we went to a Pentecostal church service this weekend and there was a LOT of dancing. I thought this song was appropriate 😉
I decided that this weekend deserved a (hopefully shorter) blog post of its own. In the time since I wrote the last blog post (Friday), my roommate and I went home without sinking feelings in the pits of our stomachs. We experienced all sorts of Tanzanian food our host mama cooked for us (the American consensus in our house is that we’re a fan of pilau, not ugali and dagaa) and taught her how to cook French toast.
my host brother playing with spinach meant for ugali and dagaa
Saturday, we started out the day with a leisurely breakfast, followed by washing dishes and our clothes “the African way”. That took us a solid 3 hours or so. We found out that it was our host sister’s birthday and that she wasn’t doing anything for it, so my roommate and I dug down into out stash and gave her some American candy, which she shared with her siblings and friends.
our laundry is finished…3 hours later
By that time, our friends who are living down the road showed up with some of their host siblings to go on a walk to see the village (technically we live in Arusha, but by “the village” I mean the equivalent of a suburb we live in). We followed our host sisters to their friend’s house through some sketchy territory where the mom insisted on providing us all with soda. My roommate and I talked with our friends’ 23-year-old host brother, which was pretty interesting (he was really interested in how marriage works in America…).
the view a little behind our house
Sunday morning, we went to a Pentecostal church. It was so great. I think I was more comfortable than my roommate was, having been to some Pentecostal services in the US. However, we were the only two wazungu in the church of at least 300, and were called to the front partway through service to introduce ourselves. (This is why we joke that there’s no such thing as social anxiety in Africa.) The kids all sat together on benches on the other side of the church, and we were sitting towards the back. We got stares for the full 3 hours of service, and probably about 40 kids gave up on craning their neck and stood up, turned around, and sat on the bench the other way so that staring at us behind them would not take so much effort.
the road to church
After church, we headed home and spent the majority of the evening working on homework, until our friends again showed up with their host sister and brother. The sister enjoyed playing with our host sister, and the brother kinda hung out awkwardly because our friends told us that they wanted to have a little distance from him, as he had asked for the “bride price” of one of them (it’s possible that there is internal laughter mixed in with my sympathy for her awkward situation) and came because he didn’t believe the women were capable of making the walk themselves (my roommate and I make that walk every morning). We spent the afternoon “doing homework”, i.e. getting all of the girl talk in English out of our system. They left, and our host mama finally served us a small meal-banana bread with the best fruit juice you’ve ever had in your life (I’ve been constantly ridiculed and tattled on for “eating too little”).
my roommate doing homework with our adorable distraction
I think I’m on the tail end of my culture shock. It was a good weekend, and I know it’ll be a good week.