So our first two days have been pretty exciting. Meghan and I have already been through most of the orientation type things, so we’ve have been given free reign yesterday and today.
Saturday morning the AFLI students were given tours of Stone Town and since Meghan and I already know our way around we were allowed to have the morning to ourselves. We had planned to go to the beach and do yoga, head to the market to buy breakfast, and walk around Stone Town. However, jet lag got the best of us and neither of us woke up until 11:30! We had to meet for lunch at 12:30, so we didn’t have time to do what we planned. Bumma. After a small orientation session we had the night to ourselves. We walked around a bit and made our way back to the MaruMaru. We fell asleep again around 5pm and didn’t wake up until 8. I’m learning that jet lag kind of ruins any plans you might have. We hit up one of our favorite restaurants, Radha, for dinner and then walked around Forodhani. There is a new seaside restaurant nearby so we had a drink and celebrated (how awesome our lives are.)
We returned to the MaruMaru and bought a bottle of wine and shared stories with an AFLI student, Allison.
We moved out of the MaruMaru today and went to SUZA to register and fill out immigration forms. It turns out that our Residency permits from last year don’t expire until August 2015, so we didn’t really have to do anything, but watch everyone else fill out paperwork. We then toured SUZA and actually got to go into the library next to American Corner, which we never went into last year. Of course, the first book I found was named “Being Maasai.” I have developed a slight obsession with the Maasai people since coming here last year.
Then we had a half hour break so Meghan and I wandered to a small restaurant and had an awkward interaction trying to order Orojo (not sure if I’m spelling this correctly), but in the end it all worked out and it felt good to be able to function independently. We hurried back to SUZA only to find out that the AFLI students were taking placement tests, which we didn’t have to do. So we had another hour to kill so we walked around and picked up some essentials. I bought a ring to wear as a decoy to ward of men from asking if I will be their first, second, or third wife. The entire day was taken up by reuniting with all of our Walimu and friends throughout Stone Town. My Swahili is coming back to me pretty easily, although I do need to work harder on remembering everything I’ve learned.
We returned to SUZA, waited for lunch, and then waited for out families to show up. Mama Shadya and Lubna came to pick me up and brought me to their newly built house. As it was expected it is HUGE and pretty fabulous. I have my own room, although I’m not staying in the apartment upstairs because there is an Arabic student renting out one of the rooms. My bed is ginormous and it could comfortably fit about five of me. I have a video of my room that hopefully I can upload if the Internet cooperates.
Tomorrow the AFLI students are doing oral interviews, so again, Meghan and I aren’t required to be there. I don’t really know when we are supposed to show up, but I’m sure we will get to fool around most of the day.