Friday, January 15, 2010

Sights and Sounds of Kasulu

I felt that I might be sugar-coating Kasulu a bit too much. So, I wanted to let you know some of the daily occurences that aren't nearly as much fun as sunsets, green hills, and yummy pineapples...

First, there is a family - pretty sure it is extended (aunts, uncles, step half-sisters, etc...) - of rodents living in the ceiling of our house. The nest must be just above my bedroom. This family fights regularly (squealing noises that border on hissing are common), chasing each other around in the middle of the night.  I think that I have actually been able to differentiate their squealing from that of the seemingly hundreds of bats that live in the trees outside my windows.  If you are lucky, the cascading waterfall of rain off the roof from the incessant downpours might drown out the the family feuds and bats feeding.

As for the rest of the house, there are large carpenter ants that love the living room; a leaky toilet, a leaky sink, a leaky pipe and plenty of pools of water that appear overnight - or during rainstorms - from each; ripe avocados and mangos - crash like incoming rockets on the tin rooftops - when the crows of Kasulu aren't dancing what sounds like the can-can there instead.

Then throughout town, there is mud - and more mud. Mud that makes traveling on the roads like walking on ice covered in slippery, slushy snow - only the snow is mud. And it is shades of red, brown, and tan - depending on the length and type of the rain that day.

At the office, there is also a family of rodents in the ceiling - though they are usually quiet during the day. Then there have been locust attacks; wasp nests; mosquitoes that just won't quit; bees; spider webs with big, scary, "never seen that kind of spider before" kind of spiders; swarms of flies; and tiny ants that infest office bathroom seemingly determined to separate the sink from the wall.

Finally, there are the people - small town Tanzania loves Mazungu watching. Favorite sport of the people. They especially love to stare just inches from your face. There is no such thing as personal space here. They walk and stare, stand and stare, even bike or drive and stare - right in step with you.  They can stare for hours, I am sure. I would never even attempt to enter a staring contest with a villager from TZ. I don't even think they blink. The best was when a waiter at a restaurant here sat down at our table after he has served us our food - and proceeded to stare at us while we ate. Apparently he had nothing better to do with his time than to stare at two white girls eating rice and beans...fascinating stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment