Thursday January 26th, 1978
Malindi and Mombasa, Kenya
This morning M.G. continued to work on putting the cassette into our car. Also, did some more electrical work for Jack. Sally and I went downtown Malindi and I bought a long dress for 75 shillings. Also went to the market and bought 2 pumpkins for 5 shillings. We left Malindi about 2:00pm and stopped and bought a “debe” of cashews for 82 shillings and 50 cents. We stopped by the guest house to see if the workers were there. Tonight we ate supper at Helen’s house along with the Housers, Disons, and Jo Von. We had steaks, baked potatoes, green beans, salad, fruit salad, and cake.
Whenever our family went anywhere we always had a toolbox in the car. Dad was usually found fixing some appliance or such at any stop we made along the way.
Mom was practicing her talent today as usual. Although I guess buying clothes is instinct and not talent in the female of the species. She, like my wife, always tried to get a good deal on her clothes and since at the time she spent about $7.00 for the dress I guess Dad couldn’t complain much. As a matter of fact they paid more for the cashews than she did for the dress.
One of the reasons I chose this day for the post was it shows how the culture works its way into your life. “Debe” is Swahili for large container. Mom’s particular thorn in the flesh was learning the language and yet here in her diary she uses Swahili to describe something that happened that day. Even today I catch myself describing something to someone here in the states and I will lapse into Swahili and they will look at me like I have two heads. It is not until later that I realize what I’ve done and have to explain myself to my friend.