Wednesday, September 8, 2010

why it will be hard to think of creative posts

I'm slowly but surely settling into life in Dar, and I'm infinitely grateful that I have a slow start: Eid is starting tomorrow. The office will be closed for 4 days as people celebrate their restored right to daytime eating.

I've been a bit of a blurry sinusy daze since I arrived, but I've already noticed a few things that make me think Dar is not going to be quite as wealthy in bloggable portraitable experiences as, for example, Port au Prince or Damascus. Those cities are bustling with people living life right out in the open for all to see, just begging for the chance to welcome us into their excitement.

El, the town where I'm based, feels more like a village than a town. It certainly is a town because the village feel extends for a couple of miles. The driver who brought me back from the airport thinks the city's population is 18 million. While there may not be quite that many people crammed into the many houses spread around town, I suppose it's true that there are a lot of houses spread out and about.

Nonetheless, it's a quiet looking village. People walk around, drive around, push their animals around, ride their animals around. I inevitably see a person passing by when I walk down the block from one office compound to the other. But it's usually only one person that I see, or maybe as much as one carful of people.

This isn't the main reason I fear a lack of interesting sights, though. The main reason is that once again I am confined to strict security rules: 9:00 curfew and no walking. Just like Haiti. Except here our house is full-service: they're used to security lockdown here! We have cooks, cleaners, laundry washers, and guards who also turn on the generator. We have drivers on standby to make sure we can drive the 200 meters back and forth from home to office. And we have 3 meter high walls on all sides of the compound.

My world here will probably be very small. I may have to resort to telling stories about people I know and my everday life! Bring it on.

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