I could not believe my eyes after peeing on a stick. We were only playing around, and we never had the intention of reproducing. I was young and he was too, so we were unsure about what to do. Newly wed, we wanted to live our lives like partners where one is a full person together. This does not mean we were incomplete without the other, we were simply better together, and ourselves with one another. There was no boundary between his dreams and mine. We shared the pillow and we never fought for the duvet. But this would change with a third human on the table.
I cannot say I am writing this piece in a vacuum, because recent events have sparked a movement that should have happened long ago. Still, after hundreds of years of oppression, black lives are unjustly treated as less valuable. This is unacceptable.
It's been over a month since my last day of classes in university, and it came almost three months ahead of time. "These are unprecedented circumstances". Everywhere. Soon enough, I felt the weight of the news on my shoulders. The threat of the virus became more real. Not only was it in the country, but it had taken hundreds of lives already. Until that day, I was still oblivious to it all, still trying to make the best out of my semester abroad. We all were, it is what exchange students are meant to do.
I open my phone into any app in my device that holds the minute-long pieces of my life and soul. This time it is a streaming app and the limits of music seem endless. There are alleys and tunnels that take you through clicks and likes and radios to the very corners of the stream.
All that Willa wants to do after she climbs Mount Meru is to treat herself at Pizza Hut. I was not very surprised to find a local in the area around Shoppers Supermarket, the Plaza. Around the area one could see parked Land Rovers, unusually clean and seemingly out of place, lacking the African Savannah in the background. Arusha Town is quite a different landscape to explore. It is bustling with cars and its walls remain peeled by unforgiving humidity. The windows oxidized by the tropical rains. It is an urban area that grew despite the biome that surrounds it. This part of nature did not expect to be paved over or built on top.
1) Swahili has increasingly grown on me. The fruit song is as catchy as the "jambo jambo." Sometimes it flows through me, and my pronunciation is noticeably different from that of my peers, being filtered through my Spanish-speaking tongue positions. Jo says you are so incredible! You learn so fast! She is always so encouraging. I have always wanted to learn a third language, and hence I have flirted with French ever since the fourth grade. But after all these years I have still not taken a formal course, and with nobody to practice with, hence je ne parlais pas (I did not speak in French). A few Swahili crash courses and I was up and running. Practicing a language is such a big part of learning. It unravels world views and the things one takes for granted.