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

Noloholo, Day 27: Second language skits, an impossible shade of blue

Whole flocks of birds come to visit the patio ponds that have remained faithfully filled by Tobiko. One particularly gregarious group of grey-colored starlings crowds wing-to-wing around the edge, watching one another plunk down with a hollow “plop!”, before shouting loudly across the dish and pushing for their own turn. They retire to a nearby acacia, where they fluff their feathers wetly in quiet pleasure. The emerald spotted wood doves replace them at one bowl, while a flock of some 40 Reichenow’s serins, each one smaller than my fist and with a tiny piping voice to match, jockey for their own positions at the drink tank.

The clouds today are like ships in a regatta, drifting past the curves of the patio-land in careful formation. I wander with them for a little while, moving between the office, patio and my tent as I work. I’m not sure where I got this proclivity from – perhaps from my treks from building to building during my time at Google, or from my cross-campus journeying at Duke, or perhaps it comes from even further back in my life history. At any rate, I think best and am most happy when I can work in different places throughout the day.

Buddy can tell we are going a little stir crazy in the office, and we go out for a game drive with a new team of Hadsa (they rotate every 3 months so the teams can go back to their families). We see buffalo, a whole little herd of greater kudu (about 8 of them), zebra, a mated pair of ostrich, and a steenbok. The loop we drive is a new one that we haven’t done before. It takes us out to the middle of an enormous, golden field and down into a karongo (creek crossing). The sky at sunset is the most impossibly beautiful shade of blue I have ever seen, so blue it makes my heart hurt. I think, “I hope I can remember this color forever.”

We have dinner when we get back, and then go to the Friday night Noloholo Scholars performance. The kids have been doing English language skits all week, and as our gift to them for letting us watch, we perform a skit in Swahili for them. I write it, so I know the grammar is godawful, but we get through it and the kids are totally delighted. The title translated to “Bad tourist, good tourist” and featured us in the first half with alter egos that hated animals (Christy), hated local food (Andrew), and was afraid of dirt (Me). Kelly, of course, was our frustrated tour guide. The second half was more our normal selves, enjoying a trip to the town of Loibor Siret. Anyway, it was fun, and writing out the composition of the skit actually made me begin to pick up more Swahili. Maybe I will start writing compositions, just for fun, and having Neo or one of the other staff correct them for me. After the skits, we watch a slide show of photos that Christy took of the kids during the week, before we disperse into the night. The moon is tiny but light-house bright, and we can barely see the stars.

I can hardly believe it is Friday now. The days are busy and begin to fly. I’m glad for it, because it means I am finding my place and value here.
Tags: travel - tanzania
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