It seems so much has happened since my last post. Thus, I have decided to include some random snippings and smatterings of what has happened in the last little while.
Typhoid and Malaria
Contracting typhoid and malaria was NOT a pleasant experience. However, it was much less serious than it sounds. In Canada we view these foreign, tropical diseases as extremely serious and scary, which, if left untreated they can be. But the hospitals here see so many cases of typhoid and malaria that treating them is pretty standard. Medication and rest is pretty much all you need.
We have been doing a lot traveling to the various kitchens lately – some are a fairly long ride from the city centre. The kitchens are spreading so rapidly – there are soon to be 9 open in Mwanza alone – two of them being run by youth groups.
I was surprised to find out how important the probiotic yogurt is not only the health of people living with HIV/AIDS, but for maternal and infant health as well. Four of the kitchens were started through groups of mothers with children who are underweight. The yogurt is a fantastic supplement to their otherwise nutrient deficient diets. Underweight babies who drink the yogurt usually grow to a healthy weight in less than two months.
To get to these kitchens, we take a ‘daladala’ (dalers for short) a sort of public bus – made for 12 passengers – but with a more the merrier attitude. The most packed I’ve seen thus far is a daler with 25 people, 1 chicken. Last week, our seat mate was a full grown goat.
Although language can be a huge obstacle here, it also provides a lot of comedic relief. Last week we went to yoga on the beach at a local hotel – it was beautiful. Afterwards we were talking with the instructor about our plans for the weekend. This is how the conversation went:
Musa (yoga instructor) “We are going to go to the club this weekend so we can shake our bones.” Me “What? We’re going to shake our buns?” “No, we’re going to shake our bones.” “Oh, ok, we’re going to shake our buns.” “No, we’re going to shake our BONES.” “Shake our bongs? Is that a musical instrument? (I make a hand motion like I am shaking maracas). “WE ARE GOING TO SHAKE OUR BONES.” “Yes, we’re going to shake our BONGS. Are they like bongo drums?” “No, no instruments we are going to shake our BONES.” Me: “Ohhhhhhhhh we are going to shake our bones. Like bones in our bodies. I get it.”
Maybe you had to be there. I thought it was hysterical.