Leaving Africa, In African Style

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My time to leave had finally come. I got up early and said bye to Johanna, Melina and Elin; As they had to leave for Upendo. Maria also left for Upendo shortly after. It was strange and sad to say bye to them as I’d been living with them for a while now. I next went over to SWIWSCO for 30 mins and saw the kids. After speaking to a few of them I started to say bye and give out my letters to the kids. It was really very emotional. Some of the older girls will be leaving and who knows what keys ahead of them.

I ran back to the house and got myself sorted, showered, ate breakfast. It was then time to go… I was sad to say bye to Witness as we had become friends and she had really come out of her shell. I gave her a present and this made her cry. Godfrey was manning the shop and he tried to continue to look cool as he could as we said goodbye. Collins and Kenny helped me to put my stuff in Omario’s car, I said bye to them and left. It really felt very surreal.

I was getting a Fast Jet flight from Kilimanjaro to Dar Es Salaam. I grabbed the shuttle, which left in good African time. I tried to take in everything on my last trip through Moshi. As we drove to the airport the mountain managed to come out for a last glimpse. Check-in was good. I was amused as it took two laptops and a phone call for them to find out if I actual paid for a bag online. The plane pushed off and we waited on the tarmac for a few minutes, which was strange as the airport is very small and we should take off straight away. The captain came on the PA to say Dar airport had been closed… I had a little panic inside as I didn’t really need this at the start of my journey! We taxied back to the ‘terminal’ and just as the plane stopped, it started again and the captain told us we would be able to leave as Dar airport was open again… A 5 minute airport closure…

The flight took around an hour and was fine. I collected my bag and followed the signs for transfer. The route for the transfer passengers was down a small corridor. It looked as if I was passing through the officers of the airport, down a tiny corridor that barely fit my trolley down. After a security check I was in front of the check-in desks. There were a few chairs but nowhere to buy water, which was a little frustrating as I was there for a good 2 hours. I wrote some of my blogs and just listened to music.

Finally the desk opened and a very slow process of a document check occurred before check-in, where they looked at your ticket and passport like the check-in desk does… My Qatar flight left at 18:20 to Doha. The flight was rammed and my bag was moved to near the front. I asked if I could move nearer it and I did after we had taken off. Luckily there were two seats next to each other free and it was an emergency exit row, so lots of room! I slept for half the flight. The food was very good but there was a drunk Scottish man who was really annoying and I was surprised to find no personal screens on the plane.

I had 2 hours in Doha and after the annoying bus journey there wasn’t much time left. I used the free wi-fi and just wandered to my gate. I boarded late and was surprised to find an empty plane. It was a 2-4-2 setup and there was only 1 person in the middle row in the entire plane. I got 2 seats to myself by the window. I grabbed lots of the tiny pillows from empty seats and had another few hours sleep, as this flight was longer 7:30. The food was very good again.

My godmother, Verity, was very kindly picking me up. I landed just before 8 UK time and had been traveling for over 24 hours. We went back to Verities house and I enjoyed a really good hot shower. I was then cooked a wonderful cooked breakfast, one of the few things I had missed.

I am going to stop writing now as I could keep going and going. I have struggled to summarise everyday, never mind my entire trip. Tanzania is an amazing country. If you can embrace it and laugh off all the things which as a westerner, would be totally in efficient, then you will have an incredible time in this beautiful country.

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Memorial Market And Graduation With A Cake

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I started Saturday morning with another trip to Memorial. I told the kids we were to leave at 9 but they weren’t ready, African time. I was taking Nurdin and Abdul, to buy them some football boots (they are the only boys playing football not to have some), Saidi to buy him some football boots and rain boots, Eliza to get her some school shoes and a backpack and Vumi to help me. I gave Vumi some money and asked her to sort Saidi out, I still had money left from his sponsor for him.

It was difficult to get the boys some shoes. One guy really pissed me off by trying to charge me 35,000 for them. It made me angry as the shoes obviously aren’t for me and it’s not fair on the boys. After some searching and some good negotiating I got Nurdin some good Adidas boots for 12,000. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any good boots for the right price for Abdul. I got Eliza some school shoes for 8,000 and a good bag for 11,000ts. The shoes were tricky as you had to really check them for quality, as normal for shoes at Memorial and to ensure they are not just dyed shoes rather than leather!

I got two t-shirts (North Face and Abercrombie and Fitch) for 5,000 (£2) as I left with the girls. We stopped at the fruit market and the stationery shop to get Eliza some stuff. We were running a little late as we were suppose to be leaving for Pares, Godfrey and Nakundeli’s graduation at 12. Vumi, Hassan, Dula and Witness were joining myself and the Swedes. We didn’t leave until 12:30, which I was slightly concerned about. However I shouldn’t have worried, the guest of honor didn’t arrive until 1:45! As soon as Kenny, myself and 5 Swedish girls showed up, we were asked to sit right at the front. While we waited some of the girls who were graduating got up and started to dance. Nothing planned but in wonder synchronisation. One person wanted to change the move they were doing, so they nudge the others, show them once and they would all synchronise again.

The ceremony was interesting. It started in African style, with the kids who were graduation high school dancing in. They then continued to dance at the front. Two girls then rapped/sang a song, whilst it was being played with lyrics in the background and then one of the male students did a short speech. Pares then asked if she could borrow my camera, she gave it to one of the other guys and he went outside… Before Dula had been taking lots of videos of the floor instead of the dancers… But I’ve learn’t hear to just let it go. They have so much fun taking pictures and it doesn’t harm me.

The next thing that happened was one of the strangest things I’ve seen whilst being here. A cake was brought to the front in a small dancing procession. People would come to the front, pay 500-2000ts and say a person/s name. The person whose name was called out would then be fed the cake by the person who paid… This went on for quite some time. Dula even borrowed money from Witness to feed cake to me and Godfrey. The cake ceremony/auction finished by the international guests, us, being asked to come to the front and be fed cake. I was more than happy to have another bit.

The guest of honor then did a very long sermon/preach. She realised we didn’t speak any Swahili and would every now and again drop some English in. She spoke with such fire and power. At times shouting into the microphone. If I hadn’t had been at a graduation, I could have believed she was doing a speech to troops before they went into battle. She would also say “hellooo” to the crowd and ask for an Amen (pronounced Aimen). It was very hot in the room, which was a few class rooms opened up, and we were all glad when the long sermon finished. There was food served but we were going out later so we said goodbye to the kids and left.

The whole ceremony summed up what I think is a western view on Tanzania. If it makes sense then it doesn’t happen. If you can laugh it off and just accept it then I think you have a much better time here. Such as the ceremony starting 2 hours late. No graduation in the west would start that late, but here nobody seemed to even blink at the idea.

After relaxing at the house for a while I nipped over to SWISCO before we went out. We went to Indioitaliano, which I’d heard very mixed reviews about. I ordered a curry and was the best that I have had in Tanzania. I called Omario and 6 of us piled into the car. I was glad that I sat in the front as the 5 Swedes were rather cozy in the back. We had a drink at Pamela’s bar before going home. Typically they had no 1,000 or 500 notes. Which is very strange when beer is your main sleep and is priced at 2,000 – the notes are 5,000 or 10,000 so you’d always need change of 1,000 when buying a beer….

It was a really nice night, if a little sad to know it would be my last night out in Tanzania.

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Union Cafe, Memorial Market, Buying A Chicken And Sponsoring Eliza

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Wednesday morning, I had another go at getting pictures together of the kids, went to SWIWSCO and the fruit market. After lunch Annie joined Maria, Johanna, Melina, Elin and I in a trip to town. I broke my record with 32 people in a Dala Dala (2 were children, it still counts). We went to Nakumart, a bank and the Post Office. I left the girls to make another trip to the photo shop before joining them at Union cafe. I ordered the chocolate brownie cake, which was good.

I grabbed my pictures before getting a Boda Boda to KCMC for training. There were really poor numbers again so I didn’t stay really late. I had to really haggle to get a Boda Boda for the right price. The age of the bikes is scary, less than 1,000km – showing how cheap Chinese imports are changing this country. After dinner I took the remaining pictures I needed in order for the kids to have 2 each.

Thursday morning Kenny and had a really good chat whilst doing our washing. It was his first time but he did really well. I was supposed to be making a trip with Collins to Memorial Market but he had to go to town to get things for Pam’s shop. Goddy came with Kenny and I to the market, as he needed new school trousers and couldn’t go till he had some. The market was closed… But there was a few people selling trousers and he got some. We walked to Highway supermarket to get a few things.

Godfrey said we needed to buy some chicken, so we went down the street next to the Internet cafe to find some. We weren’t going to a butcher as I expected, but some bodies house. After the third attempt we found the right house selling chickens. You pick your chicken, haggle for the price and its killed there for you. This was slightly strange to experience, very different from getting a chicken from Tesco! Godfrey was being super cool and was walking at a snail’s pace… We made it back, hot and tired for lunch.

I chilled and drank lots of water after lunch, before getting a Boda Boda to town. I got dropped at the same market Hassan and I went to earlier in the week. I was buying some more beads for the SWIWSCO girls, as the Swedish girls rightly told me there was not enough. I managed after much difficulty as the Maasai women spoke no English. I had to swat away fly catchers who were trying to help me buy the beads – They ‘befriend’ you so you buy tours or tourist gifts from you.

I once again went to Union cafe after dropping the pictures off. I had a very good cheesecake, it was a lot smaller than the others, but the other cakes were HUGE. After dropping my stuff at the house I went to SWIWSCO. Just before I left I wanted to speak to Eliza. Mum and I will be sponsoring her, and sending her to Mt Kilimanjaro school. Which is the one ran by Indians, and I feel is the better school the SWIWSCO kids go to. I had been struggling on how to break it to her so I just came out with it. She was over joyed and ran round telling the other kids. It was so nice to see.

Another Visit To The Hot Springs & A Special Meal

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We were heading to the hot springs again today. Annie’s father and brother arrived yesterday and they came to our house just before 10. I nipped into SWIWSCO so say hello and there was a great buzz around today. Annie had arranged a taxi and the 9 of us piled into a 7 seater taxi – Tanzanian style. The journey took longer than the way back last time but quicker than the way there. It is an interesting journey, with Kilimanjaro popping out of the clouds and driving through Masaai villages. Some of the roads that we went on were terrible, I don’t know how the large automatic car got to the hot springs.

It was busy when we arrived. Annie and I agreed that it had become greener since our last visit. We had a swim before having some Chips Mayia (Chip omelet). In good African Time the 10 minutes we were told for the food to be ready actually took over 40 mins. One guy was peeling potatoes, cracking eggs, selling drinks whilst his 5 mates just sat and watched in brilliant African efficiency. The food was good though, as was the beer; worth the wait.

After a few hours of swimming, chatting, having our feet eaten by fish, we set off back home at around 3. The springs were really busy when we left with tourists and ex-pats. There were also lots of local guys just hanging around. The drive back was equally interesting, with the scenery and sights to see. As we got out of the cab I realised this was the last time I would see Annie. It was the first of my goodbyes over the next few days.

I had discussed with Pam that I wanted to have a special meal for Hassan’s birthday and because I was leaving. I had given her money to buy potatoes, vegetables, salad and ingredients for cake. There was a massive product line of potato peeling, cutting and frying which was being organised by Acia and the older girls. I joined in and helped with the salad, but struggled as they cut everything paper-thin. I got the hang of it and was nice to spend some time with the older girls.

We had food in the volunteer house before going back to SWIWSCO to help with serving the food and getting the little ones ready. Godfrey had the clippers out again and several of the kids had Mario Balotelli inspired Mohawks. There were loads of chips and meat (thank-you Jamy from all the SWIWSCO kids) and several of the kids welcomed me to join them and eat with them from their plate. Pam had iced a cake which said “Farewell David”, which was really nice of her. The icing was great as was the chocolate sponge. We all had some of this cake, a large slice of another cake and there was some left so the kids could have the next day. There was some dancing but mostly just a great atmosphere, I had a smile on my face all night, as did the kids. A wonderful end to a great day.

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Final Day

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None of the kids were at school today as it was Julius Nyerere day, the anniversary of his death. I went round to SWIWSCO for a while after breakfast. I had to start the unavoidable packing, it was really starting to hit me that I was leaving. I got the majority of it done, but stopped until after I returned back from town as I wanted to pack my small backpack. Witness made my favourite meal for lunch, chapati and chiroko! We all love it.

After veging out for a little while I got my last Dala Dala to town. I was happy that there were 29 people in there. There was so little room my feet were half over the step, so I was doing calf raises the whole way, a random person was holding my bag, my crotch was very near some woman’s face and I was holding on to a rail which was keeping the last behind me upright too. It wouldn’t be complete without cramming yet another person it. This Is Africa (TIA).

I went to Fifi’s to write my last few post cards and finish off the letters to the kids. I didn’t finish the letters but I had to go as time was getting on. The day was beautiful; blue sky and the mountain was as clear as is ever is. Town wasn’t to busy and I made my way round without a single guy trying to sell me shit. I posted my items, got some chocolate for my Swedish house mates and bought one more Kanaga.

I will miss the things I see all the time here, that are so alien to western life. Such as a man sharpening knives in the street. No machine, just a stone wheel driven by a man on his bicycle. I had to negotiate hard to get the Boda Boda home for the right price. I had my sunnies on, my headphones in with Rudimental’s album Home playing – which has been the album I’ve listen to most whilst being here – I love riding on the Boda Boda’s.

Johanna, Elin, Kenny and I had prepared some questions for a SWIWSCO kids. The other 3 had kindly bought some chocolate Eclairs as a prize. After rounding the kids up we sorted boys vs girls teams. I went first with 5 questions about England & UK. Kenny went next with 5 Swedish questions. Elin and Johanna did 3 questions then played musical statues with 3 members of each team. They finished with a egg and spoon race of sort. 9 members from each team would take it in turns to run with a spoon in their mouth and balancing a spoon on their mouth. The kids were good again and listened intently as I read out the answers. The girls ran out winners but everybody got a prize, the kids had fun and the 4 of us got a lot out of it through the kids enjoyment.

For dinner we had a treat. I had mentioned to Collins that I had never had goat, which is a Tanzanian speciality – Masai can drive huge herds of goats and they kill a goat for Christmas. He kindly said he would buy some for dinner. So we had Goat, Pili Pili sauce (chilli sauce), Ugalie, rice, salad, with leftover chapati and chorko. A real treat. The goat was really good. It had parts which were made in sausage like meat which tasted a little like chorizo and other parts which tasted nearly identical to beef.

After dinner I dida little more packing before heading to SWIWSCO. There was a sad atmosphere, which wasn’t great. But at the same time, in a rather selfish way, it’s nice to know they are sad to see me go. Hassan, Nasra and Abdul had great fun styling my hair with water and comb nearly an hour was spent changing my hair next to barber Goddy who was doing some more hair shaving. I didn’t stay ages as I didn’t want to get too emotional. I had to say goodbye to Rohgat and Pam tonight as I wouldn’t see them in the morning. It was really starting to hit me that I was leaving.

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Another Birthday Celebration

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Friday morning was a busy one. I went to Memorial market with Vumi, who is one of the older girls. We were buying football socks for all the SWIWSCO boys, which we managed to get 14 pairs for 24,000ts (£9/$15), trainers and Tanzania football shirts for me. We got some good Nike trainers for 15,000 (£6/$9) and two shirts for 20,000ts. I asked Vumi if she needed anything and she said yes and to follow her. Slightly embarrassingly for me she bought a bra. But I was happy I could buy her something she needed, not just wanted.

After our very successful shopping trip we grabbed some fruit at the fruit market. Vumi was going to make a cake for Hassan’s birthday, so we got the stuff from Pam’s shop. Kenny and Elin were joining Vumi and I to visit Mt Kilimanjaro school. Tatu and Mwjuma were suppose to playing football today. We managed to get just 2 Boda Boda’s for the 4 of us, and for only 1,500ts a bike. The guys drove at crazy speeds. Typically the football game was not on again. The others went to watch a P3 English class and I went totry to sort Eliz’s school fees.

As it was Hassan’s birthday he was covered in water by his class mates, and rather cruelly dust too – not great on a white t-shirt. We decided to put the 4 kids on Boda Boda’s back to SWISCO whilst we walked. After lunch Elin and I went to help Vumi with the cake, to find she already finished them! Collins ran me to town at 4 on a Boda Boda. We collect my suit, the trousers are really good, before he dropped me at Union. I had the last of the 5 cakes in 5 days… A brilliant passion fruit cheese cake. Disappointingly frisbee training wasn’t on… It was going to be my last one so I rang Franki to get me on his bike as I wanted to give him the discs I brought with me.

After the kids and we had finished dinner, we went round to have cake. There was a great atmosphere and yet again, some brilliant dancing, although this time inside. Dula was busting some wonderful moves. I gave my Camera to one of the kids and found hundreds of pictures on it, but it doesn’t matter as they had great fun taking them.

Kenny and I left the party late and watched a bit of TV whilst Fahem was running around like a crazy person. He suddenly stopped and crashed out on the sofa, so we took him to bed. I was up sorting some videos on the computer and I was really confused why I could hear a kid crying, it was Fahem, poor Johanna shares a room with him. It was after midnight and he wouldn’t stop crying and telling me to get off him. So I carried him out to Pam and Collins at the shop. Pam brought him in 20 mins later and he came straight out of bed and on to on a sofa, but he crashed again in 2 mins. He is a funny child.

A Few Trips To Town

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I decided that I wanted to give the kids 2 pictures each before I left. I set about searching through my many pictures to find some good ones of each of them. I discovered that I actually don’t have loads of pictures of the house, the kids, Moshi or Mawazo as its something/somewhere I see everyday. Collin’s and some friends were doing some building work to Pam’s shop. A guy came round and started to do some electrical work, I found him with his head in the ceiling.

I rounded up some pictures and some of Musoma to take to print at a place in town. I also went to get my trousers, they were a little too long but she would take them up for me. Both the pictures and my trousers would take around an hour, so I went to Union Cafe. It’s the cafe in town for the farmers cooperative, of the of coffee farmers on Kilimanjaro. I have never been there before and I don’t know why. The coffee was cheaper, stronger and better than elsewhere. The wifi was faster (you have to pay 1,000ts for an hr, but its worth it) and I had the best chocolate cake that I’ve had since being here. I Skyped Jen and did some blogging before collecting my pictures and trousers. When I collected the trousers the same stoned guy was there again. He tried to sell me wrist bands for $5 for 1 and I managed to get two for 1,000ts ($0.60).

After lunch I went to the internet cafe to catch up on some emails, blogging and Facebook messages. I returned home for 3 for another trip to town. Pam is going to open a small shop next to the house and she was meeting me in town. Johanna (a new Swedish girl who arrived Sunday night) came with Collin’s and I. We waited 10 mins for a Dala Dala and Collin’s suggested getting Boda Boda to town instead. It looked really funny in a line of 3 on the bikes. It was great, as always, and I went a way I’ve never been before.

After meeting Pam, Collin’s flew round with Johanna and I to buy me some material I am getting a suit made. After some negotiation we bought the material for 28,000 and went to a tailers to get it made for 58,000. In total 86,000ts (£33.50/$53.50). I then took Johanna on a quick tour round town. I was really power-walking for some reason, and even thought it was nearly 5 it was still really hot. The two of us got a Dala Dala back home and walked up to Highway supermarket so she could see where that was. After buying a few things we walked home via Memorial so we could see the boys play football. The mountain was out, which was great for Johanna’s first night. She was joining Elin and I at SWIWSCO at night too.

I had a really big blogging and photo session in the morning. I took some pictures of some kids the night before and I wanted to print some pictures of for Witness and Arthur. It felt good to catch up on my blog as I really enjoy doing it and I didn’t want to not finish it. I went and chilled with Hassan and Vumi at SWIWSCO. Hassan hurt his foot on Sunday and can’t walk very well, but he was much better today.

After lunch I wanted to go to town to get more photos done and buy the girls some beads to make jewelry. Collin’s was really busy so he suggested taking Hassan. Hassan changed to look smart and we headed on a Boda Boda to town. The guy was driving really fast so the police didn’t catch us with 3 people on 1 bike. I am not sure why he was so scared as the way we went wasn’t very populated.

We got off at   market in the south of town. Hassan was very worried about me getting robbed and was caringly holding onto my arm, bag or hand (men holding hands here is seen as a sign of friendship, it has taken me a long while to get used to this part of Tanzanian culture!). We started to bargain with a Masai lady for some beads, as they don’t really sell them but they make the jewelry on the side of the road. A guy tried to ‘help’ us but he just wanted me to go on a safari. We bought some beads and another lady ran over asking us to buy from her too. We went there and she asked Hassan if I wanted her baby. It was a strange and sad situation to be in.

Our next stop was a short walk to get some pictures printed. It would take an hour so I took Hassan to Union cafe. He’d never had a milkshake before, and really enjoyed it. He is 12 on Friday, but is so mature for his age. His English is so good, and if he doesn’t get something I can easily explain it to him. We collected the photos and went to buy some Kanga’s on our way to the Dala Dala. Kanga’s are brilliantly coloured material that woman here wear as; Dresses, Skirts, Tops, Head Scarfs, Baby carriers and many more uses. I had bought one a few days ago and some random guy told me the price had gone up from 7,000ts to 9,000ts. I managed to get them for the right price and felt very proud.

I took the remaining pictures I needed of a few kids after dinner and had a really good night at SWIWSCO. Kenny has moved back to the volunteer house and he is also coming to SWIWSCO. It’s nice to have another guy around and so many people at SWIWSCO too.

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An African Adventure – Riding On Top Of A Truck

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On Sunday I wanted to go to TPC club, which is about 20km south of Moshi. It has a swimming pool, wifi, golf, tennis, bike hire, accommodation and is supposed to have an amazing brunch. Collins told me to get on the Soweto to town Dala Dala and get off at the end of route. I had been on the Dala Dala around 15/20 mins and I felt We were turning towards Soweto… The conduct looks confused too and asked me where I wanted to go. He laughed and said I should stay on. I had got on a Dala Dala which did a loop rather than a straight line route.

After arriving back at the start of my journey, I got off in the right place this time and made a short walk to the next Dala Dala. There was a stark difference in this part of town. No tourist shops or hotels. I got on a rammed Dala Dala for a longer journey to TPC. TPC is a HUGE sugar cane factory and there are miles of lush green agriculture for miles around it.

When I arrived at TPC club there was a lot of building work going on. I asked where to go to the pool and I was directed down a small path, behind a building and found a small pool in a garden. Nobody was there so I found some people working in a kitchen and asked if I could use the pool and where a toilet was. I was told to wait and 2 minutes later somebody appeared with a key. We went inside what looked like a dining room, and then down a corridor. He tried several doors before finding the right one and let me in to an en-suite bedroom… I then realised I was in one of their accommodation buildings and I asked to see the manager to check that I can be there.

It is run by a South African couple and I was taken to their office. They are currently renovating the club so there is no pool, wifi or brunch (the reasons I went there) available. But they kindly offered that I could use the pool and wouldn’t take any money off me! Result. I spent many hours just doing very little by the poolside and on a sun lounger.

I left around 4 and went to the main road to wait for a Dala Dala with a few other people. By 5 one Dala Dala came past but it was so full none of us could get in. I spoke to a friendly guy, he wanted my number and I managed to say no politely as I could; It’s difficult to tell if people are being friendly or just see you as a way to get money and things. I was really hungry so I went to find a shop to buy some mandazi. Amazingly there were no little shops close but somebody was selling chips. So I got chips mayi (a chip omlette) to takeaway. I was brought my food on a plate and reminded him I wanted it to takeaway. He brought back my chip omelette in a little black carrier bag…

Another guy started speaking to me when I was waiting at the road. He explained it could be difficult to get back to town now, as it was after 5:30 on a Sunday. He then stopped a Fuso (Mitsubishi) truck and told me to jump on top… With little other options I jumped on the top. The front had so many people in, and there were others with their backs to the windscreen on top of those sitting down! There were 2 other guys on the back and lots of cement mix.

The view was incredible. Mt Meru to the left, Kili straight in front, lush green sugar cane all around and other mountains to the south. I was clinging on and tried to get some photos at the same time. I have never been stared at or been shouted at by so many people as riding on top of the truck. – My hair is quite blonde and long now though. We had to navigate large piles of gravel in the road. Somebody decided to start repairing the roads on a Sunday evening… Instead of putting the gravel on the side of the road, the gravel was placed in the middle so we had to go off-road. As we got into town another truck, laden with people, gained on us and our driver was determined not to be overtaken. I knew we had arrived when the ‘handbrakes’ were put on – some stones were found and placed under the tires.

I had to make about a 1km walk to get the Dala Dala home. I was tired but had a great day in real African style. I will really miss things like this when I got home.

A Very African Night Out

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Friday morning I spent some time sorting through my masses of pictures from Musoma. Tatu had told me the girls at her school would have a football match before lunch. I set off in African Time and had to power walk the 50 mins to Mt Kilimanjaro school. The game was next week…  but it was nice to walk and meet them as they walked back from school.

The four girls and I were heading for a night out. First we were grabbing a Dala Dala at 5:30 to town to find a roof top bar. Kindoroko Hotel was supposed to have a good bar but it had been closed… So we found a bar over the road at the Haria hotel. We had a good view of the mountain as the sun went down. After a few beers we went to Milans, a cheap Indian restaurant. I went to the toilet and was shouted when I neared the toilet door by one of the waiters. She gave me a key… I tried a locked door next the local toilet and found out they had a western toilet. It looked like this was a toilet just for tourists!

After a brilliant meal, I called Omario, the taxi driver I use, and we went to Glacier bar. We all bought a drink but the barman could give none of us change… Maria and I went to the spirits bar and the same situation there… This was really the start of many funny things that happened. When I went back to the bar with Elin, she got stared at by a man next to her for the five minutes we were there… Maria found a man peeing in the sink in the ladies toilet. We’d all had a few drinks now and the girls wanted to dance. So we decided to grabbed taxi to Moshi’s club, La Liga. I tried in vain to get the taxi for 5,000 but I got for 6,000 – The guy never blinked that there were 5 of us and not 4 for a 4 seater.

I had heard that the locals could be creepy to female tourists so I decided to bribe the huge bouncer outside; this did not give me what I expected though. We entered the club and there were only 4 people there at 11… We grabbed some drinks and went to play pool outside. No coins (50, 100 & 200ts) would fit in the table and I guy told me to wait. We waited and he came back and told me to give him 1,000ts. He then grabbed the plastic window where the balls were stored and yanked it open, putting the balls on the table – no coin needed.

We went inside to dance and found that we were quite the attraction. We had only 1 creepy local who was really high and kept handing around us. Many of the locals were great dancers and very friendly/curious about us. The guys would bust out some incredible moves and the woman could contort their body in an unbelievable fashion. The bouncer I’d given money to decided to show me what my money got me. I’d had a few minutes with my beer on the dance floor and told me to take it off. He then introduced me to his drug dealer friend… I left quickly – not what I expected my money to get me. We all found the night incredibly funny and would laugh so much. We left at nearly 4 and tried to come home quietly as Kenny, a Swedish boy, had just arrived at our house. Unfortunately a cockroach appeared in the girls room which led to screaming before I killed it.

I didn’t feel incredible the next day and we all had a chilled morning. After lunch Annie joined us as we headed to the same cafe we went to on Thursday. They did a Saturday special crepe, which was really good. My trousers were suppose to be ready, but they weren’t, so I would come back another day for them. The same annoying guy was there again too. Elin, Kenny and I grabbed a Dala Dala back as the boys were suppose to have a football game.

We arrived at SWIWSCO at 3:15 and the boys were all still there… They were suppose to be at the pitch for 2. I rounded them up, as well as some of the younger ones and we arrived at nearly 4 at Memorial – the game was supposed to start at 4. There was not coach or other team there so the boys just played a game. I took Kenny and Sara (who joined us with her housemate Sarah) into Memorial to buy him some flipflops. We walked home at 5.

It was Yusuf’s birthday and Acia was making Pilau with beef for dinner. There wasn’t as much of a party as other birthdays as Pam didn’t have time with work to attend or make a cake. Elin bought some chocolate biscuits and we put some music on. The power went and this put a dampner on the night. When it came back on we moved the music outside but the kids didn’t seem as into to it as they normally do, which was a great shame.

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Back In Moshi & Driving A Motorbike

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After being away for the weekend I had a rather large pile of washing… I set about the task and was greatly assisted by Rohgat, who was in his second week of holiday. Elin had also arrived; Another Swedish girl who has been at SWIWSCO in May and had decided to return. She was also going to go to Upendo in the morning but would join me at SWIWSCO in the afternoon. After lunch I finished my washing and Skyped with Jen.

It was really nice to spend time at SWIWSCO again. There was another volunteer there from Art In Tanzania, another Swedish girl called Sara. I enjoyed having company at SWIWSCO again from other volunteers as well as the kids.

Wednesday morning I spent some time and SWIWSCO and sorting my room out. After lunch I had a really good Skype with Mum and started to sort out what’s happening when I am back. After a quick trip to SWIWSCO I was off to KCMC for frisbee. I managed to direct the guy through the sheep trails to the pitch. There weren’t many people at training, but Franki and I spent some time coaching Flora and Lucy; to little girls that come regularly. On the way back I spoke to Franki about driving a motorbike to Lake Chala. So he stopped the bike and said I could drive! I was poor at starting it, and it was harder than I expected. There were a few nervy moments, such as two Dala Dala’s overtaking each other, which left me about 2 feet of room, before I’d fall off into a ditch. It was great fun, and another ambition filled.

Thursday morning I had a really good walk to Highway supermarket, the fruit market and then the internet cafe. After lunch Maria, Annie and I went to town. The Dala Dala was crazy, crazy busy, having 28 people in. We stood up and all had nothing to hold onto… We managed to arrive in one piece in town. Annie and I wanted to get some trousers made from a kanga (the colour material the woman use her. They can use them as; skirts, tops, dress, baby carriers, head scarfs and many more things). Annie had been recommended a good lady and we went to seek her out.

She spoke really good English and was really nice. She took us to a Kanaga shop and there was so much choice. I managed to get a tiny bit of discount too. We walked back to her machine and she measured us. I got us a bit more discount so the material (half of which would be used for a Kanga) and the work for the trousers would be 10,500ts (£4.10/$6.50). There was a really annoying guy who was high who tried to help us negotiate even though we didn’t need help. We went to a cafe Annie wanted to try, which was ran by the Anglican church. It was nice but had a garden out the back which we didn’t know till the end.