Hello again everyone! Today is Friday, and tomorrow officially marks the "two weeks in Africa anniversary" for me. I know, it's all very exciting. I feel like my time here has passed so quickly, and yet I also feel as though I've been here for ages.
Yesterday I got to see the very ridiculous American Embassy for the first time. If you didn't know already, the old embassy was bombed in 1998- so the new embassy is nothing short of a very formidable fortress. Everything on the grounds is directly imported from the US- even the grass! And, apparently most of the establishment is underground. Anyway, every Thursday night, the very bored, very sheltered marines posted there host "Marine Night". A very popular event, the marines provide a bar, pool table, music, and an outdoor movie- (Ice Age II for last night). Some 40 people of all ages and all ethnicities were there last night...pretty impressive. Ironically, the security is apparently much more lax after hours- I know that I walked right through security without getting my back checked or xrayed...strange. I suppose I look innocent enough. haha
Today, I went to a breakfast debate at the UNICEF building hosted by the Policy Forum. To get into this, I was patted down, my bag hand-searched, and then I was personally escorted to the room by a guard. Yeah I know, a little extreme. I guess UNICEF has more to hide than the US Embassy?? The debate proved to be really interesting: "2006/2007 Budget, Gateway to a Better Life for Every Tanzanian?" The overwhelming consensus was: "no!" I suppose there's still a lot of improvement to be done.
Today is American housemate/coworker Ruth's birthday. We are heading to a (cheap) but "fancy" dinner tonight with thirty something coworkers, fellow expats, favorite taxi drivers, friends, friends of friends, singing guards, and anyone and everyone. Tanzanians (and temporary Tanzanians) love to celebrate! Tomorrow is the real occasion though, as we are hosting a "revert to your childhood" party in honor of her birthday and the two new housemates- (Michele #2 and I). I believe they are calling it the "house re-heating/Ruth is old" party. (They already had a house warming party)
Oh yes, there's going to be Minnie Mouse cake, Pin the Tail on the Elephant, home-made twister, and oh, so much more. I kind of wonder if our singing guard will be the featured entertainment (yikes..) We are all very excited
Anyway, I must say goodbye for the weekend. I hope to have many exciting stories to share upon my return...see you monday!