Roadside happiness

Last night was spent at the house of some of the locals we befriended. We ate, drank, slept and after we woke up, S. and I went to buy some water. We would only have had to go to the shop next door, but ended up wandering along the street for a long time. The house was situated on a street but resembles a little village with shops lining the main street. We passed a stand selling oranges, bought one, got it peeled and sat down on the dusty steps in front of one of the shops. Today was Eid, the festival that is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. More people than I’ve seen in weeks were out in the streets, wearing their best clothes. And while we were sitting there, munching on our oranges and letting the sun shine on our faces, I was overcome by an intense feeling of contentment. This was right. This felt right. I felt like I belonged here. I belonged on this dusty street with my old clothes and holes in my shoes.

We moved on and tried to get some Chai and Chapati for breakfast – a task that turned out to be harder than imagined. When we finally sat down with both, the tea and the Chapati, we felt accomplished. We’re trying our best, and it’s often frustrating, often hard, but simple moments like this morning make it all worthwhile.

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Roadside Chapati

Our chapati making session went great!

I could not be happier. When we got to the restaurant – souvenirs and chocolate from our home countries in hand – the cook launched into an explanation of how to make these pancakes. He told us the ingredients, showed us how to make it and when we asked if we can buy these now he told us “No, not these, I want you to make them yourselves!”

And so we did.

We had so much fun and such a good time. Lots of people started to gather around the restaurant to see what these three “Mzungus” were doing there.

We went back to have dinner tonight, asked about the ingredients of the tea they’re serving every night (spiced black tea with lots of ginger and cardamom). It is pure and utter perfection. To the point where I have to put the cup down, take a deep breath and sigh from happiness because my heart is just so full.

We also asked about the porridge they serve and our new friend agreed to show us how to make it after he comes back from his stay at home. So much goodness. So much happiness.

I’m leaving for the north of Tanzania tomorrow. Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater planned. Sleeping in tents, early morning sunrise in the Serengeti and Banana Beer were things mentioned in regards to this trip. I could not be more excited.

I will not take my netbook with me, so the next update will follow when I get back from this trip, around the 28th, maybe even a day or so later :)