Rainy season has almost officially started! Hmm, actually, I don’t know if there is an official start to this business, but I feel like if there were it would be close. Its almost official start is marked by a funny story. It was a Sunday, to be precise. I had had a very busy day walking all around. My dog has been more crazy than normal for whatever reason (I am blaming it on a big moon) and for this; neither of us has been sleeping so well. I usually take Bride on short walks in the hills by my house. I have only taken her to the village once. Put a white girl in the middle of nowhere, Africa and you’re going to get some stares. Put her walking a dog on a leash with a collar and you are going to get hardcore jaw drops. The last time I attempted this, I got so many stares, questions and yells I decided never to do it again. This was when I first arrived at site so I thought it was time to give it another chance. Tanzanians really dislike dogs. Even the ones who say they like dogs, don’t really…or at least in a different way than I like dogs (she is my bestie)!
We walked everywhere, Bride and I. She is really good on a leash, and is super friendly. As we walked, people ran, people laughed, people tried to buy her, children cried, one guy informed me that I should eat her. It wasn’t a huge success, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Bridge and I were completely beat after the 5-hour walk around. We headed home. I arrived home and started my daily routine. Light the jiko to heat water to shower, read a bit, think about dinner, etc… I changed into some comfier clothes and decided to do some exercises as I waited for my water to get hot. I have this yoga mat that I put right in front of my front door to do these exercises. I am doing said exercises when the rain starts. It started as a sprinkle at first and then quickly escalated into a downpour. I heard a bunch of students begin to gather on my porch to escape the shower.
Now, here is where my problem arises. There is a BIG window on my porch looking into my house and I had opened the blinds earlier in the day. These ‘comfier clothes’ I had gotten in, by American standards, are totally un-scandalous. Workout shorts and a tank top. By Tanzanian standards, I was naked. If I got up to put more clothes on, I would have to walk within view of the students through the window. They started knocking at the door and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t open the door, obviously, and I couldn’t get up for fear that they would see me, so I just sat there. In my time on the floor, I thought of many potential solutions to my problem. The best chance would be to crawl on the floor until I was out of eyesight. Since they had been knocking on the door, the idea of them catching me ignoring them, crawling on the floor, wearing little clothes seemed more mortifying than I could handle. So, on the floor I sat. Two hours later, the rain died down, the students left, and I continued my usual routine, with a newfound lesson: if you are wearing scandalous clothes, close your blinds. The scandalous clothes may be different, but this lesson probably proves true for America too.