Friday, January 8, 2016

Hello from the Other Side

Greetings good people, and many salams from Moshi, Tanzania!  I arrived late Tuesday night after 24+ hours of travel to an electricity-less house but safe and sound and super-excited to be back "home."  (Everyone had been telling me that electricity has been a big problem here in Moshi since before the elections and now with Magufuli's austerity plan, I think it has continued into his first term, but – knock on wood – since that first night, it has actually been pretty good in my area, so you won't get any complaints out of me!)
I was definitely working the over-tired mania thing when I arrived, having slept very little in the days leading up to my departure from New York, and then not at all while in transit, so I was super-amped when my good friend picked me up at the airport.
After a wee bit of shida at customs (I needed to come up with a good reason why I had three pieces of luggage each about the size of my whole person and each weighing 50lbs), we made the dark drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport to my house in Moshi's "Shantytown," ironically named since it's actually one of the nicer neighborhoods.  I talked nonstop the whole ride, asking questions without waiting for answers, pausing only to take sips of my beer which my friends had thoughtfully stopped to get as a welcome-back libation.

After they left me at home, I was wide awake and wanted to start the major unpacking process (150lbs of luggage?  Shiiiida!), but it was pitch-black and even with candles lit and a torch strapped to my forehead, it was impossible.  Not to mention hot.  So, I went to "bed" around 11pm or so I'd say.  Wide awake.

At 1am, I heard that gorgeous click which signifies the electricity is back on and jumped out of bed.  It was like the starting gunshot and I was off to the races in an unpacking bacchanalia.  I had music going at top volume (mostly Taylor Swift), and my hair off my face with a bandanna Tupac-style, and was running back and forth the length of my house, putting things in their proper place, inspecting here and there, and just generally settling in.

I managed to stay up all night and into the next day, organizing and reclaiming my territory.  Wednesday afternoon, I was still wide awake so I went to Vodacom to hook up my phone and the bank to get some shillings.  I had dinner with my friend Shay and her friend Elena who is visiting from the States.  Still awake.  WIDE.  AWAKE.

Three glasses of red wine at dinner did nothing to wear me out.  I talked a blue streak and we had a very pleasant meal at one of our fave restaurants in Moshi.  Bear in mind that at this point I'd been sleepless for like two and a half days, but I was really hanging in there!  It was my new superpower – I don’t need sleep!!

Wednesday after dinner I came back home (electricity aplenty!) and watched some dvds while waiting for sleep to take over.  Hamna.  I had not the slightest bit of inclination to close my eyes.  I had planned to go to bed between 10pm and midnight, but I couldn't bear the thought of just lying there, so I decided to help nature along.  This was a mistake.

Two Advil PMs and I was out.  Like, oooouuuutttt!  Not only did I sleep Wednesday night, but also Thursday morning, afternoon, and evening, and all through Thursday night!!  I calculate I slept around 32hours, which for an anxiety-ridden, Type A/OCD, insomniac New Yorker is like an eternity.  It was like sols on Mars; I was in another dimension….

Today, Friday, I woke up around 6am and felt fine.  I still had electricity then and have it now at 5pm-ish.  THRILLED with that.  I met up with some dear friends in the morning, did shopping kidogo, and am off to dinner at Shay's in just a bit, where a whole group has gathered for Friday night dinner.  Not Shabbat, but still....
This weekend, I'll be getting myself together and hopefully onto a normal sleep track.  Come Monday, it's back to work in Msaranga for the first day of school.  It's gonna be utter chaos, so I better get a really good night's sleep on Sunday.  Pray for me....

At any rate, that's all I got for the mo'.  Once again, happy new year one and all, and more Toa news to come shortly.  Oh, and a special asante to Adele whose hit song provided the title of this post.... ;)

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