In Tanzania, visitors are often welcomed with music. Since you are visiting my blog here's some welcoming music.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting used to.....

It's been nice to be home after almost a year away.  But I've also had to get used to a few things.

The first day back from Africa,  I went to the cabinet to get a glass for some Texas Sweet Tea, which I had missed a whole lot.  My parents have had the same drinking glasses for about twenty years.  As I picked up a glass; I screamed in surprise at how my parents' drinking glasses were so huge.  The glasses (they are called French Jelly glasses) are heavy, about 16 ounces, with a 3  inch circumference.  My parents reacted: "WHAT? What happened?"  I yelled, "Your glasses are HUGE!"

And, African standards, those glasses are huge. Most of the drinking glasses I've used in Tanzania have a 6 oz capacity.  And not only are the glasses smaller, but the majority of Tanzanians prefer their drinks to be room temperature or hot--even in the heat of the afternoon. For example, back in February, when I was visiting different homes around the village of Kasikizi, I was offered chai tea. Of course, the word chai just means tea.  But this tea was served scorching hot.  I had to blow on my cup for at least ten minutes before I felt that I wouldn't burn my mouth  I later asked some Tanzanian friends, "Why do you like warm or hot drinks?"  "Because it is hot outside", they said.  I told them it doesn't make sense; "why wouldn't you want to cool down from the heat?" I asked.  But they just looked at me puzzled. They do that a lot.

Another big difference: I'm from Texas, and we use our air conditioner constantly because our summer temperatures range from 90-110 F.  In Bukoba, where I live, the temperatures range from high 70's to 90's. And much like the northern part of the United States, there is no central air conditioning.  We do sweat, and sometimes the temperature gets very uncomfortable.  But I must be getting used to it, because, since I've been back home, I have to carry a coat around because the air conditioning just gets way too cold.

Be Free,


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