Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things look different from inside a daladala!

The pictures above are of the city buses in the town we live in. They cost about 20cents to ride one way. Last week, Thursday was my first time to attempt a trip across town. I had a meeting for the Staff, Parent, Association (SPA) for Shelbyanne's school. I didn't want to take a taxi which costs about $33 round trip. So, I set out at 8am to catch a bus at the main road. At about 8:15am a bus that wasn't totally full(which means no standing room available) came by and stopped long enough for me to jump on. There is a driver and a guy who works the door running the bus. I stood by the door as much as I could since the door was opened frequently letting in a gust of wind. As I stood there holding on to the railing above the door I couldn't help but feel stares from some of the other passengers. I glanced around a few times throwing small smiles to those whose eye I caught.
I arrived at my destination safe and sound. I had a wonderful meeting with some other moms from the school. I had some nice food, made a few friends, and signed up to be one of the room moms for Shelbyanne's class. We live quite far away from the school, but I figured that there are definitely things I can do from home for her class. I left the meeting, full in my belly and my heart. The whole time I just kept thinking how blessed we are that Shelbyanne got a spot in that class.
I stopped by the store before boarding another city bus to come home. I made sure to only buy what I was willing to carry, which ended up being two bags of groceries. I got on another full bus, feeling thankful to be able to stand by the door again. As people got on and off the bus a seat opened up next to me. I looked around to see who was going to sit down, and a girl behind me said, "Kaa!" which means "sit". I obeyed and sat down. She was standing right behind me when I was standing, so as I sat she moved forward on the bus. She was holding the railing above her head which caused her armpit to be in my face for about 3 minutes before she got off the bus.
A few minutes later an older woman ended up standing right beside my seat. I looked up at her and asked, in Swahili, if she wanted to sit down. I think she was surprised that I spoke Swahili, because a smile turned into a big grin. She said yes. I got up, and she sat down. I enjoyed standing. There was more air flow up there. It gave me the advantage of seeing more, and also I wasn't boxed in when it came time for me to get off the bus.
I paid the door guy my 20cents again and got off the bus a few blocks from my house. Overall I would say that it was a very successful trip. I would definitely do it again, and I will since it saves us a bunch of money.

I have added two videos of Donovan as he was making a friend on Shelbyanne's first day of school. Enjoy!

Amy

video video

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