Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin
cswallow

Arusha: Day 2 - Modems, artists and english

When I wake in the middle of the night, it really is pouring rain, and the next morning is soggy with clouds and sleep. Morning errands consist of sitting on the internet trying to figure out my modem situation (do I need a separate SIM card slot, or no?) and sitting online updating the last of my software.

Christy and I head out at last to wander around Arusha and find the Vodacom store (again).  It’s a bit of a strange day; 30% of it involves Christy and I walking up and down the eastern side of Arusha while various sales people convince us that they are Masai artists, and why won’t we come in to see their paintings…somehow there is only one studio in town and they all sell their work at the same gallery. Pretty special ;) But it’s a nice chance to talk to someone, and I manage to learn a couple Swahili phrases from them, as well as a bit about the school system and Tanzanian geography. It turns out that most children learn English in grammar school. And on TV right now, there is a show where teams of schoolchildren are tested on English, among other Swahili topics:

“Change into a question – She is a girl”

Schoolchild – “Is she a girl?” *ding!*"

This information is corroborated by the children who shout, “hi! How are you? I am fine, thank you!” at us from across the street, grinning the whole time.  So, it grows easier every day to be a single-language American.

Last night’s rains left puddles along the streets, and Christy and I dodge them and bicycles in this more crowded area of the city.

We finally figure out the modem issue, which is that I am stupid.  Once we figure out the problem, the Vodacom system is down, so Christy and I go find lunch (pizza!) and return for another hour-long stint at the Vodacom store while the fabulous cashier registers and puts money onto 5 SIM cards for us. She stays late to finish it out, and we promise her that we will call her supervisor and sing her praises to him.

By that time it is getting dark. We catch the strains of a wedding calvacade – a guitar-and-brass band standing in the bed of a pick-up truck with the wedding party behind them – and the fading lilac shades of sunset before we turn in for the night. 

I'm still hoping to put up some photos, but the connection with LiveJournal is not behaving. I may need to create a separate Picasa album and link you there. More on this later..

Tags: languages, travel - tanzania
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