Saturday, January 30, 2010

At War

There is a gaggle pack pride group of bodaboda drivers who loiter around and play pool table right down the street from where I work. I pass them twice (at least) a day and always refuse their offers of "Tugende?" We go?

No. We don't go.

Sivuga bodaboda. Njagala okutambula buli lunaku. I don't ride bodaboda. I like to walk every day.

While I wish, every freaking day during my 45 minute walk to work and my 45 minute walk home, that I rode bodas, I can't. It's against Peace Corps policy for volunteers to ride motorcycles. Too dangerous (says Peace Corps). From what I understand, it's Peace Corps policy worldwide that volunteers are not allowed to ride bodas. In the past, like when our country director Ted Mooney served, volunteers were issued their own motorcycles, but no longer. Too many volunteer deaths lead to a worldwide ban on motorcycles. So I walk. A lot. Everywhere.

The boda drivers in town have certainly noticed. While they've slowly started to realize that I don't take bodas, they now pester me about my "fear" of them.

"Why do you fear them?"

"You don't know how to ride boda?"


The other day my co-workers went out for lunch because the girl who cooks didn't come to work that day. As we walked past the group of boda guys my supervisor overheard them talking.

Supervisor: *laughing*
Me: What?
Supervisor: The boda drivers. Did you hear what they said?
Me: No. What'd they say?
Supervisor: They said you've launched a war against them. They're trying to figure out what they did.
Me: Oh.

So apparently I'm At War. Never knew.

I'm determined to be nicer to the boda guys from now on, even though they make me so very angry during each encounter. The harassment female volunteers get from boda guys is intense. Kissy-kissy noises, whistles, "hey sexy momma," yelling at me in a weirdly high-pitched voice "Muzungu we go?". There's no end to the harassment from boda guys every day. They find immense pleasure in making white girls uncomfortable. And they do it well.

I guess that's all on that subject for now.

I'm going to post some pictures from Christmas now. They're in Reverse Order because I uploaded them wrong. So you can start from the bottom and work your way up and it'll probably be more right, time-wise.

My Christmas was spent in a small town about 40k from me at an orphanage. There's a Peace Corps volunteer that works at the orphanage and school who invited anyone who wanted to to spend the holiday with the kiddos. It was a nice way to spend my first Christmas away from home. We made dinner the night before and a Christmas lunch of chicken, meat, rice, beans, spaghetti, irish potatoes, matooke, a bean/maize salad (really good), some type of slaw, and other stuff I've forgotten about.