A box truck pulled into the driveway of the cultural center (where the pool is) right before us. The white box on the back was about 10 ft long, 8 ft wide, and 6.5 ft tall with no windows, just double doors which swung outwards. Three men clung to the back. I had assumed that they'd just jumped on to hitch a ride. However, when the truck parked people started streaming out of the back one after another. I counted 23 people and a goat before we walked on. There were still a few silhouettes standing in the back of the truck. It turns out they were there for a wedding.
Once in the locker room Alexia grabbed the sunscreen, squeezed a sizable blob into her palm, and began slathering it on herself before we could stop her. She was covered in a thick white layer so I said to her jokingly, "You look like a mzungu!"
We walked out to the pool and everyone turned and stared unabashedly. A group gathered along the perimeter, including some members of the wedding party, to look at me. I felt like a zoo animal with the fence around the pool being my cage. It was pretty awkward but I pretended not to notice.
As Alexia and I splashed around in the baby pool, a man sitting nearby asked me my name.
"What is your name?"
(Thinking I was being rude and not answering) "I'm just trying to be friendly."
"I know, my name is Gwen."
Geeze. Introductions are always so difficult with my name.
"Gwen, did you fly British Airways?"
"No, I flew Virgin Atlantic."
"I took a different airline."
"How much is a flight?"
(Lying, not wanting to say) "I don't know."
"Oh so you were sponsored? Where is the money?"
"I'm sorry, I don't understand."
"Where is your money, I know you have money. I want American dollars for food."
"I'm sorry, I don't have any." (I really didn't and I wouldn't have given it to him anyway. I was told before I came not to give handouts. I'd also already learned from past experiences abroad not to.)
It was so awkward. Stephen had told me when I first arrived that people would look at me and see money. Up until that point I hadn't had any encounters like that. He said if anyone ever asked me for money to redirect them to him and say "He is the one with the money". And then they "would go running in the other direction".
Alexia and I got out of the baby pool to dry off. We laid down on our towels and looking at her hands she said, "I think they are getting whiter."