Posts tagged sex ed

safe sex is hot sex

always wear protection, kids.

ATGATT couple

finally got around to getting this from the photographer, Jonathan Skow, who shot me with AC Farias (major stunt rider, like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for a guy who can do circle wheelies…) at Ducati Revs America in October 2001. The main purpose of the shoot was to have female racers modeling accessories for Sports Illustrated Women, a now-defunct magazine and the only one I’ve officially modeled for. That was an awesome weekend, to say the least.

oooh, and the timing couldn’t be better. Speaking of protection, National Condom Week starts February 14th! Here’s some nifty factoids from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/factsheet/fscondom.htm for details and references, click on the link.

Condoms Are Highly Effective in Preventing HIV Infection.
Condoms Are Effective in Preventing Some STIs.
Condoms Are Effective in Reducing Risk for HPV and Cervical Cancer.
Condoms Are Effective in Preventing Unintended or Unwanted Pregnancy.
Condoms Are Effective Barriers.
Condom Availability Programs Increase Condom Use among Sexually Active Teens.

Choking the Chicken…

is certainly a pastime enjoyed by boys the world over. After I took this picture, I explained to the boys what it signified. Highly amusing, given the depth of discussion we had regarding the practice, espeically with our translators. Some of them refused to beleive that it does not have any damaging side effects, no matter how many times we told them that quite the opposite is true. This week’s class was mostly boys, which was interesting, after two weeks of teaching mostly girls. What I liked about that, was being able to urge them to go home and practice putting on condoms themselves, something the girls can’t really do. There were some real class clowns in this group, which made for some highly entertaining role plays.

Living in Tanzania

Pix from Ngorongoro crater are here:

http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=42133079/a=51230642_51230642/t_=51230642

Well, I have been having a lot of fun getting to know Danio, the driver from our trip to Ngorongoro. On the 4 hour drive home, we talked, while everyone slept, or seemed to. He’s from a small village near Ngorongoro, where people often bring the farm animals into the house for the night, and his mother owns a small farm. He’s learning Italian, and it was fun trying to see how much I could understand, based on my Spanish and French. He asked me about my family, and when I told him that my brother David had covered the task of creating the next generation, and that my brother Gary and I didn’t want kids. He found this absolutely shocking, having never before met someone who didn’t want kids. He expressed concern for the state of humanity, when I told him that many, not most, but a lot, of Europeans and Americans feel like I do. I explained that some of us have other interests we find more compelling than making and raising children, and that as societies become wealthier, and women become more educated, the birth rate drops. He was still shocked. I explained the situation of exponential growth of the human race, and how we are running out of resources, especially clean water. To illustrate this, I referred to the big river that runs through Arusha. He agreed that people bathe, defectate, toss out trash and drink from the same river. I explained that that is why so many children die of preventable bacterial diseases in places like Tanzania, and that until the infant mortality rate drops, people will continue to feel compelled to have many children.

So then, I asked him how many kids he wants. He said two, a boy and a girl, and asked if there’s any way to tell if it’s going to be a boy or girl. I said no, not until the mom is well into her pregnancy. It’s so weird thinking about the vast chasm that exists between us, culturally. On the safari, the other girls and I broke into song occasionally, my personal favorite was when we’d see the backside of an elephant, we couldn’t help but sing Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “I like big butts…” We asked him if he knew it, and he replied that he wasn’t much into that stuff, as he’s a cultural dancer, and thus focuses on traditional music. Wow. When we went out to dinner last night, he just came right out and asked “…not even one kid?” Talk about turning the tables! I reminded him of all the orphans living on the streets in Arusha, who are just as worthy of a good home as any newborn. I’m trying so hard to adapt to Tanzanian life and culture, but certain things have such universal repercussions, they need to be changed. Like condoms, for example. Apparently, someone’s daughters were practicing putting condoms onto some guys and their mother found out, and complained to the school, so we had to have a big talk with them. There used to be a PSA on tv here showing how to put on a condom (something many adult TZ men don’t know how to do!) but the public outcry was so great, they pulled it. Well, yes, abstinence is good, and can be practiced by some, as well as monogamy, but hey, for the rest of us, condoms are essential. So teaching was really frustrating today, also because this week’s students are not as focused as last weeks, and I was feeling like the whole thing is pointless, they’re not listening anyway. Well, we do what we can. But it seems like every time we tell some grown man about what we’re doing, he wants to know more. It seems like the info just isn’t getting out fast enough.

I wish I could be a good sport, and just go hey, c’est la vie!, but I have found it really difficult to adapt to The Simple Life… I’ll try to post a video of the street I walk down each morning, because it’s quite interesting. While there many people, animals, and businesses to look at, all I really see is the ground, because if you look up for even a second, it could mean a broken ankle, or a fall into mud. It’s fun, actually, it’s just that I’d like to be able to look at the people and stuff too. The place I live is great, I’m really glad I got the nice middle-class homestay, some of the others are very spartan! So now we’re off to dinner at my Tanzanian Mama’s house.

Culture shock?

Well, first of all, let me apologize for being retarded. I was so sure that I carefully recorded my phone number and sent it out, but no. I left out a zero. Sooooo for those of you who wish to call my cell in Tanzania, the real number is (no longer valid) from the US. It’s free for me to receive calls, and Arusha is 10 hours ahead of California.

Also, I had my dad mail me something I’d forgotten, not realizing that there’s no such thing as a mailman in Arusha. Everyone’s mail is delivered to the post office, and businesses/people with money have private PO boxes!!! So I will go there on Tuesday (tomorrow is Labor Day here) and see what’s up. I almost cried when I found out that after trying 3 banks in town, even waiting in line for a spell, and then taking a taxi out to Barclays (only a $2 ride, but still) to get money for my work permit (which the gov’t is now demanding GSC provide for all volunteers) I was supposed to pay it in US dollars!!!! Wow, so this is what they mean when they say that the USD is the standard currency for the world!! Holy Shamoly. So one of the GSC employees walked me over to a “Bureau de Change” which was actually a very small hardware store, which happened to stock some $$$ for exchanging as well. Any passer-by would not suspect it, so it was very amusing.

I had some posts pre-written, but because it’s Sunday, and the cafe where I can plug in my own computer is closed at 2, I’ll post those later. Today we went to church, it was an Anglican church that Sister (the title used for nurses, not just nuns)Margareth goes to. It was really fun, the singing was beautiful, and I was excited that I could tell when they were reciting the Nicene Creed, just by the cadence. Even though I have rejected my parent’s faith, it was nice to be there for them. We were asked to stand up and the preacher (who very closely resembles an ex-boyfriend of mine!) introduced us to the Parish. I read in a Kenyan paper that the CATHOLIC church actually admitted that the use of condoms is a far lesser sin than the travesty of living with HIV, and that they are considering allowing condom use for the prevention of HIV. I just about fell over. Man, if they change their view on condoms, I’ll take back every bad thing I ever said about Catholicism, and maybe even join a convent, just to express my gratitude for them finally waking up to the realities of modern life. Next Sunday, Margareth will take me to the church that does a “high church” ceremony, aptly named “Christ Church” (the name of the Anglican church I was raised in).

I’m pretty bummed that I can’t just wander the streets at night, especially alone. Mzungu (white people), especially with a purse or backpack, are common targets. I had been avoiding the Dala Dala (local busses, actually minivans) because they are very crowded and it is easy to be robbed on them. But Margareth and I were together, and I figured I’d be safe with her. They escorted me to the front seat, just the same, as I was the only Mzungu on the bus.

I am bummed that I’ll be missing Fontana and Sears Point AMA races, but hey, there are plenty of other distractions…

Au revoir, Paris

The last day in Paris was a whirlwind. I even had trouble keeping up with myself. I dragged my tired ass from Chatelet to Bastille and back to Marais, shopping till I damn near dropped. Then hopped on the metro to Avenue Montaigne for a little dream fulfillment. Bought the fancy silk stockings Prada featured in their recent ad campaign, that the vendeuse at the Rodeo Drive store had said were completely out of stock, worldwide. Humph! I said to myself. I’m sure they exist somewhere in Paris. Et Voila! Now all I have to do is keep them away from my scuffed-up mitts. I’ll have to wear gloves to put them on.

Finally broke down and bought a real Louis Vuitton purse. Yes, I know, it’s awfully mainstream of me, and it’s not the exact shape that I wanted, but it is pink patent leather. And it was much cheaper than it would have been in LA, which is funny considering everything else here is ten times more expensive. OK, at least two times. But really folks, 2 euros for a measly condom? That’s just crazy. Not like I was using any on this trip (I’m practicing being a “good girl” for my time in Tanzania), but the same taxi driver (the one with all the girlfriends) pointed out how expensive they are, and I was appalled.

So there’s some pix from Paris, an adorable puppy and a very sweet, friendly kitty, who did not want to let go when I picked her up and held her. She did that cute kitty massage thing that cats do with their front paws when they’re super happy. Vale never does that so it was quite wonderful. Had dinner with Marten, Than and Niel at a very funky and delicious cafe, and now I am considering staying awake until I need to get up to go to the airport. I knew I’d be mad at myself for booking a 7:20 AM flight, but hey, c’est la vie. Still no photos, gotta get to a wifi spot that lets me send e-mail. It might be awhile.