Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Elective 41. Its a trap!

I am woken at 7.30, still feeling under the weather, by a car sent by the reverend who had invited me to a choir competition some time ago. This was the reverend who had invited me to dinner. I remembered the date as being yesterday, and assumed I had missed it by going on the safari. As the car arrived, I just guessed that I had got the dates wrong, and quickly changed to get into the car. Once I was in the car, I was told that I was being taken to another Sunday service. This meant that I had to sit through another five hours of Swahili preaching. I think they have sensed (with their Christian-sense [what else]) that I am not religious, and are either punishing me, or trying to convert Me. On the journey home, I buy a papaya for the house, and get a marriage proposal from one of the college students taking bible studies, though a translator is needed for this proposal.

The church service had just started by the time I arrived and snuck in.

The service I saw was very similar to before, but now I had seen it once before, it has lost a lot of its novelty and was just a bit boring. It has succeeded in giving my time in Tanzania (now drawing to a close) a cyclical feel to it though. I started with events such as a medical safari and the Sunday service, run by the bishop in Tanzanian, and now I finish with them. On the way home, after picking up a papaya at the local market, I am in a 4X4 owned by the bishop with a couple of the students who study bible studies who need to come to the village the hospital is in. They ask me more and more personal questions, through the driver who can talk some english, moving from whether I was married, though what I would do if I married someone here (stay or take them home) all the way to whether I would marry one of them (they didn't seem too fussed about which one). Very surreal, and I unfortunately had to say no. The first time someone has propositioned me, but I don'e exactly feel all that special...

The church has a lot of singing from the choirs who were down in Tanzania for the choir competition, which I missed yesterday, from cultural songs to break dancing.

Once home I do my last clothes wash. I will be looking forward to having washing machines and clothes pegs again. As I am picking my clothes out of the dust under the clothes line where they were immediately blown after putting them up, the bible studies student who approached me to chat with after the failed football game on Sunday arrives with some of his disciples. I mean friends. I don't know why he is here, I do remember he said he would come around, though I don't think he ever said why. After the 5 hour service this morning, I am almost hoping that he will ask if I am religious (I am a touch annoyed with the church at the moment and would welcome a theological debate) but he can either sense my hidden plan (damn Christian-sense) or cannot remember himself why he came, as less than five minutes after sitting down in our living room, he thanks me and leaves. I still don't understand Tanzanians one bit. It is a 20-30 minute one way walk for him and his friends from the main part of the village to where I live, and there is nothing else down this end of the village...

Following his departure, two nurses arrive to live with us from other areas of Tanzania. One is acting as an external examiner for the nursing school first year exams, while the other is acting as a teacher of psychiatry for the second year nursing students. Having seen no mental health diagnoses or treatment here at all, this is a good sign. They both seem friendly fun people, but the hospital has obviously made a lot more effort in making their room nice than it did for ours. Jealous! While the nurses are moving in, I find Dolittle outside, clucking at Chief's chickens who wander around this part of the village, pecking at the dirt and making him eggs. That girl is either very strange, or has a unique talent. Perhaps a bit of both.

In other news, we are currently running very low on supplies. Our bottled water supplied by the hospital ran out 2 days ago (have been buying our own), and the toilet paper has run out, we are using my emergency supply. The last two days meals have been pasta. Blergh. The nurses have been given their own bottled water, loo paper and are given their own meals in their rooms from the nursing school. I guess they want to treat the external examiner as well as possible, to get the best deal for their students. This does work to our favour with regards to the washing water though. We haven't had water to wash in for a couple of days, but now they have arrived, more water is bought to the house from the lake, letting me do my laundry. Hopefully our other supplies will be restocked soon!

The new flat mate adult nurses have their room done up as above, with sickly sweet pictures and cuddly animals. I would laugh, if I wasn't so jealous!

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