Melina and Maria were heading to Arusha so I went with them to the bus station so they knew where to get an Arusha bus. There is no public transportation so all the buses are privately owned and come in many shapes and sizes – some with questionable homemade modifications and repairs. We found a bus on the main road outside the bus station for 2500ts so they jumped on.
I walked to Fifi’s after buying some stamps and PC’s. The post office was being rebuilt inside but was still open. There were no barriers between the new build and the open part of the post office…. The lady who served me look angry that I wanted stamps. Customer service isn’t always a thing. I had another brilliant coffee and wrote a load of PC’s. I also ordered a Chocolate & Banana Crepe as it was international chocolate week. Despite being the only person in there it took around 40 mins and my crepe was accompanied with tomatoes… It was very good though.
I wasn’t feeling so great, so I headed back home via the post office to post the PC’s (I had put stamps on some of them a week ago, but I just kept forgetting to post them!). I got harassed by two guys on my way back. There are always people trying to sell you tours, hotels etc, but normally they leave you alone quickly. One guy was angry because I ignored him, but he want to get money from me for condoms for a NGO – I didn’t believe him. The second guy was really angry. I accidentally knocked over a shoe on the street. I apologised to the person who was selling it. Yet he tore after me and started to shout saying I damaged the shoe (which I hadn’t) and how I needed to pay for it. He followed me to a shop and said he would wait outside to finish this… Luckily he left when I came back outside.
I jumped on a Dala Dala and manged to get the front seat, something I wanted to do for a while – there is far more room in the front. I was feeling really ill and was worried it was from the chicken curry. I drank lots of water and just chilled with the kids at SWIWSCO the rest of the day.
I was concerned about feeling so ill on Saturday, but luckily I woke up the next day feeling fine. The two girls and I all needed to do washing, so we sat down for two hours and did it. The girls found it a bit difficult and I think needed a bit more elbow grease! I rushed to get ready as I was going with Dula and Godfrey to what I thought was a car rally at Memorial Market pitches. The boys thought we could run in and not pay, but this wasn’t the case as all the gates were closed round the market. Loads of kids were peeping at the cracks in the gates or standing on the walls to get a look. It costs 2,000ts (£0.80) each to get in. There were around 100 people at the gate just trying to see what was inside.
As soon as I we entered I realised this was not a car rally. The football pitches and surrounding ground had been turned into a race course. Motorbikes were flying around on the uneven ground. The more dust the made the crazier the crowd went. The crowd would run after the drivers as they went to different parts of the course. The rich people brought their safari vehicles and popped the roofs for a good view – one Indian family put a parasol up in the back of a pickup with some chairs in there too!
We headed to a part of the course which joined a few of the loops (as there four different circular loops to create the course). The cars raced 5km circuit in a time trial format. The fastest time would win a trophy and by winning you would increase your reputation and attract sponsors. I didn’t see them hit anybody but they chased after a few people who ware dare to run across the course. The amount of dust brought up by the cars was quite incredible. Some of the cars were normal cars and I don’t know how they managed to race on such rough ground. The crowd control was done by Policeman with batons. When I car would approach where we were standing police would walk towards us, batons raised, and would all run a few meters back from the tape – This was quite comical and happened every time. The boys would pull me behind them to protect me every time.
The boys seemed to have a great time, and dressed up for the occasion. I had to leave early as I was meeting Amber at Impala hotel for 2. I was running on African time and had to get a Boda Boda to make it on time. We had a great time just relaxing by the pool and swam. We spoke to a few other volunteers who were there. I was preparing a quiz for the kids as an American couple had brought Tic Tacs earlier in the week. There was enough for 1 each but not 2. So this was my way of distributing them fairly.
We left the pool at 4:30 and walked back. Amber was leaving the next day and I was sad to see her go. We got on really well and it was great to have a friend who was a native English speaker. She had come over on a great project and it turned out not to exist here. So she was happy to leave as she had nothing to do here, but sad to be leaving at the same time.
I power walked back, dropped by bag and headed to SWIWSCO. I told Dula and Goddy to have to the kids ready but they were still lying around. With difficulty I rounded them into the front room, moved the tables and picked teams (spreading the older ones and good English speakers). As soon as the quiz started they were brilliant. There were two rounds inside; a language round, English to Swahili and vice versa and questions about the volunteers. I did 2 rounds outside too. In the first each team would nominate 1 person and I would call out a vegetable or animal and they would have to impersonate it as best they could. The final round was a dancing round. They would have to make up a short dance in their teams and we would mark them on their originality, teamwork and entertainment. They didn’t quite get preparing it, but they did dance well when we had the music on. So many of them are such natural dances.
There were 75 points on offer and the results were really close; 42, 44 & 45. This was really pleasing, as was how good they were during the quiz. They seemed to really enjoy it so I will be doing it again. I returned to do some homework after dinner with the kids, some of the little ones were really tired to this was a struggle.
I am getting a bit frustrated at the more aggressive street sellers in town. The car racing was a bit crazy but great fun – the Health and Safety was interesting as was the parking organisation. It was sad to see Amber go as she was the last person to leave who I met at the beginning of my trip. Everybody speaks great English but to be able to speak totally normally was really nice. She is travelling to the UK in October so hopefully our paths will cross again.