how do you spell Misungwi?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the doctor is out

So one result of the move of all the street vendors in mwanza town is that the doctor is gone too - the guys who sold me apples and carrots are mostly moved from their former station, though yesterday I bumped into one of them who sold me some delicious apples [i've already eaten 4 of them]. He didn't call me doctor though, I think they only do it when I'm leaving the office and it looks more doctorly of me, not when i'm just walking around Mwanza like any old schlep.

Speaking of Mwanza, I recently got a chance to visit a part of town where a lot of people live but I'd never been, mostly because it is a collection of sort of scattered homes that go STEEPLY up into the rocky hills of the city. The area is called 'mabatini', which means 'at the corrogated steel roofing' I have no clue why. It was pretty interesting, parts of it reminded me of Russia [though not the Soviet housing blocks], but in the sense where a home can look like shit on the outside but be really nice inside.

I was lucky to have some young guys in town for the past month on vacation from their advanced high school studies. Tuesday i hung out with them until around 10pm, way late for me, just shooting the shit and hanging out. And talking about things that, while not rocket-science, were at least somehow thought provoking. It was nice, I miss that sort of stimulation sometimes, an earnest exchange of ideas about interesting and important topics. But now they're gone, so back to same old same old.

I'm still running. I go with Alex and his younger brother. Alex is an electrician who is still pretty young, and both of his parents have passed away, so he is the breadwinner for like 5 younger children. He works with his younger brother together to make some money. He has a stuttering problem, which I think may be psychological, and he likes kung-fu. Him and his brother are exercise fiends and they've been routinely kicking my ass, but I'm doing a decent job now at least trying to somehow keep up with them, and they're really fun to hang out with. He's also dating one of my students at the secondary school - i'm not thrilled about that, but at least I'm in a position to advise him about condom use and marriage and planning his goals/budgeting etc. Oh, and he's a good dresser so we're going shopping in Mwanza next week. Now any of you who know me know how much I hate shopping, but I haven't bought any new clothes for 2 years - yikes! and handwashing is damaging on the fabrics. So the time has come.... i might actually be loathing that more than our 6am runs.


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