Two mornings ago, I met a lady who checked into the guest house the evening before. She asked me what the trick to the shower was, and I told her that it works at random times, so she must fill her two buckets at all times. she had the "oh, I see, that's very interesting " look. Then, she was even more surprised to find just bread and tea for breakfast. When I experienced this encounter, I realized how far I've come. I definitely saw my earlier self in her, but now, I would rather use the bucket water to shower, since the small dirt sediments of tap water would sink to the bottom of the bucket.
The downside to this accustomization is that those that at first seemed to be fun stories to write and share are becoming ordinary routines. Everyday, there are encounters or moments that are personally valuable, but wouldn't end up here, or anywhere else, because it's just another part of daily life.
For example, on communication: I try my best to speak Swahili because I've realized that both students and teachers react completely differently when I speak Swahili. They're more responsive and friendly, and such attention is better than the lack of it. Having been here for only three months, my vocabulary is extremely limited, but knowing the words "masiha magumu," or "tough life," has served me well. One day, I saw that Mr. Kombe's shirt had a hole on the sleeve. He said it was an ironing accident, but I said it's because of "maisha magumu," and since many clothes worn by teachers here have wears and tears, a group of teachers with maisha magumu was formed. Then, the term spread to ubiquitous things with nominal difficulty, such as teaching a class, or hot weather. It seems that this joke of maisha magumu should be dying down by now, but it's continuing thanks to Madam Mambo's keen attachment to it, and I'm definately the top beneficiary.