invited us from the camp to join at a live music concert in Arusha. Not in one of the clubs where usually all expats and NGO workers meet, nothing against that but if I wanted to do that, I could stay where I was.. so we went in Shampsi, a neighbourhood in Arusha I would never enter at night if it wasn’t for the concert. We ended up dancing all together, with only local people, very funny and I felt free!! It was the only chance for music and dancing I have had in Arusha so far. When I’m there I’m usually very tired at night, because I work hard to concentrate everything in little time. But still I need to eat, so I usually go out for dinner, with colleagues-friends, and sometimes we had barbecue at a friend’s place. Very good food, very relaxing! I like to go to Indian restaurants, but I’m becoming addicted also to local food..mmm, not really to ugali (=white polenta without salt), but the rice and beans here seems much much better than in Italy!! The last weekend I was in Arusha and I was invited to a meeting of Roots&Shoots, the Jane Godall association for youth. It was a good chance to transfer enthusiasm and passion to a large group of girls (the symposia was on the role of women in research on environment and human communities). I wish one of them would become a new Jane Godall. Afterwards I walked back towards the city centre with a volunteer of R&S, and it was the first time I was walking through the town!!!!!!!
I’m always moving by car, unless around Oikos office that is in a very green area. So today I also decided to go around looking for information just walking and using the dalla-dalla, local minibuses. I discovered some things I’ve never seen before!! and it’s also much faster, considering the traffic and how long the cars are usually stuck in the jam!! ..it’s also healthier for blood circulation, but not for your lungs! 😦
so, ninafarahi, I feel happy for every small step ahead I do to be part of this reality..ok,I know I will never be a parrt, but just feel less apart 😉 😉
I do not club.. I prefer watching lightnings for one hour.. waking up in the middle of the night for the noise of the water rumbling down in the corongo, or at dawn for the birds greeting the coming sun.. (well, the cock is actually a bit too much..)..
I prefer sitting around the fire under moon and stars light, drinking a Safari and chatting with nice people..
I prefer the bush..