Monday, May 14, 2012

Eleven dogs, 500% markup, and natural remedies

The place we have stayed the last 4 nights has ELEVEN (yes I finally counted them while they were eating last night) guard dogs during the night hours that patrol the grounds inside the fenced area around our complex that has our room.  There are at least 3 buildings in here.  Since there is only one tiny piece of glass in all the windows, we hear everything like we are living and sleeping outside.  That can make sleeping VERY challenging, even with earplugs.  Last night it sounded like something was getting killed by some of the dogs.  Then I heard two different people trying to get "whatever" to stop.  This was all through my earplugs as the sounds and yelling continued.  But that said, I slept better last night than I think I have in the last 6 nights. 

The doctor that we are learning from has a book/notebook that we got photocopied today.  The first several places that we tried were closed.  The next place we tried wanted 500 TSH per sheet.  That is 10 times more than what we paid for copies in Musoma last year, and 5 times more than the price that we have paid in Dar es Salaam, Iringa and Mafinga!  We decided to look elsewhere.  The next shop we tried wanted 300 TSH per page. Then finally we found a nice place that also did binding.  We were happy with our final purchase which we even got bound.  It was air conditioned in there, too. :)  The humidity has been a bit high while we have been in Dar, so that was nice.   When we returned the doctor's original, he said they were asking so much more money because they saw that we are white and were hoping to make extra money on us.  The other day when we were getting on a city bus, the conductor said he would have to charge us extra because we had luggage.  We asked how much.  He said 4,000 TSH. the bus fare is only 300 TSH per person.  We said "NO WAY!"  He said "ah, come on.  Help me out."  We didn't.  This was the same day that we got pick-pocketed, too.  We didn't even take his bus.  He was so interested in getting our money, that he wasn't even listening to where we told him that we needed to go.  His bus didn't go to our destination.   

Crushing herbs with the doctor

The natural remedies training with the local doctor has been good (but also exhausting.) 
Hands on learning

We start in the afternoon after a hot day.  Then we walk all over, up and down hills, river banks and such places in the heat and humidity. 
Gathering Mango Tree leaves for another natural remedy.

After it started getting dark tonight, I told Doug I wanted him to send Joshua and I home early.  He did.  That was two and one half hours ago, and Doug still hasn't come back to the room.  We have had two good days of training.  There are so many plants here that we didn't have in the US where we lived.  It has been very interesting to learn what works here locally and how to prepare them.  It is a really good that he decided to show us and have us make some of these remedies.  Our idea of a "handful" and his are two VERY different sizes!  When he says handful - you hand is FULL!

Our container could arrive in the final port as early as tomorrow!  Now is the time for extra prayers regarding the following:  no damage, no theft, that the inspection goes well, it gets to Kibidula quickly, that transport goes safely and all of it comes within our shipping budget funds.  I hope it clears customs quickly and can be transported the final distance to its (and our) new home soon!   

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