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Ashe oleng!

November 26th, 2010 hmcane12

8:00 AM: I wake up feeling great because I haven’t slept in past 6:30 AM since being in Kenya

8:30 AM: After a quick breakfast, I hit the trail. Kili was stifling any chance of cloud cover…it was a beautiful thing

9:30 AM: I sit on my banda porch and contemplate how Thanksgiving would play out in Africa that day.  Some people in Africa seemed really into it while others were not very captivated

10:00 AM: After a week straight of field research, I decided laundry needed to be done.  After the soapy soak and first attack of the scrub brush, I began the second cycle.

10:30 AM: Faucet turns off, squawking commences.  I had my back turned and was a little bit unaware of what other events were taking place that morning (it was only 10:30 give me a break) but the staff had finagled a way to round up two extremely robust turkeys in honor of our American holiday.  For lack of other positive remarks…at least it was quick?  Daniel, my fellow Instigator teammate and SFS Swahili teacher grabbed a Maasai knife (the one I bought for you Ian and Ev) and executed one clean chop .  Not to be graphic but the body moved for about 6-8 full minutes after the detachment . Although I am guilty of not eating the meat, it was kind of cool to actually see where our meat was coming from and that they weren’t pumped with hormones and force fed with iron hollow tubes but anyway. It was quite the way to start Thanksgiving here in Africa.  While the staff prepared, along with a few other ambitious students, we went to a bar in Kimana to celebrate our holiday!  After we got back to our site, our chumba turned into a Thanksgiving wonderland . I know it’s not extravagant but this room is usually just stained brown with the light-espresso burlap and dark timber structures.  It was the first time I’ve actually realized that fall had come and gone in the states without me.  Although nostalgia was whisking through the air, it was so exciting because again, as cliché as it sounds, the students and staff here are without a doubt my family from another mother…does that phrase work?? But really, I have never felt this level of comfort and pure empathy with anyone but my own family so it was pretty cool to have this experience with them .  In order to truly capture the American Thanksgiving, upon entrance into the chumba, we were given a family member role that we had to carry out the whole meal. For example: the overzealous mother that is way too turkey-happy , the crazy aunt that is way too type A and obsessed with her children’s accomplishments, the father that seems to only get himself into sticky situations , the Grandma and Grandpa that only want pictures, pictures, and more pictures of their grandkids, and of course, I was the newlywed that was too in love to give a care in the world about Thanksgiving …and Kat was my child…figures.  Also guilty, I threw up after dinner. Yes I am dead serious.  I have never ever thrown up from overeating so I was actually genuinely concerned.  But that didn’t stop me from devouring the pumpkin pie later that evening.

☮ Hannah

[Ashe oleng: thank you/I am thankful in Maa]

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