January 14, 2012

fun with finances

In perhaps the surest sign of madness since I've started preparations for a monthly budget, I have been doing a fairly extensive analysis on food prices in the soko (market) in town. Shown below is a sample of the table I created with the data I collected this past Thursday, just before I bought my new oven (quite a successful day, I admit). You can get the whole table here.

January 12, 2012

oven at last, oven at last!

To celebrate Zanzibar Revolutionary Day (Zanzibar's "Independence Day"), I've purchased this giant cooking apparatus. It's been nearly two weeks since I moved in and I've had no way to cook for myself. While I went almost 6 months in Singida without cooking anything at home, the circumstances are now quite different. First of all, I'm not scared of poisoning myself anymore. Second, quick access to local mgahawas (small shops that serve food) is quite limited here, and they're a bit more expensive. Lastly, I actually have a decent grip on some culinary skills now, and would like to continue extending them.

January 11, 2012

small thoughts: eye-gazing

The eyes are the window to the soul.
No one really knows where this proverb originated. In any case, I believe there is some inherent truth to this, that simply gazing into someone's eyes can tell you a lot about them. Given how much time I spend staring through people, or with my head pointed at the ground in front of me, I've realized I should be intentional about changing this. Whether it's someone just walking by, or I'm deep in a one-on-one conversation, I'd like to spend a good deal of 2012 looking into people's eyes.

That's not creepy. Is it?

January 8, 2012

a movie theater in africa?

Blackout shutters!
As you may remember, in one of my previous entries I hinted at big plans I had for my living area (check the last paragraph). That was referring to a hasty decision to, as a Christmas present to myself, rig up a home theater system in it, complete with surround sound system and ceiling-mounted projector. Crazy idea, right? I'm still only in the planning stages though, and as it stands there are some rather large obstacles I'll have to confront before the dream becomes reality.

January 4, 2012


On the first day of the year, a man went on a journey. Close to his home there was a hill, and on top of that hill was a cross, set there in cement by someone years ago. The LORD told him, "go to the top of the hill, and I will meet with you there." So he woke up early in the morning, packed his bag with biskuti [English tea biscuits] and water (and a camera), and started off. As he approached the hill, he pulled out his camera so that he might share the story of his journey with his family and friends. "Surely they will want to see this for themselves, so I will capture many videos and narrate the climb!" But this was not what the LORD had commanded, so He caused the camera to malfunction. After a few minutes of fiddling and cursing at the camera, the man gave up and decided to carry on.

When the man began to climb, the path so plainly laid out before him at the foot of the hill ended. Feeling bold, he marched on with confidence that he could find his own way to the top. Within fifteen minutes, his faith in himself was shaken to its core; he had taken no measures to mark his path, and he was heading in the wrong direction. Thinking his climb would be over as soon as it started, and afraid that he may get hurt trying to get down, he began to pray out of desperation for someone to help him. His goal to reach the top now seemed impossible, infinitely out of reach.