On our two recent trips home, I have become painfully aware of my Tanzanian weight gain. Visits to dressing rooms in stores have precipitated quasi panic attacks followed by copious alcohol consumption to ease the pain (which of course foils the longer term weight loss aims...alas, its a vicious cycle).
Our very weight conscious world and obsession with body image stands in direct contrast to the value people place on weight gain here - to carry a few extra pounds is to be healthy (and wealthy). A few weeks ago, our houseboy left his first wife and quickly thereafter found a new wife. He shared this news with great excitement, saying, "the new one is really fat, just like you!" um, gee, thanks. But this was a sincere compliment as far as he was concerned.
Fair enough, different strokes for different folks. But the worst part is that I seem to have gained weight in ALL the wrong places - as evidenced by how clothing is displayed to customers in local shops.