Now that I’ve lived on campus a solid two weeks, let me tell ya a little about life at the University of Iringa…
We’re now on more of a schedule, which is pretty normal with about 3-5 classes a day. I start class at either 8 or 8:50 am, which is actually nice because it forces me to get up with the morning sunshine (unless it’s monsooning). There are only 4 of us in each class, because we’re on a different schedule than the Tanzanian students, unfortunately. I enjoy all of my classes, the professors are really laid back and take their time when they teach, which is something I appreciate. Professor Ilomo is an awesome guy–he teaches my Pre-history, Myths, and Legends class. After class one day he said he’d see us at volleyball on Saturday, which he did. So I played volleyball against my professor:
The sports are probably my favorite thing so far. There’s basketball every day, rugby on Wednesdays, volleyball on Saturdays, and cricket on Sundays. Rugby is by far my favorite. It’s touch rugby, and we play from 5-7ish so we see the sunset every time. You can also hear the Muslim’s call to prayer at that time, which I think is really cool. Cricket was fun because I’ve never played before, let alone knew what it was. Last Sunday, there were two cute little kids playing by the field, so I brought my Frisbee to them and started having a catch. They were having the time of their lives; they’ve probably never seen a Frisbee before!
Dorm life is so different from in the U.S. First of all, we wash all of our clothes by hand in buckets and hang them to dry outside. It’s a lot of work! Really makes you appreciate washers and dryers. On top of that, you can’t always be sure there will be water. It has gone out a couple times, so you just have to try again at another time. There is no hot water, so we take cold showers (bucket showers). A lot of the girls have coils they plug into the wall that heats their water before showering, but I don’t really mind the cold water. It’s actually pretty refreshing after a long, hot day. Another difference is the toilets. People call them “squatty potties” and they’re basically holes in the ground, not raised seats like western toilets. Some places you go have actual seats, but it’s mostly squatty potties.
The bugs here must be mutated or something because I’ve never seen anything like them before. I didn’t even know moths bigger than phones existed before coming here (picture included). A trip to the bathroom isn’t complete without discovering a new species of beetle, moth, or even bird (yes there is the occasional bird). Stray dogs even wander into our bathroom from time to time! The trick to bucketing (showering) is to go into it with the mindset that the bugs are your friends, just accompanying you while you bathe. Coexist with them temporarily, then run into your room and shut the door.
One last thing I can’t forget to mention is one of the most delicious foods here, Chipsimayai. “Chipsi” are chips (i.e. French fries), and “mayai” is eggs. It’s basically a French fry omelet, which I love. There’s a stand off campus that makes it with a bunch of grilled veggies, and they even make their own “pili pili” (hot sauce—may fav). I plan on recreating this meal once I return to the states. Oh, and the samosas are amazing, of course—hence my blog name. Here are some pics!
I’ll leave you with this beautiful picture from an evening of cricket… Baadaye!