this is a big weekend for A5. most importantly, we are throwing the big going away party for Susan. susan has been here for at least 2 years. in fact she used to live with john when he first moved here. she and their other roommate karen used to cook for him when he pretended he didn't know how. she is def one of the coolest people around, plus she has an amazing fashion sense. i can't imagine how she is getting home all the clothes she has had made.
on top of the parteh, john and i have signed up to set the hash. this means we pick a location, spend many hours scouting out possible routes, false trails, dangers, etc, and then go back the morning of to actually lay down the flour. plus we provide the beer and bites for the end. john had the brilliant suggestion to start from the Protea hotel in Machame. this place is beautiful- set on the cliffs above the river, the valley is full of banana forests and monkeys, and streams criss cross the area above the river. he took mother and i to dinner there last week in order to start negotiations. normally one would set it from their house or something, so that the end party is at your house. but the drs compound is a bit boring to start from. so we had to negotiate how much beer, cokes, and snacks would cost-as we would have to pay it all upfront and probably won't come near to making it back from the 2500=$2 people pay to participate.
we set out to scout the trail using mother as a barometer for the "wrinklies"- if she felt she could make it, she thought the old people could to. a good idea actually, john and i wanted to torture people and could assuage all guilt by watching her. you create quite a stir setting a hash. people are amazed to see wazungu in their area and are freaked out when you come along with white powder making marks in the ground. when we actually set it, we did our best to explain that it was just ungwa and that it was very salaama. john also, commendably, tried to warn anyone we bumped into that a group of 50 or more wageni (visitors) would be traipsing through...
some boys followed us with their machetes as we got ourselves purposefully lost scouting. this one kindly chopped away dirt for a foothold in the mud so we could cross this little stream: