Transportation here is unbelievably cheap. The matatus, or 10 seater vans that prowl the streets, will take you 10 min down the road for just over 10 cents! I’ve been learning to barter because I’m usually quite a pushover and feel quite badly about haggling over the equivalent of 10 cents but it is the principle! I’ll admit that I don’t like being ripped off just because my skin is white. Like I said, my instinct is not to care since I do actually have mroe than the people running matatus but it is considered uncool to bow to the higher prices because it drives inflation for everyone. A good example is that last night we met up with a big group of couchsurfers in Mombasa and, we were all standing on the side of the road to catch a ride, a matatu saw a big group of mzungus* (white people/foreigners), pulled over, kicked all of the local riders off the matatu and – with big dollar signs in his eyes – offered it to us. No thanks. We waited for the next one to drive by.
We hung out on the beach today before starting our placement Monday. The sand was perfectly white and had the texture of fine powder. The water is room temperature and very clear.
1. I worked on the word “orgasmic” with a client the other day. The exercise was to read an article in the newspaper and highlight difficult words and that was one of them. So we broke it in to syllables (or – GAS- mic) and defined it.
2. This week was my first little kid who had never seen a mzungu – as I was talking to his parents he was playing around at our feet and, since I was wearing capris, he would reach over and touch the skin on my leg every once in a while. Perhaps just to see if I felt the same as other people.
*People will literally yell or state “mzungu” as you pass them on the street. It isn’t really meant to be good or bad but just an observation. Car! Mango Stand! White person!