afrofoto *day 24: Swahili Village

 

Patiently waiting for the food to come with the fruit cocktail drink that matched my outfit that day – random! My bag was yellow and my nails were red -_- …..

 

Woke up on Sunday morning in absolutely no rush for anything. Simply enjoying what the  Italians, according to Eat, Pray, Love, call the sweetness of doing nothing – dolce far niente. Went with a friend who hadn’t been there and we both had a taste for some goat meat. Swahili Village it was!! The game with Italy playing some other European team was on, music was semi-blasting, the sun was shining outside and the air conditioner was blowing quite comfortably inside.

 

I ordered chapati with ndengu (lentils) and a side of mbuzi (goat) nyama (meat) bites. When I used to live in Kenya, one of the neighbors in the compound had a cook [I remember his name was Jogenya] who used to make the bomb chapati and ndengu and all the kids would conveniently go and play at that house when he was cooking them. Mama Sam didn’t have a problem and now that i think of it, Sam could have used the “popularity” now that I realize how much younger than the rest of us were.  It was scrumptious and filling…i couldn’t even finish it and ended up bringing the rest home.

Chapati and ndengu have origins in South Asia – India to be specific. There is a large diaspora Indian community not just in Kenya but throughout East and Southern Africa! Thanks to the British and their expansionist colonial movements decades/a century ago. They are heavily involved in businesses and commerce and although they stand out as other, a good number of them have assimilated pretty decently. It’s quite common to see Indians speaking Swahili in different parts of the country. There were a lot of them when I attended Hillcrest Prep School, I had them for neighbors and best friends while there for 3 years. *Sigh*
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*@afropolitaine*

 

afrofoto *day 22: TGIF!

I will lead with this picture because i thought the scenery was so beautiful! The sun was setting…meanwhile a few miles around the corner a real live storm was brewing complete with felled trees and power outages as i would later find out later that night….

After work I was exhausted from the whole week and although my co-workers wanted to do happy hour, it was one of those days i had to go home and switch off my brain and come back. I then had friend-in-need task to complete and returned to the city to find them well on their way to inebriation and bubbling with joy! I caught up, albeit slowly…it  was a fun time 🙂

From here we went to Ozio’s and I will recommend, NOT a drink, but you check out the hottie of a Mauritanian who is a bartender on the rooftop!!! Eye candy I tell you and it helps that he’s super sweet AND speaks French. Of course he won’t remember me from Adam, but i’m very ok with looking from a distance.

A whole lot happened there and after. Great way to start a weekend in the summer 🙂

Earlier in the day i’d spotted this while standing in line at Starbucks —> Medium roast bag of Kenyan coffee 🙂 (We shant get into the sustainability and long-term poverty alleviation/eradication effects fair trade partnerships do or don’t create. Not now.)
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*@afropolitaine*

afrofoto day 6

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sooo much could  be said about today, but i’ve obviously missed my mark already for this update! Womp wompity womp! I have been exhausted alllll day and came home – did not pass go did not collect 200 – and went straight to bed. A nap that was supposed to be 2 hours turned into 5! You know, at least I do, you were tired when you drool during a nap when you are not even a drooler or snorer.

 

My earrings today I got in Dar-es-Salaam at a craft market/strip near my house in Oyster Bay. The place is called Slipway and they are made of beads as is characteristic of southern and east African jewelry. What identifies these as east African is the silver trinket things hanging off it as that is often incorporated into Maasai and Samburu jewelry – tribes found predominantly in Kenya and Tanzania a bit. In fact, google “Maasai jewelry” or “Samburu jewelry”. I love that there are so many colors in the earrings and no distinct pattern so that makes it easier to wear them with anything. I wouldn’t, however, go so far as to say they are “traditional”  – more of a contemporary [tourist friendly twist] on more complex designs the tribes actually wear.

 

Going back to bed folks, 2 more days to this week! See you with another update soon 🙂

afrofoto day 5

So in my effort to kinda figure out what i’m doing with this “afrofoto” i realized that more than just talking about or pointing out what i wore that was African I would like to talk a little bit more about it’s origins/history etc. With the scarf I wore yesterday it is mostly/traditionally attributable to the Amhara people of Ethiopia as a shawl for women or men although it has become more generally associated with Ethiopia in general whether Amhara, Tigrina or otherwise.  That’s about all on that from me although i know more could obviously be said.

Today was an overwhelmingly stressed out day and I really did not have time to think about this, but i know that i made a pact not only with you all, but with myself. I just got home and i know that above all else i need to update before i get to sleep. We had a very touching kumbaya farewell and retirement reception for one of our VPs and it was a surprisingly emotional event considering how long and legendary his career has made him. More than 30 years in the business of education innovation in developing countries SUCCESSFULLY is a very long time! There was wine served and great bread and cheeses – I had 3 glasses of cabernet…..

Some African drummers and a dance troupe were brought in and boy was I shocked that the drummer was my instructor in the African Drumming class at University of Maryland – in which i was the only Black person. The rest of my peoples – where were you?! (Conversation for another day). Funny thing he and I used to be cool until one night he was feeling however he was feeling and decided to text me one random night (over a year after NO communication just cuz) talking about I should come to his house to “watch a movie as soon as he puts the babies to sleep”. -_- <– not going to get into it. In short, you have to remind people when they disrespect you to respect themselves at the very least. I recorded a video so I could laugh at and with my co-workers later, but can’t post it without their consent.

My co-workers, Mexican-American and French-Algerian, decided to go to a cigar bar which, as much as I’ve been accused of being a “wakadubey”, I’ve never done. More cabernet… I had a #YOLO  moment and struck while the iron was hot 🙂 I smoked a honey flavored skinny cigar – keep it classy you know lol. My first cigar:

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Now onto the topic of the day and the season – the afrofoto:

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These bracelets I wore probably had more specific inbuilt messaging according to the colors and the patterns used, but they have probably been lost to the commercialization and consequential dilution of being so readily available at every corner of every African city market a tourist can be found whether in North, East, South, or West of  the continent. The first one (all blue) and the second i got a looooong time (approximately age 11) in Nairobi, the third in Dar-es-Salaaam and is actually the colors of the Tanzanian flag. One of those obvious touristy buys.  

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Random shadowy mirror picture at Recess coming from the bathroom. Twas my first time going there 🙂 – great time!

 
Hasta manana people ❤