I got to chat with the other professors that are from SNU, the Dunnington’s, for a little while today. It was nice to have a familiar face. And Dr. Dunnington reassured me that I’m going to do just fine and that my freak-out the first day here was kind of expected. He said that places that have study abroad programs in different countries have people to help walk you through orientation and to explain everything that you’d need to know. Everything is precise and taken care of. At ANU we don’t have a study abroad program yet so when I came in to register I was just taken as just a regular student and didn’t have any special attention or people that even knew that I was just study abroad. They gave me classes that any normal incoming student would get and sent me on my way. Even now, I have to tell people that I’m only staying for one trimester because most of the people think that I’m coming as a full time student, even my professors, it seems like no one was told about me coming.
Mavin really wants to study and get his masters in the States. He told me today that when I go back home tell SNU that he really wants to come and study with them.
Tomorrow we head out for a retreat kind of deal. It sounds like fun but I’m not sure if I’m going to get overwhelmed and shut down. Africa is so crowded. The buildings are smashed together for miles and miles and they have horrible traffic. One of my friends was telling me that sometimes she has to wait 2 hours in a traffic jam and her trip really only should have taken her 20 minutes.
I’m fattening up over here! I came here boney and now I’m getting myself a little paunch. My food baby, I named it Chubly, has returned. Soon my Chubly will turn into muscle and I’ll be a lean, green, fighting machine! I don’t even know what that means: lean, green, fighting machine.
Today was a lot of fun. We went on a retreat kind of thing for the incoming students. We played a lot of games and had a lot of fun. I got a little sun burnt on my neck but that’s the only place. That’s a step up for me! We played a mini game of football while we waited for the bus. We got so in to the game that some lady came over and took the ball away from us because the bus had arrived.
We were driving back to campus and I had the window open and was looking out it. We passed by some kids sitting in the shade on a stump. One of them flipped us off. I don’t know if he was flipping off the bus in general or if he was flipping me off. I think it was me because he looked right at me.
I got frustrated today. The people were telling jokes on the bus but they were in Swahili and I couldn’t understand anything they were saying. I got annoyed that they weren’t talking in English and then I got annoyed at myself that I couldn’t understand what they were saying. One of the girls told me that the jokes wouldn’t have made sense if they had translated them into English. I understand that but it was still frustrating that I couldn’t figure out what they were saying except some random words that I caught.
Several people have commented on how amazed they are that I can sit cross legged. Can they not sit like that?
There were some new friends that I hung out with last night Frankie, Cybil (but I call her Cyborg b/c my mom’s favorite dog was called Cybil so I feel like I’m calling her a dog.), Orly, and Celia. Celia is short and stout and she’s not embarrassed about it and she’s SASSY!! I laugh at Frankie sometimes because he learned “British English”, or whatever it is, so it sounds funny. So instead of “group” he says “grup”, instead of “enemy” he says “enemi” (which I thought he was saying NMI) and “hummer” turns into “hammer”. And Frankie laughs at me because when I’m trying to repeat what he’s saying I say a bunch of stupid stuff. They don’t speak much Swahili because they come from a different country in Africa. I think Frankie and Cyborg are dating and they’re real cute together. (Well, I’m hoping that they’re dating or this could get awkward.) Frankie reminds me of Graham Lilley.
I hate taking showers over here. We don’t ever have warm water, it’s always so cold! I guess that’s one motivation to take a quick shower. I didn’t like taking showers before but now I keep trying to put off taking a shower as long as I can. Usually I try to take a shower during the hottest part of the day.
I’m telling you! I’m really serious! If I don’t join the soccer team or the aerobics class that Isaac invited me to I’m going to come back fat! Their food is quite good and usually filling.
*Isaac is this really tall muscly guy and he’s a total flirt. He likes to have girls in his aerobics, dancing, or yoga class.
We went into Rongai today because my friends had to buy a few things. It was kind of fun but I didn’t get to see too much. They said that there wasn’t really anything interesting just a lot of shops and side markets. Then we loaded into a taxi van thing and rode back to the University.
I found out after we got back from shopping that I washed my clothes wrong. *sigh* So I need to go back to the store and get different soap and another bucket to wash my clothes in.
There was this one girl today that asked me if my skin had stopped bleeding yet. I was confused until later when I figured out that she meant my sunburn.
Tomorrow classes start and I’m excited and nervous.
My friend Joan taught me the word “Hello” in her native language: “Oga”.
Yeah, it was awkward. I asked Frankie if he was dating Cyborg and my friends laughed at me. He said that they weren’t dating. It was very awkward.
Ha! Score! I’m already known here as the tom-boy!
Today was the first day of classes and they didn’t go too badly. In my first class today I was sitting and listening to the teacher when I saw Dr. Dunnington stick his face onto the door window with a big grin on his face, waving at me.
At ANU a Prof. is more respected than a Dr. would be so I’ll have to keep that in mind. Back at SNU Dr. is the respected title and Prof. is just generalized.
I did laundry the right way today. Sarah and Rod Reed bought me a huge stick of soap to use to wash my clothes. I am so grateful for them.
It’s getting a little easier to understand the thick accents. There will be a couple of times where I have to make someone repeat it several times (eventually they just spell it out), and then there are those people that have really thick accents and I have a horrible time understanding them at all.
Sometimes I forget that I’m not black.
I’m craving cookies SO bad right now!! Next time I go to the store I’m buying a HUGE box of them and store them in a tightly sealed container. To get one of my cookies you’ll have to kill me first. No one touches my cookies. Eh, they’re actually called biscuits here.
I finally met my roommate tonight, but she seemed nice. She’s really friendly and was quite chatty. Her name is Carol. At first I was a little nervous that she was going to be unfriendly because when I first met her she didn’t seem interested in me at all, but later tonight she struck up a long conversation which kept me from falling asleep because she didn’t stop talking.
My alarm didn’t go off this morning and I had 20 minutes to have breakfast and get to class. I really shouldn’t have worried too much because my lecturer came 14 minutes late. I was going to give him 15 minutes and then I was going to head back to my room but he came at the very last second and spoiled my joy.
I finally got internet set up on my laptop but it doesn’t look like I will get internet while I’m in my room. Which is a little annoying but I’ll manage. It’s better than trying to fight for a computer in the computer lab.
Last night I was in Judy’s room watching some movies with her when this one girl, Rosanne, came in. My pant leg was hiked up just enough that she could see my ankle and she said, “Iiee! It looks like all of the blood rushed out of your leg! It’s so white!”
Rosanne is also on the football team so she was excited when I told her that I played. She said that they are in need of mid-fielders and was glad that I would be able to play there. Now all I need to do is get in shape!
I want biscuits so bad!! I feel like throwing a temper tantrum because they don’t have any kind of sweet dessert after lunch or dinner!! Just one biscuit! Give us all just one biscuit! I beg you!
And we might not have tea time anymore!! I LOVE tea time! You can’t get me used to tea time and then just take it away!! I’ll start a revolt!
I WANT BISCUITS AND CHIA (aka tea or white tea)!!
I showed my roommate and her friends a gold dollar, a quarter, a dime, a nickel, and a penny. They were kind of fascinated by them. I can’t exchange the change for any money here, they won’t let me, and so I’m thinking that I might just give them out to some people. It seems so funny that they think it’s so interesting but at the same time they probably feel the same way when we’re so interested in their money.