The views expressed herein are mine and not those of the Peace Corps.



Useful Acronyms

PC Peace Corps
ICT Information & Communications Technology
PCT Peace Corps Trainee (pre-swearing-in)
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer (post-swearing-in)
PST Pre-Service Training
CBT Community-Based Training

Dala-Dala Antics

We were in town to pick things up from the tailor (this dress is more like what I wanted but still not great–I have two other kitenges, one which I like and one which I love, but I think I’ll wait on other dresses until I get to site and can suss out a good tailor to frequent for the next two years. It’s not really worth it to try to explain my finicky finishing preferences (zipper between lining and outside fabric rather than on the interior, reinforcing seams, various other things) until I’ve got someone I plan on sticking with. Talking to other PCTs, I’ve realized that I’m much pickier about clothing than they are–if I’m going to pay twice the amount the fabric costs for a custom-made dress, it had better be a good dress!

But anyway, after the stop at the tailor we split up to do various errands. When I got to the dala-dala stand I saw that Theresa was already on a dala-dala so I got on, too. There were no seats so I had to stand. The dala-dala turned out of the stand the wrong way but I figured they were just going to the roundabout to turn around, which they’ve done before. But after a bit Theresa started to look nervous and made eye contact and we had a brief conversation about how apparently this wasn’t our line. She said she’d asked if they passed a bar near us and they’d said yes, but either they lied or they take a pretty darn roundabout way.

We got off the first time they stopped to take on more passengers and crossed the street to wait for another dala-dala. We got to chatting with some women there and so when a “taxi” (car heading into town, basically) pulled up and offered us a dala-dala fare into town we accepted and the four of us crammed into the back seat. The “taxi” stopped at a taxi stand several blocks from the dala-dala stand but we didn’t complain and paid our money and left. We were sort of lost for a while but then we found our bearings (and ran into a couple PCVs, who told us we should stick around and hang out with them, but I at least had to get home) and made it to the dala-dala stand and took the correct dala-dala. At Theresa’s stop we ran into my mama and I squished past the half-dozen people standing to have a brief conversation with her and then had to squish back when she told me to go home rather than going with her. It was good times.

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