Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today I was talking to my friend Regina outside her soda/carving supply shop while waiting to eat lunch. This woman walks up and asks Regina for something. She had an adorable little baby with her, so I obviously admired it and touched its pudgy little hands. So cute. It couldn't have been more than 3 months old. Just sitting there like a little chubby lump on her hip. The mother looked at me and told me the baby likes me. Then she handed it to me and walked away! I didn't even know where she was going or who this woman was! Regina and a few of the carvers were confused about why I looked so surprised. They just told me "It's ok. She'll come back later." No big deal...

So I amble around the carvers' area with my new friend. We were a hit. Everyone loved looking at me and my little Tanzanian baby. I asked them all "unapenda mtoto wangu?" (Do you like my baby?) and they would all burst out in laughter. But no one thought it was strange for me to walk around with this mystery baby.

The mother came back about fifteen minutes later. What a relief!

I told a few of my friends about the baby incident and how I couldn't believe she just left her child with a stranger for so long. They didn't understand what was so shocking. "Well, did the baby like you? It wasn't crying, right? Then you should've given it back." I admitted that I liked having the baby for a little while. Then they said "Do you want it again? We could go get it for you to play with." Then they began yelling to the mother to bring her child over to me. So I said "No, that's ok. It was really small... not the kind of kid you play with anyway. But it was cute." Then they said, "oh, ok, I understand. You want a bigger baby. Would you want like a 5 year old? They're fun. I can bring one of those for you tomorrow. Actually, just tell me what age. I can bring some kids everyday if you want."

Tanzanians are so generous...

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