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When your house helper outranks you

Since we moved house, I have joyfully returned to having house help. (The story of why is for another day.) Mama Pendo is a grandmother who comes twice a week to clean the house. This week she said to me very kindly, “Kama kuna tatizo, usinyamaze.” It means, “If there’s […]

Why we don’t have house help

When we moved to Tanzania I was told that we would need house help. So Mama Velo did our cleaning. (I cooked. I enjoy the creativity of it, and it gives me some headspace – like how some people do their best thinking in the shower.) And she was great, and we kept […]

The lady at the gate returns

Do you remember the lady at the gate? We’ve seen her a few more times since then, always saying she’s poor and needs food, but always with a different story. Sometimes multiple stories in the one day or the one conversation. She’s very skinny; she doesn’t look healthy; she’s shabbily […]