Mementos

Shopping in Tanzania was a harrowing experience at first. You see, I have a rather difficult time haggling with people in English and they wanted to me to it in Swahili. Anyway, the prices were so "cheap" in my mind that I couldn't imagine why I would insist on paying less.

To my great delight, I found that any attempt to speak Swahili automatically endeared every Tanzanian in a hundred mile radius to me. So, despite the language barrier, I was usually able to stutter out a nice long greeting and work the shop owners down a few shilingi. During my twelve weeks in Tanzania, I spent about $200 and let me tell you, that was profligate spending, folks!

One of my favorite shopkeepers was the little Maasai woman who sold beaded jewelry. Whenever we American students went to her with a special order, she would slip in a few extra bracelets and sometimes a few rings in with our order. Foolishly, when I returned to America, I gathered all these bracelets together and gave each and every one away to Brian Baney. We barely new each other, but he was hot and in the room while I was handing out gifts and I was a silly girl.

Since my stay in Africa, four of my close friends have gone to Tanzania. Several of them have brought me beaded bracelets, shown in the picture above. There used to be a green and white one from Kyle, but it broke a few weeks ago. One day, I will fix it. The blue and black one is from Tim and the others are from John and Rebecca.

These bracelets make me happy. They remind me of one of the most wonderful times in my life and some of my best friends. Win-win!
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