browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Presentation fiasco

Posted by on July 13, 2011

Everyone knew that Bryan was giving a presentation at work at 9 am but even when I got back from my run at 7:30 no one had made breakfast or packed all of the things we needed to take. There was a rush of activity in the half hour before our taxi came with Bryan finishing slides, Tanya packing food, me making pancakes and Jaclyn hiding in her room.
We picked up the food for the small party and got to the office just a few minutes later than we thought. No one was in the conference room we reserved only ten minutes before the presentation.

This presentation was meant for the district supervisors and everyone at ZMCP that worked directly on this research project. We were planning on a 30 minute talk to summarize the data we collected and tell them what is left to do in San Francisco, then we were going to have a small party with snacks and drinks and hand out certificates and gifts. Well, on Thursday Makame told us he made an announcement at the staff meeting on Monday and invited everyone from ZMCP (25+ people) to come to the presentation. When Tanya ordered the food on Wednesday, she only ordered food for 15 people so we were going to be in trouble. We couldn’t uninvite everyone from the talk, so we tried to make it clear to Makame to tell everyone that the food and drinks were only for the district supervisors and us.

Well, something about that message got lost in translation, because when we arrived on Saturday Makame told us that he called all of the district supervisors and told them not to come to the presentation, but to show up at 10 am for the party! The whole point of the presentation was to give an update to everyone who had worked on the project and suddenly half of them weren’t there! Tanya was so upset.

Since other ZMCP staff members were there at 9, we couldn’t wait forever so Bryan started talking at 9:20 and some of the district supervisors arrived early so they didn’t miss the whole thing. It was a good presentation, then Bryan handed out the certificates and gifts (he bought everyone a headlamp to use when the power is out) then we had water and juice with chapatti, samosas, these balls of potato filled with beef, some other bread, and some candy. The food was gone in 20 minutes and everyone dispersed by 11 to get home to their families.

We got a ride back home then went to the beach for a quick swim before the tide got too low. It wasn’t exactly the beach day we were hoping for, but it sufficed.

I volunteered to make lunch because then I could guarantee that it would be good but cooking for five people takes a lot more prep time peeling and cutting vegetables than cooking for two or three people. Plus Bryan eats enough for two, so it’s really like cooking for six. I made glazed carrots (luckily Hai peeled them all for me), curried potatoes and stewed red kidney beans with green peppers, onion, and garlic. I thought it turned out well.

In the afternoon Bryan, Tanya and I took a dalla dalla into town so Bryan could buy some souvenirs for his kids then we met up with Kristina and Deler for sundowners at Livingstone’s. We saw a gorgeous sunset and I got some nice photos with the boats sailing past that I’ll post later.

Livingstone’s is not known for their food so we went to Tatu for dinner and I had a really good fish pie that came in a casserole dish with mashed potatoes on top. I almost never take pictures of food because it seems like such a silly thing, but I made an exception this time and will include the picture later.

After dinner we went upstairs to the bar and had a drink. I had a weak, but cheap vodka with mango juice that was quite tasty.

We had seen a sign advertising a belly dance performance that evening so we went to the Old Fort around 10:30 to check it out. The performance had started at 9:30 and was still going strong. We saw three different women dance to traditional Zanzibari music, which is called Tarib music. It was really interesting to see, especially since all of the dancers were clothed very modestly. Instead of wearing the short tops that show off their bellies and the shear pants, these women were covered head to toe in very flowing outfits so it was hard to see their bodies. They all wore elaborate belts with beads and sequins so you could see how their hips moved. The music was not really to my liking; it has a lot of string instruments but is very whiny and almost screeching at times. It was well worth 2,000 TSH ($1.33) for the experience. We didn’t stay too long because Bryan was starting to not feel well due to his anti-malaria medicine so we came home around 11:30.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *