Monday, 16 April 2012

Pasaka (Easter) weekend...

I’m so behind on blog posts, and consequently, I’m forgetting all the funny stories I want to tell you! But I’m sure everyone understands that when you’re super busy doing things it’s hard to find time to write about them! This post is about our Easter weekend.

I’m not gonna lie, it was a weekend of rest. Friday especially, Dad and I spent most of the day reading (and me, writing the previous blog post!) For anyone who’s interested, since arriving (and on the plane from Dubai – Ethiopian Airlines doesn’t have movies) I’ve read ‘The Hunger Games’ (loved it), and Nelson Mandela’s autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ (loved it also), and some trashy novel Dad bought. I bought ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ ages ago, and honestly dreaded reading it…I though it would be painfully boring in parts. I read the first few chapters which were surprisingly awesome, but then life got in the way of leisurely reading, so I thought this trip would be the perfect opportunity to finish it (well, I started it again). I was not disappointed. Interesting to read about so many African presidents who have streets in our area named after them (Nyerere, Haile Selassie, Kaunda, Ben Berra – who actually just died the other day, sad face). I’ve run out of books to read, unless I want to read ‘Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul’, which Aike just handed me. What the??? 

On Saturday, we ventured into town for a look around, and I took Dad on his first trip to the Maasai craft market. I don’t know what he was expecting, but he could not believe the place! It is pretty overwhelming the first time you go. There are about six long aisles of tiny stalls selling paintings, carvings, jewellery and all sorts of African artefacts, as well as plenty of salespeople “Karibu! You are welcome. Free to look, free to touch”…it had bloody well wanna be! We did a lot of “just looking, not shopping today, hapana asante (no thank you), sitaki (I don’t want it).” We easily spent over an hour there, and only did two aisles. We’ll definitely head back before the trip is over.

On Easter Sunday we woke up to tinsel, coloured banners, and fake flowers with a note from Mama. We had an amazing Easter feast. I must have eaten too much, because I can’t remember what else we did that day!

Flowers from Mama


Easter Feast!

What was used to cook the Easter Feast

On Monday we were supposed to go with Mama and Baba to Moshi to check out the hall where Catherine’s wedding will be, but Mama realised we couldn’t do that on Easter Monday, so it was been put off. Luke (the long-term volunteer at Mama’s) was taking his kids to the Meserani Snake Park, so we decided to go as well. We took Aika, Catherine, and Anatoly with us. Luke said he’d meet us there, as he was taking the kids to get haircuts first (which ended up costing about $3.50 for seven haircuts!). So Aika, Catherine, Anatoly, Dad and I navigated our way to the main dalla dalla stand and caught the Monduli dalla to Meserani. The snake park is a great place to take the kiddies (reminds me of Billabong Sanctuary in the Ville), but the oldies enjoy it too! It has some massive pythons, as well as scary snakes like the black mamba (star of my favourite book ‘The Power of One’), the puff adder, and the spitting cobra. They also have crocodiles, tortoises, owls, a vulture, and a baboon that shakes hands! 

Watch your fingers!

Pleased to meet you Catherine!

See the massive lizards in the tree above Anatoly's head?


Aika's new necklace

The park also has a Maasai museum where you learn about the Maasai culture. Some disturbing facts: Maasai boys are circumcised in their teens, and they are not allowed to cry out in pain, or even shed a tear when they are circumcised. If they so much as mutter an “owie” they are no longer considered a part of the community and will never be married. Yowsers. After learning all of these fun facts, we went on a camel ride! Catherine and Anatoly went first, followed by Aika and me. When Aika and I took off, Anatoly ran after us yelling and crying...naw!! There was a massive cattle sale on next door, and one of the bulls got loose and was racing around the paddock when Aika and I were on the camels…scary for a moment but the African rodeo clowns soon sorted him out. Despite not spending much time with Luke and his kids, we ended up on the same dalla dalla back to Arusha. Anatoly, who is usually full of beans, zonked out on the way home.

I'm laughing because I'm that bull headed this way??

Maybe now is a good time to tell you all about Anatoly, Catherine’s son. I’ve already told you about how he ran out to greet us, despite not having met us before. Well, we’ve been best friends ever since. My goodness, this child is freaken adorable. If you’ve seen Monsters Inc, he is exactly like Boo! In that he doesn’t speak Swahili or English, he has his own language, and babbles constantly. He does say “Mama”, “Bibi”, “Joe” and “Babu” (he calls both Baba and Big Al ‘Babu’!) And I honestly think he has just started saying “Kasey” though it sounds more like “Dasey.” He is a ladies man for sure. Prime example: on Easter, he climbed up onto the table and got the flowers Mama put there for us, gave them to me, then puckered up for a kiss! Such a cutie. 


His only downfall is he’s a little demanding, and makes some serious noise to get want he wants…but as soon as he’s got it, he gives you the cutest smile and all is forgiven. He had this bad habit of climbing up on the table while we’re having dinner, but I’ve managed to get him sitting on a chair, where I feed him bits of chipsi and watermelon…and recently he’s started eating beans! Funny Anatoly story: the other afternoon he ran out of the bedroom with no clothes on. Joe says “Ah! The Gods Must Be Crazy!!” and starts comparing Anatoly to the Sans Bushmen in the movie. Hilarious. Cute Anatoly story: Tom, the English guy, asked me “what was that Aussie song that was really massive a few months back, with the guy and the girl singing?” So I get out my iPhone and play Gotye, and Anatoly starts singing along (in his own language). The video is pretty poor quality, and needs to be rotated but I don't know how. Still, super cute.

Gotye ft Anatoly

So that was pretty much our Easter weekend! Probably should have gone to church at some stage, but sitting through a Swahili sermon is kinda pointless. So I just said my silent ‘asante sana’ to Jesus. Heri kwa sikukuu ya Pasaka! Happy Easter! Schmappy Schmeaster!

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