Heather: Interesting things

January 29, 2010

We have a grocery type store thing that we can go to, and I looked around it yesterday to see what they all had. They have pretty normal ingredients, but I don’t think I’ll be able to find anything weird. We looked at the cheeses yesterday…we found some “cheddar” cheese that was salmon colored. Don’t think I’ll be buying that anytime soon.

So as I was talking to Kayla yesterday, I was telling her about some interesting things that I do on a daily basis/or things that we do here that are really different from home, so I thought I would share them with you.

  • We only have running water twice a week. The rest of the week we have stored water in jugs and when I want to take a shower, I boil some on our stove thing and then add more cold water too it. I have almost mastered the technique of a bucket bath. Irene (my sister) laughed at me when I asked how I was supposed to do it. And along with that, that means that the toilet does not flush everytime you use it. I think I am just going to have to embrace that fact. It’s just very weird.
  • Nairobi is a very polluted city, and the emissions from all the cars makes your clothes very dirty. I have some white tank tops that I wear under my shirts, and the white part that sticks out is brown after I get home. And my feet get so dirty everyday from walking to school on all the dried mud and dirt. I think I have dirt permanently on my feet. Also, when I blow my nose at night, it’s definitely not normal colored. It’s basically black because of all the emissions. Yum.
  • Nairobi is also a very large city, as mentioned. I don’t think they have traffic laws, as there are cars going everywhere and park in both directions on the same side of the street. And the whole driving on the left side of the road is still screwing me up. I have been hit by a car trying to cross the street. Don’t worry, I was only nudged. But it’s a very difficult thing to do, crossing the steet. We’re learning though.
  • My mom and sister love to laugh at me. I tell them about my day and all my matatu stories about how we were taken to the wrong place and how we had to backtrack for 2 miles to get to where we wanted to go. They think it is hilarious! I’m glad I can make them laugh at my expense. I’m used to that. Oh yes, and my family does speak English pretty well. There are a couple times when it’s difficult to understand, but for the most park it’s working out well. My mom and sister like to say “nini” in the middle of their sentences a lot, and that means “what.” So when they first started doing it I was so confused, but I asked my Swahili professor, and he said it’s kind of like an “um” equivalent. We are supposed to try and speak Swahili with them when we can, especially for us going to the coast for our internship. I tried the one night and they started talking so fast!

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