Thought it was time to stop blogging about what I miss and talk a bit about what I am enjoying out here.
Last night I enjoyed a walk to the market with James and his wife Pauline (not to be confused with Sr. Pauline) two other IT teachers at the college. Tuesday and Friday are market days in Tala. We wandered down the edge of the tarmac road talking in a lovely relaxed way. Pauline likes to test my Kiswahili and they were threatening to give me a local name. One old gentleman I met on a previous walk into town passed us on his bycicle. “Hello Mark, how are you?”, he shouted.
“I’m fine, how are you?”, I replied.
“Sawa, sawa, Bwana“, he retorted smiling as he trundled down the road. Pauline told me that that was a very friendly form of address. I already liked the old gentleman for his beautiful smile. I wish I could remember his name.
At the market I bought some fresh fruit and veg. Here are some of them, I challenge you to identify all three varieties!
One market stall man offered me some of his kitheri (maize and beans, but this time with potatoe too) while I bought onions and fresh corriander from him. Kitheri is, in fact,the most enjoyable local dish I have encountered so far. His, with the potatoe, was even nicer than the one that the cook at college prepares.
On the way back from the market I had another co-ordinated serenade from small children by the side of the road. These were different sizes and looked like a family, though I’d guess the oldest was 7 (everyone looks younger than their age here). They had lined up in front of their house and waited until I was directly in line with them, then delivered their volley: “Goo-da’hee-fning!” they shouted together.
I smiled. Oh boy did I smile. I had seen them lining up there and had not turned my head to look as I suspected they were abotu to engage me somehow. Expecting another “Mzungu” greeting I thought I’d wait and see. This one cracked my synical heart.
“Good evening, how are you?”, I responded.
“We are fine!”, they giggled and ran back to their house.