Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Babe Is On His Way

If all goes well I think I have my new career move when I return to the States: pig raising. We just got funding and will soon receive 11 beautiful piglets. By the time I'm through with them Babe won't stand a chance against my piglets' skills. I'm talking jumping through rings of fire and saving small children from rivers. Yeah, they're going to be that amazing. Maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit on my own abilities to pig-wrangle, but I think this one's in the bag. Anyway, I'm working on this project with my AIDS group and we're all really excited...and I'm actually really looking forward to hopefully learning how to do this...but mainly I'll be relying on other people to take care of them. I do envision myself chasing after 11 piglets through the mud in oversized boots. Should make for good stories.

Other things: hmmm...Christmas and New Years were really good. I spent Christmas at my best friend's house with her family. I took along two of my Peace Corps friends. We made stockings and brought along Christmas music to bring Christmas cheer to all! As it turns out it's really hard and weird to explain WHY we put gifts in over-sized socks and then give them to our family. After we went through that we thought Christmas music was the way to really kick off the day! After the three of us made it through about 3 Christmas songs on my IPOD the kids finally sighed really loudly and said "can we listen to Bongo Flava now"...so much for that! I told them they didn't have Christmas Cheer. They didn't seem to care.

The rains have started. I like to think I'm blessing the rains down here...but instead I'm just trying not to fall in the mud. Things are good.


Yeah, so I'm just here hanging out and working on my projects. I'm going to start teaching English again in a couple weeks along with other things. Karibu sana!

-Catherine

Friday, December 4, 2009

Next Step...Iron Man Competition?

Well, I'm back in Tanzania now. Right now I'm hanging out in Dar and I'll head back to my village tomorrow. I pretty much beasted the physical therapy. I was like, pulling cars and throwing tires around like they were pillows. Yeah, I got pretty freakin strong so they sent me home. In all honesty they gave me one of those giant inflatable exercise balls with a print out and sent me on my merry way. I can't even imagine what people are going to think in my village because I'll have to take it to the bike repair man and have him inflate it...and then carry it through my village back home. This could create a number of stares (on top of the fact that people stare at me constantly anyway).

It's good to be back, but I can't deny the fact that KFC and CHEESECAKE was pretty amazing. I watched movies, ate at amazing places, went to the mallS (please note the capital 'S'...there were a couple) and I also spent a day at a cheetah park. Don't hate.

I'm not really sure what the plans are for Christmas but I think I might be a bit too late to plant, grow, then harvest my own Christmas tree, so that tradition might be out.

Happy holidays everyone and I hope to hear from you guys!

Love,

Cat

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Celebrity Rehab

I like to think of myself as an athlete. Someone who really puts in long hours of intense training to increase maximum performance on the field. In reality I have no athletic prowess whatsoever...yet I still manage to inflict bodily harm on myself. I'm currently in South Africa because I can't seem to walk or function correctly, and now I'm here to learn. What did you always tell me Dad? Shoulders back? Stand up straight? Walk like a 'woman'? I don't know...anyway! No worries, I just need some physical therapy and then I'll be back on my way to TZ. I had my first session today where I struggled to keep myself up on a small inflated ball. It probably didn't help that I laughed through the session. It was good though and I definitely think it's going to help.

I think they should do a show about me though. I mean, I basically have Rock Star status in my village...and I AM in rehab now. It could be a hit. It'd be no 'Breaking Bonaduce' but I think I'd at least have a bigger audience than 'Hogan Knows Best'.

South Africa is pretty amazing; a mini-America really. Malls, movies, coffee shops....A KFC!!! WHAT?!?! I'm not suggesting that anyone intentionally harm his or herself...but one should not be too disappointed if they need to come down here for some reason.

So I've been hanging out, eating amazing food, checking facebook way too much and developing a habit of bathing here that is borderline OCD. Things are great!

I hear there's a lion park and a cheetah park where you can pet baby animals, so I think I'll look into that. Don't worry mom, I won't get my arm eaten off. I mean, at least not intentionally.

Well, if anyone is looking for a little vacation right now you are more than welcome to come to South Africa and hang out with me! We'll feed baby lions, swim in the pool, and maybe scalp some tickets to the World Cup. Just think about it...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance?

There's pretty much nothing more amazing than Tanzanian dancing. I don't think I can accurately describe in words what witnessing this is really like. It's more than a show, or mere entertainment...it's an...experience. One I feel I should share with the world. This is my gift to you!

video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Circle of Life

It's been awhile since I've posted BUT the greatest news is that my best friend in the village just had her baby! He's about 3 weeks old now and we're still deciding on a name. My friend likes either Matthew or Steve. Awkward? A bit. I'm trying to extend her options to other strong American names like Gunther and Norbert, but she doesn't seem too into it. Anyway, I'm really excited and considering not returning to the States in a year to stay here and be her housegirl. Just kidding mom....sort of.

-Cat

Monday, July 13, 2009

If You're Happy and You Know It....Stare at the Foreigner

I realize I'm not very reliable on updating this often but I'll try to recap the last couple months.

**Highlight Number 1: Attempting to teach "If You're Happy and You Know It" to a classroom of around 80 primary school students. I think you can imagine how this went. I thought it bombed but it turned out they loved it.

**Highlight Number 2: Attending a community theater workshop to learn how to teach about HIV/AIDS and other issues through theater, music, dancing, etc. After giving an academy award winning performance I decided I'll leave the acting up to the kids in my village....along with the singing and dancing.

**Highlight Number 3: Take Your Daughter to Work Day---or so I'm calling it. I went to my best friend's village to meet her parents and the rest of her family. Her dad slaughters animals everyday so I asked if I could go with him to watch. Despite the grotesqueness of the job I'm still not going vegetarian.

**Highlight Number 4: After the slaying I found myself eating lunch at a member of Parliament's house. Don't ask me how it happened...it just did. They also had electricity...and a tv....and cable! It was a great day.

**Highlight Number 5: WE'RE GETTING A SCHOOL KITCHEN!!!!! I'm pumped. Enough said.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First We Hit the Streets....Then We Take It to the Recording Studio



Well I guess a lot has probably happened since the last time I posted...but I can't really remember everything right now.

The biggest event recently was AIDS testing in my village. It went really well! Doctors from town came and we were able to test over 100 people that day. We worked continuously from 9:30 until 6 o'clock. Unfortunately we weren't able to test everyone that came because there were so many people, but we're looking to test again in the next month. The week before I had the students make up songs and raps to sing at the event. It was pretty much the funniest thing. I was really excited for them to sing and told everyone they were in for a treat! Well, I guess they all got a case of stage fright when it came time for performance because they refused to come and kept running around and hiding behind the building. Luckily, I heard them in class and even took some videos for them...so I can vouch for their talent. They promised next time they would sing. I'm holding them to that.