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Archive for December, 2005

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Lots of Posts – Time for the Mountain!

Monday, December 26th, 2005

I spent my Christmas writing, as you can see by the 13 or so posts below and in the archieves (look under Kenya/Tanzania). My time, of course, is limited in the cafe, however, so I am unable to upload the images. I will do it, I promise! I’ll also format the other ones, give tags, etc. very soon.

We leave tomorrow to take on the mountain – I’m nervous, but ready. Lots of people have missing bags, so all my gear will be worn, either by me or someone else!

On the mountain, cell phones work, so you can reach me on Donovan’s phone, or Sean’s (number is listed at

Happy New Year!

Church on Christmas Day in Tanzania

Monday, December 26th, 2005

For Christmas service, Deanna and I decided to indulge ourselves in a cultural experience and head to church in the small village where we were staying. It started a little after 10, and only a few of the 40 or so rows were filled. However, by the time I left an hour later, every row was packed, with people sitting on top of each other’s laps, and more continuing to stream in.

Everything was in Swahili, so I wasn’t able to make out much besides ‘Jesu Christu’ and ‘Christmas’. I’m not even sure of the denomination, but I did pick up a few cool things.

Hats: Since hats are usually not allowed in services, all men who were wearing them set them in a row outside of the church before entering.

Sex Divide: Women and most of the children sat on one side, men on another. Once the rows started overflowing, however, there were some women who went to sit across the aisle where there was still room.

Time: Services ended up being around 3 hours, or so (we think). I left after an hour, Deanna left after two. Also, people showed up whenever they wanted. Deanna saw people still walking toward church when she left.

Style: Like in the States, people were dressed up for services. The men’s styles were similar to those you would find at home, but the women’s varied quite a bit. A number of younger women wore early 90s style prom dresses, or outfits you could find at a cheap women’s clothing store,

Singing: The whole congregation seemed to have wonderful voices. Deanna recorded a clip of it – I’ll see if I can post it later. There was a choir lead by an old-style Yamaha keyboard.

Decorations: There were a number of balloons in celebration of the holiday, and colorful plants. Like in many churches in the U.S., a large cross hung in front of the altar.

Slaughtering the Christmas Goat

Monday, December 26th, 2005
For those who don’t know, I’m a vegetarian. A lacto-ovo-pesche vegetarian, to be exact (I eat dairy, eggs and seafood, but no red or white meat). However, I prefer to always introduce myself as a tastarian as well ... [Continue reading this entry]

Easy Foreign Languages to Learn: Swahili

Monday, December 26th, 2005
As an American with no foreign language skills whatsoever, I’ve found the meager amount of Swahili that I’ve picked up incredibly easy to learn. Many simple conversations are a series of greetings, based upon age and singular or plural forms. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Differences Between Kenya and Tanzania

Monday, December 26th, 2005
In my ignorance, I assumed that I would have a difficult time seeing differences between life in Kenya and Tanzania. However, even with my brief stays in only a few select areas, I’ve noticed some seperation. English skill: In Kenya, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Coca-Cola and the Power of Advertising in Kenya and Tanzania

Monday, December 26th, 2005
In my business classes in college, professors often brought up the power of Coca-Cola around the world. I’ve now witnessed it firsthand in eastern Africa. Things Coke does to make a name for itself: Make it cheaper than water: ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pictures I Wish I Could Have Taken: Kenya to Tanzania Overland

Monday, December 26th, 2005
On the shuttle bus, with things flying by at 60 miles per hour, it’s hard to get your camera out in time to take a picture. However, on a bus going 60 miles per hour, there’s nothing else to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Animals, Mobile Phones and Schooling in Kenya

Monday, December 26th, 2005
In Nairobi, I was able to have a few great conversations with Kenyans who gave me a crash course on life in the East African country. I picked up some cool tid-bits of info on lots of different topics. Animals: ... [Continue reading this entry]

Best of Tanzania – Culture Stories

Monday, December 26th, 2005
Travel is very conducive of lots of vinegettes – you had to be there moments that aren’t worth a full post. A warning – these tend of be of the culturally insensitive variety. I really like your breasts: Sean, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Customs and Border Crossings in Tanzania and Kenya

Monday, December 26th, 2005
Entering foreign countries can be a fickle, time consuming process. I didn’t have many issues, but it’s also best to be prepared for difficult situations before you go. Air Arrival into Kenya: I arrived in Nairobi’s international airport via Amsterdam ... [Continue reading this entry]