by Sarah Luna

This has been a week full of gifts.

My new roommate arrived from Oregon on Saturday. She is a fascinating first year law student, and we’ve gotten along really well so far. I’d hadn’t realized how much I missed talking to someone on a daily basis.

My friend (and also roomie) Amanda got back from Tanzania yesterday evening too! She has been gone since the beginning of June working on her research. She has the most amazing stories about her time in Africa and the most incredible picture of a zebra that I have ever seen! We’re already planning a safari. She brought me back a kanga which is a rectangular piece of fabric worn by Tanzanian women. It is burgundy and periwinkle and says: "Sote tu abiria dereva ni Mungu." Amanda is learning Swahili, but she didn’t know what it said. She picked it out for me because she recognized Mungu as the word for God. I, of course, had to look up the rest of the saying. It translates roughly to "We are all passengers. God is the driver." Cool. It’s gorgeous, and I love it.

We went to visit our friend Z who had just arrived from fieldwork in Bangladesh. She was entertaining us with good food and unbelievable stories when she exclaimed that she had gifts for us. She went into her room briefly and came out with a bag full of stunning pearls (ivory, coral, gray/silver, and black). She had bought pairs of earrings for all us nutrition girls. I already have ivory pearls and coral pearls from my trip to China, so I picked a pair of beautiful iridescent black pearls. One shines green in the light, and the other looks almost blue.

My advisor called me this morning with the final word: I will not be going to India until the spring. While disappointing, I can at least plan other parts of my life.