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Good Italian food

Posted by on July 1, 2011

Since one of the trucks was out of commission with a broken clutch, we could only get one car for Wednesday. Tanya and I decided to go to the office while Jaclyn and Hai went with Makame to hold our last community meeting and to map a few cases in the area. It was a nice change of pace for me since I got to ride my bike after my morning run but I felt bad for Tanya because she’s been in the office every day dealing with all of the issues involving ending the research study and this is not what she signed up for this summer. But no one else knows what needs to be done or how to do it. I had some training when I first arrived, so I’ve been able to help, but I still defer to Tanya on many things.

I worked on writing a report of our mapping progress in May and June while Tanya made certificates for the 94 health care workers who have been enrolling patients in the study. The morning flew by quickly and in the afternoon I worked on data entry which was piling up quickly while Tanya made final reports for all of the health facilities.

Jaclyn and Hai came back in the early afternoon and again Jaclyn wouldn’t look at us and didn’t listen to anything we had to say. We were both very frustrated with her. They planned for the next day while we worked on our projects. I didn’t see them for a while so I thought they had gotten a ride home, but then I saw Hai sleeping on the couch in the hallway and Jaclyn sitting next to him waiting. I was embarrassed for them and me. How inconsiderate to fall asleep at work, especially since Hai has not even been introduced to most people. They were on the couch for nearly an hour, doing nothing and not even trying to help us.

Tanya and I were two of the last to leave work and when we got home we agreed it was time for a swim. High tide was mid-afternoon which made swimming perfect. We spent quite a while in the water and when we were getting out I realized that I had done a reverse triathlon that day: I started with a run, then biked to and from work, then ended with a swim! I had earned some good dinner.

A few days before (when I was really frustrated with Jaclyn and feeling like I needed to socialize with other people) I had e-mailed this girl, Amee, who I met through Tanya’s friends. Amee is from Indian and I love her negative, no-nonsense attitude; she’s not afraid to tell it like it is. We had agreed to get dinner on Wednesday at La Taverna, the best Italian restaurant in Zanzibar. I invited Tanya to join me but didn’t include Jaclyn and Hai because I needed to get away from them.

The two of us took the dalla dalla into town but got to the restaurant a bit late and didn’t see Amee there. We got her phone number from Tanya’s friend and found out that she had just e-mailed to say she was stuck at work late and couldn’t make it! We decided to have dinner there anyway because we were hungry and the reputation was good.
I really like Tanya and have always felt like we were on the same page but that was cemented tonight when she suggested we share a vegetable pizza and pumpkin ravioli. It was like she was reading my mind; that’s exactly what I wanted to do. And we totally made the right call. The grilled vegetables on the pizza were perfectly cooked and the pumpkin filling was so tasty. The meal came with bread and breadsticks with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I haven’t had olive oil since coming here (it’s really expensive and everyone uses sunflower oil to cook) and it was so good. We also shared half a liter of red South African wine which was the icing on the cake. It was so good to get out and talk freely and be happy. I am definitely going back there.

We took the dalla dalla home for the first time to save money on a taxi and only overshot our house by a few hundred meters before we could indicate that we wanted to get off. Overall, a most enjoyable evening.

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