Dark Ages and No-Fun Cold Showers

24 06 2011

Alright so basically this post is being created to rant about the fact that Tanzania is stuck  in the dark ages. For some reason, the government has decided to be assholes and deny the people of Arusha the pleasure of having electricity. For the past 5 nights we haven’t had power. While at first it was fun to eat dinner by candlelight (so romantic oh em gee), and all huddle around the lantern in the living room for some gossip and Two Truths and a Lie, now it’s just a huge pain in my ass.

When there’s no power, that means there’s no power. Just think about that. Right now you wouldn’t be able to read this if there was NO POWER. You would also probably die because oh em gee you can’t watch the newest episode of So You Think You Can Dance (is that show even on anymore?). But seriously… here are just a FEW things that come with having no electricity at night:

  • You can’t see… anything: Considering I live in the jungle, there’s not a whole lot of moonlight/starlight/light pollution/anything at all. Try keeping a daily journal when you can’t see anything at all. VERY DIFFICULT.
  • Peeing becomes terrifying: Try peeing in the pitch dark in a bathroom that looks like a scene out of the movie Hostel. Yeah… I always consider not washing my hands just because that would mean less time in the scary death/rape/murder bathroom.
  • No charging your electronics: So no playing Bejeweled on my iPhone or listening to Kaskade on my iPod. It just means a whole lot of silence. Also, MY TANZANIAN PHONE NEVER HAS BATTERY, which becomes quite the nuisance when I’m trying to meet up with people in a foreign country I don’t speak the language of.
  • COLD SHOWERS: Although this seems fairly self-explanatory, I’ll just describe what a cold shower in Tanzania feels like. So for all those people who think Africa is hot year-round, think again. I wake up shivering literally every night. While the days can get up to 75 degrees sometimes, it’s usually about a solid 70. At night though, it can get down to 50 degrees or colder. So imagine taking a FREEZING COLD SHOWER in the PITCH BLACK in a bathroom that people have probably been CHOPPED UP in, and maybe you can understand what a cold shower is like here. Not only is it 50 degrees, but the windows are always open (because TIA), and the wind gusts in at random times. It definitely makes me understand why people don’t consider showering a top priority here.

So while having no electricity can majorly suck, there is one pro… going to sleep at 8:30pm. And if you guys know me well, you know that my day doesn’t usually start until around that time. When I have an Arts and Crafts class to teach to 20 kids under the age of 5 at 8am though, it’s definitely a huge plus.

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UPDATE ON THE ORPHANAGE:

I am now finished with my second week of teaching an Arts and Crafts class to the students at the Center. There are 3 classes:

  • Baby Class (and yes they call it that officially) – ages 3-5
  • Intermediate – ages 5-7
  • Class One – ages 7-14 (that one is a special case)

My schedule is:

Monday 8am: Baby Class

Tuesday 8am: Intermediate

Wednesday 920am: Intermediate

Thursday 920am: Baby Class

Friday 920am: Class One

The classes usually consist of using crayons, construction paper, and the rainbow in multiple ways. I tried to teach Baby Class “ROY G BIV” and they had a bit of difficulty considering their alphabet pronunciation is a little off. I will write out what each letter sound like…

A: ah for apple

B: boo for boy

C: kh for cat

D: dee for dog

E: eh for elephant

F: foo for fish

G: goo for girl

H: ha for house

I: ee for impulse (???? there are many other easier words that start with i haha)

J: gee for jug

K: key for ket (I still have yet to figure out what a ket is)

L: lee for leg

M: mmm for man

N: knee for net

O: oh for orange

P: poo for pan

Q: quee for queen (lulz)

R: rrrrr (rolled r sound) for ruler

S: see for sun

T: tee for tap

U: silent oo for umbrella (yes they literally call it silent oo)

V: voo for van

W: woo for watch

X: ksss for x-mas tree (also could have found better x words)

Y: yee for yam

Z: zeh for zebra

Sooooo… yeah. Teaching is difficult. But the kids are awesome so it makes it all worth it. I’ve started implementing time out in Baby Class and it seems to be working. Nobody ever says that discipline doesn’t work! But okay no more time on my internet 😦

LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!

ANGE