Anecdote: A man at a bus stand tells me he wants to learn English. I ask him why. He says, in English, "I want to survive."
My neighbor the other day said something I really liked. "We are just passengers in life." I made the mistake of telling him that I didn't believe in God, which is basically inconceivable to most Tanzanians, and he was trying to convince me there was one. His comment was in reference to the afterlife. But I think his comment could also have a much different meaning, referring to how little in life we have control over, ie where we are born, who our families are, our sex, our skin color, etc.
Before I did Peace Corps I wondered what a typical day was like for a volunteer. Well, I don't really have a typical day, but here are some thing that happen on a daily or regular basis:
-Boil drinking water
-Heat water for bathing
-Get neighbors to remove a large insect from my house that I am terrified of
-Block door so mice don't get in, and/or chase mice out of house at night with broom and headlamp
-Sit on my porch and hang out with other teachers from the secondary school
-Children stare at me, chase me while on my bike, and/or run away from me in terror
-Once a week, I ask people in my village to bike 1 km to my house with 5 buckets (100 liters) of water, for which I will pay them about 70 cents. Then I get angry and haggle with them when they try to charge me 1000 shillings (about a dollar). Then after we have agreed on a price and they say they are going to bring it, they don't always show up.
-People laugh at me
-I agree to things I don't understand or only half understand
Things I would like to teach Tanzanians about, in addition to HIV/AIDS/Health education:
-Basic geography: ie America is not located in Europe or Asia, and George Bush is not the president of North and South America