I took a very unplanned trip out to another part of the country this weekend. We left Friday morning and drove through 8 hours of mountain villages to get here and I will be here until next Friday. There is lots of work going on here that I wanted to see as well as getting to go to the village where my people originated – more on that after I actually visit.
Being in this town feels like I am in another country. Even though this is the second largest city in my country, the pace of life is very slow and calm here, unlike in the capitol. Every day from 1-3 the whole town shuts down here. It is much hotter here and kind of desert like, so they take the afternoons off to stay inside and rest while it is so hot. There are lots of cobblestone-ish streets and large trees shading the road. It is kind of like being in a desert beach town, minus the beach, and everything is quieter and more relaxed here. It’s just a whole other world and I kind of like it. I especially like not being in the city and not having to do language : )
I went running with another girl here yesterday and literally felt like I was running through the desert. At one point in our run, we came across two Somali men with three camels with loads on their backs. You don’t see that in my city everyday. Camels are everywhere here, as well as lots of donkeys with loads of firewood on their backs being driven by colorfully clothed women. I am definitely enjoying the scenery around here.
We went out of the “city” this morning to work with some countryside women doing some crafts. Paper bead necklaces are fairly popular here to sell to foreigners, so we were teaching these women how to make them. You take colorful pages of a magazine and cut them in triangles, roll them into a tight roll, dip them in varnish, and then string them and they make really cute necklaces. Many of these women had never seen a ruler, never used a pen or drawn a straight line, and never used scissors. I think I always underestimate what I am getting myself into with these kinds of things. It was literally like teaching a little kid how to hold a pair of scissors and cut paper and it is not as easy as you would think. Most of them eventually got the hang of it and rolled some really nice beads. The project is very new, but the end goal would be to sell the jewelry as a way for these ladies to make a profit.
We have lots planned for this week including a trip to a very old village that used to be a trading route for several centuries (and is where my people originated), a hyena feeding adventure, a couple of medical clinics, a couple of feeding clinics, and lots of sight seeing and learning. I hope to keep you updated with the adventures!
If you click on the pictures, you can see a larger image. The first three are of the drive out there. The others were while we were in the new town.
Local watering hole?
Fire wood for sale.
Paper bead making.