Monday, October 15, 2012

Lists about Tanzania

I thought I'd make some lists of things that aren't so convenient here, and things I like that I think I will miss about Tanzania. 

Difficulties, things I deal with that make me miss home:

1. Washing clothes by hand, hanging to dry, which really sucks in humid weather in Amani!  To be honest though, I have started enjoying the washing part, and if there's good sun I love the smell of my clothes after.  

2. To get hot water, have to flip a switch for at least 30 minutes to warm it up, and some places there was no hot water (which was okay in the hot places, but not in Amani--luckily I have enough here)

3. Buying water in bottles, too risky from tap, much less from streams (miss that about Norway)

4. Not having whole grains!!  In bread, rice, etc.  So sick of white bread.

5. Being a "mzungu" or white foreigner: people staring, shouting random English phrases (kids AND adults)

Nice things, things I will miss here:

1. Great fruit: papaya, mangoes, avocado, coconuts (fresh and mature),

2. Riding a motorcycle on nice roads in Morogoro, and being able to find a motorcycle taxi just about everywhere.  And costs 75 cents  to a dollar to go almost all the places I needed to go.

3. Aerobics class in Morogoro

4. Hot milk in my coffee and tea, and by itself, which I will have to replicate in Norway/MN

5. Monkeys, birds, forest night sounds in Amani

6. Warm weather, beautiful scenery/views

7. Wearing African-style and colorful clothes, and jewelry, some of which I could pull off in Minnesota, but much I would just feel silly (and cold in the winter!) in.  

Wow, I guess I have more good things than I thought.  Oh, and for difficulties, I did the small things--missing friends and family is the worst and goes without saying.  And then I could add in the good list "meeting new people" but that has been really good and really bad both.  

And now a funny story about one of the German colonists in this area I heard from an 88-year old Tanzanian man:

The German man (some kind of governor?) being carried on a palanquin of sorts by locals--this Tanzanian man was young when this happened, and said in concern: "That poor mzungu is sick and too weak to walk on his own!"

I asked if he was also being fanned by banana leaves.  Not this time, but I'm sure it has happened.  This story seems crazy to me that it actually happened, and I met a guy who witnessed it first hand, but in other, more subtle ways, I think colonialism if far from over in Africa.

Finally, here are some pictures I wanted to add last time but they didn't upload:

Tea fields.  Tea fields forever.


Forest in the background of tea fields and one of the nicer roads we drive on.


Hornbills hanging out overlooking secondary growth forest.  Taken from the tallest point in Amani Nature Reserve.


  1. The red dirt on the roads looks very much like the Iron Range? Are there iron mines somewhere near?

    Those hornbills look very much like buzzards.

  2. Great lists, Kels. It sounds to me like you're doing a pretty good job of blooming where you are planted. Never easy, though.

    The red roads and tea fields are interesting. Thanks for the photos from another continent!