#afrofoto day 10 | I went into a stinky graffiti alley for YOU!

What have I learnt so far?

That it is impossible very difficult to blog everyday when a small human being depends on you for nourishment, entertainment and prefers you are mostly within her lines of vision [unless she’s sleeping] on weekends…and you also enjoy doing that AND need to nourish and entertain yourself with her.

I owe you guys 3 posts now! You will get them I promise! As I type this one I already have tomorrow’s *insert salsa dancing lady emoji*.

Today was HOT (upper 80s) and we started the morning sleeping in a bit. We got up to get ready per the usual when my cousin called saying he wanted to take us (his niece really lol) to the farmer’s market in DC so we ended up doing that. We went to the Union Market area where there are a lot of wholesale fruit, veggie, meat and all sorts of in between vendors only to find them closed so we ended up going into Union Market itself. We walked around to choose something to eat and settled on  Takorean. So good! Afterwards….well earlier when looking for parking we’d seen 2 guys taking pictures in one of the graffiti’d alleys so we decided to do the same. My cousin loves his car and is into that type of thing so me too I joined in. I remembered #afrofoto and that I was WAAAAY due for a post so I thought hey me too let me get some pictures in here. It was stiiiinkyyy in that alley, but because I love you guys I endured it 🙂 I love how the pictures turned out with absolutely no filter 💗!

(no filter no nothing)

This basket-bag was my late grandmother’s and I got it from her while she was still alive. She’d already been in the States for 2 years undergoing treatment at that point with my grandfather coming and going between here and Zimbabwe months at a time. At some point while he was in Zim, I decided to go and visit him since he was mostly in the house alone and it had been a while since I’d seen him/been in Zim. This bag was in the closet in the room that used to be mine as a kid and is always where I stay when I go. I really liked the bag so coming back I used it as my carry on to hold those extra things we somehow accumulate despite having come/traveled light. My grandmother and I would be on the phone coordinating the things she wanted me to bring back for her and there was quite a bit.

She definitely got the bag herself when she went to Tanzania while my mom lived there and Kilimo Kwanza, in Swahili, means Agriculture First. I’m not quite sure if it may have been promotional for something or just was like that at purchase. What I love about it is how durable it is! It’s made of woven rafia (i think) material and reinforced along the edges and straps with fabric so it does not give no matter what you put in it. I also love the wide strip of kikoi on the front with the fringe uncut. I used to use this as my bag at work, but retired it for something else in the rotation. Today I came full circle back to it for the market because it could fit my baby necessities, wallet AND I’d have been able to add whatever we would have gotten.

Happy Sunday folk and may you go into the new week with new energy, joy and focus….says the person typing a blog post at a quarter to midnight on Sunday night and hasn’t finished packing the baby bag for the baby sitter because it’s better to let the baby sleep than end up waking her up accidentally for that.  Yes…!

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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 ❤