Sunday, March 18, 2007
900 cubic centimeters of raw whining power. No outstanding warrants for my arrest.
Oh man, another incredibly busy week. I think I'm going to hold off on writing extensively until I get a chance to resume writing daily journal entries (I'm praying that that will happen soon). In addition, my internet connection seems to be pretty crap-tacular right now, so another photo-heavy update will have to wait (which is a shame, because I have a ton of good ones). Suffice it to say, interviews are going well- so far, I have recorded over 25 hours of oral history from 16 old men and women from various pastoralist communities in the area. I've been working with two enumerators for each interview, one who asks the questions (usually in Maa, occasionally in Kiswahili) and another who translates for me, so that I can follow along and ask follow-up questions if I need to. For the most part, the interviews have gone really well, yielding some fascinating details about the history of the communities I'm studying (which I'll describe in more detail some other time).
Anyhow, I just wanted to share that I rode a motorcycle (a pikipiki for all of you following along kwa kiswahili) for the first time in my life. I suppose "motorcycle" is less accurate than "totally awesome off-road dirtbike driven by a maasai guy named nicholas". I was able to line up an interview with a 104 year old Maasai man in the village of Chumvi, but I wasn't able to rent a car. However, I managed to take a public bus (matatu) to where the paved road ends; from there, my research assistant managed to find a friend with a motorbike who could take me the other 8 kilometers or so back to Chumvi. It was pretty much the most fun thing I've done in the history of ever, and I'm seriously considering buying one and learning to drive it, as it is cheaper than continuously hiring cars, and I find it a lot more pleasant. And don't worry mom, I wore a helmet.
Hi-Diddly-Dee! Goddamn! The Pirate's Life for Me!
More soon! I promise!