Someone asked me what my typical day is like, and I thought I would post it here for anyone interested.
4:45am – Wake up to the “Call to Prayer” from two different Mosques. This might not be completely accurate, but I think they have two large speakers pointing directly at my apartment.
6:00am – Hit the snooze button.
6:15am – Finally wake up, although begrudgingly, and have a cold shower (we have hot water, but it is too expensive to use, sadly).
7:10am – Walk out the door to work. I am greeted by the usuals that populate my route to work every morning. Usually I am repeatedly asked “Mambo?” (What is up?) and I say “Poa” (Cool.) to anyone that I walk by. I then weave through traffic on the busy street to get to work and hope that I don’t get hit by a pikipiki (motorcycle). A lot of my attention is focused on looking the right direction when watching for on coming cars (they drive on the left side here).
7:25am – 5:30pm – Get to work; read the paper to see if there are any emergencies that need to be responded to; go to various meetings at different UN agencies or other departments; write a situation report on the upcoming election; eat lunch at the canteen across the street; review emergency programmes to see if they are “gender” friendly; update the internal webpage; read my emails/new UNICEF documents; get ready to go home.
5:30pm – I go to a Swahili teacher with this intern from the African Development Bank at this fancy hotel. We meet in the restaurant and practice Swahili while these giant bats swoop in and out of the trees. We are sometimes interrupted by the squawking of peacocks. It is kind of random, now that I think about it.
7:00pm – Make my way home and do another round of “Mambo” and “Poa”.
7:20pm – Go home, relax for a bit before Scott (my roommate and fellow UNICEF intern) and I venture out to a local food place to find dinner. I usually get BBQ chicken with fries or rice, or some kind of stew with mashed potatoes, and if I am really hungry, a side of chapati.
8:30 – 11:00 – I don’t do all of these things every night but usually I either practice Swahili, talk to friends online/parents on the phone, play scrabble on my itouch, watch TV on my computer, read a book or chat with Scott while we watch bad cable. It isn’t the safest to walk around at night, and given that we wake up at 6:00 am, we pretty much keep our weekday nights pretty tame.
11:00 – 11:30pm – Try to go to sleep and not get eaten by mosquitos.
Of course, day-to-day this changes. And the weekend is completely different, as we don’t have to spend 9 hours at work. And Fridays are a half day for the UN (I don’t know if this is just in Tanzania) and we all get off work around 1:30.
But there you have it, a typical day.
And yes, I will post pictures soon.