Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mzungu day

Today was frustrating. Things just don't work up here, it's hard to get work done, and increasingly the institute relies on me for more. It's good to be useful, but it's even more frustrating to be incapacitated.

Anyway, I'm tired. I've hit that point in my stay where I'm ready to come home -- I've been saying this all week, and the feeling will probably keep gnawing away at me until I'm safely on a British plane crossing the Atlantic. I'm still trying to keep active. Tomorrow I'm going to visit the IDP camps with my buddy, Opiyo. Thursday I'm taking pictures of Fabius in his advocate's robes for the new web site I'm developing. Yesterday I typed identification numbers onto 1,000 membership cards for the resource center. This afternoon I chased kids around the tea gardens. So, you know. Life is okay. But I'm still homesick.

I went to an internet cafe to do some research on the institute's bill, and when power went out I decided to walk back to the hotel on my own. I actually managed to find it despite my rotten direction sense by tracing all of the landmarks I remembered on the boda ride over. This involved turning in circles and amusing the residents, but hey, it worked. And on my way back, I wound up at Kope Cafe again.

Kope Cafe was the mzungu restaurant I wrote about back when I first got here. I remember not liking the tourists who were wandering around that afternoon. But at that particular moment, I wanted to be a mzungu again, surrounded by mzungus who would ignore me just like any good American would. So I walked in.

It was perfect.

People ignored me, I could eat lunch in peace, and the lunch itself was so fantastic! After weeks without vegetables -- unless you count malakwang, which I don't -- I had a beautiful steak sandwich which was mostly avocados and tomatoes. It was DELICIOUS. I don't think I've ever liked food quite so much. I can still taste it in my mouth four hours later, and I almost don't want to brush my teeth so it will be there in the morning.

(Hello kids, our phrase for the day is "obvious vitamin deficiency!")

I also had a brownie, which I should have skipped, but I haven't had sugar since I got here, either. That was good too, but not as good as the avocado and tomato sandwich. Mmm, I have to go back, like, tomorrow! It's nice to be a mzungu.

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