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68 travelers at this place

  • Day8

    Day 8: There is a Mzungu in town

    February 9, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    After a wonderful night in my soft, warm and huge bed, I feel rested and ready for another mini adventure 🦸🏼‍♀️

    Today I went out to town with Gaston meeting some of his friends and enjoying some local stuff: Good Tanzanian cuisine, quick stop at the local market and finally some bars and local beer 🍺 💃🏼 Plus (and this was my favorite): A ride on the Daladala - this is a mini bus which stops wherever you want, picking up as many people as possible (possible means more than the bus is designed to carry) 🚎😂

    Again, I have experienced nothing but kindness from the local people - so many new friends in a country far away from home 🇹🇿💛

    PS: Mzungu is the Swahili term used for white people 👩‍🦳
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    Caro Gabby

    Was lucy to meet you too

    Marleen Relling

    Happy to see you have found my blog!!!

  • Day6


    November 16, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Om onze safari te regelen, gingen we met de local bus naar safari capital Arusha. Via via hadden we contact gegevens van Safari Booker Bartho gekregen, die ons in een donkerbruin kantoortje ontving. Het was gemakkelijk om daar in het donker in slaap te vallen, maar we deden ons best onze ogen open te houden. Helaas konden we niet meteen de volgende dag op safari, maar moesten we een dagje wachten en volmaken in het drukke Arusha. Hier werden we iedere vijf meter door 3 mannen aangesproken: how are you? Where are you from? Germany? Go on cheap safari? Etc. Ff wennen vooral voor Piet om in de negeer modus stappen. Om dit te ontwijken zijn we een heel stuk door een niet touristisch deel van de stad richting het Cultural Heritage Centre gelopen: een van de grootste kunstgalerijen van Afrika. Dit was veel mooier dan verwacht, en bovenal gratis entree! Na een goede Mexicaanse avondmaaltijd was het tijd onze tassen te pakken voor de safari die de volgende ochtend zou starten: dag 1 Tarangire national Park, dag 2 en 3 Serengeti en dag 4 de Ngorogoro crater.Read more

  • Day432


    January 2, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    The staple food is ugali which is some sort of maize flour paste and looks like homemade play-dough. Doesn't taste of anything but doesn't hang around either. At lunch we get with it some green leaf vegetable chopped up fine.
    Dinner maybe beans and maize or plantains and carrots boiled up fine . Often some rice is prepared as well.
    Fruit forms no part of the diet. Fish has been served a couple of times, and recently some parts of chopped up animal have been included in the pot.
    Conventionally we would use our fingers to eat, but enough uncouth volunteers have visited that using a spoon is not frowned upon.
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    Rose Siva

    Hmmmmmm doesn't look all that appealing...

    Rose Siva

    Tony Hammond

    An amaizing repast!

  • Day428

    Tanzanian wildlife

    December 29, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Everyone knows that Tanzania is famous for its wildlife. The plains of the Serengeti are filled with flocking tourists, herding animals and solitary carnivores posing for their photos. One of the largest group are the toy Otas, usually peaceful but capable of running their prey to the ground with excessive bursts of speed.

    The Two-Tier Tanzanian economy is geared to these rich pickings, picking up a significant contribution to the debt repayment plan. For example, just to cross the Ngorogoro park on the way to the Serengeti costs USD73 each way. That is more than I paid for an annual National Parks pass in Australia. Most prices though are carefully calibrated to be the same as in Europe. I found a real, brewed coffee the other day in a Muzungu cafe, (Tanzanians only drink sachet coffee,) which cost me TSH 3000 about 1 Euro 20.

    If you haven't seen a Game Park I suppose it is worth it. Having seen the surrounding countryside and numerous pictures of the Serengeti, I find it rather like an extended Longleat, with stately tents instead of stately houses. The Kruger in South Africa is probably a better bet and my favourite was the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, though I visited in the last century so who knows what its like now.

    Here anyway are some of the less frequently photographed animals, starting with the compound beasts Tiger and Nala, both desperate for attention and sympathy but uncertain medical condition.

    The Secretary bird was morosely hiding in the centre of town guarding the German boma, (fortified house,) that houses the Natural History Museum.

    I found the flamingo in a puddle outside the art centre. Is this called irony?

    I have no idea what the green creature is. As soon as it realised it was to be in a photo it accelerated away into the wild.
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    Tony Hammond

    At least the flamingo looks in the pink of condition!

    Adam Hammond

    Looks like a Chameleon?

  • Day449

    South by South West

    January 19, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    My internal alarm clock was as reliable as ever, waking me at 4 a.m. to catch a tuk-tuk at 5. I sat for 45 minutes watching the rain and wondering whether the pre-booked driver was reliable and would get me to the bus station on time. He was: to the minute.

    Now Johni and Bahati, my room mates, had both lectured me sternly about the dangers of being out during the dark and the prevalence of thieves and other miscreants infesting the bus station. They insisted that they would get up when I left and give the driver explicit instructions with dire threats about seeing me and my luggage on to the bus itself. They were sleeping peacefully as I crept out.

    In the event we arrived immediately in front of the Arusha Express bus as it reversed into its allotted parking space, so as soon as the door was opened I could leap aboard with my stuff. One or two tried to get my bag - to put it underneath or on the roof or who knows where, but the tuk-tuk driver Mroso Bajaji successfully fended them off.

    My choice of seat was behind the driver, but the bus layout plan had not shown the engine air intake and filter between us. It proved to be the same height as my bag on the floor, so after admiring the steam-punk instrument panel, I settled down comfortably to doze with ample legroom to stretch out. Alas, ample African buttocks had compressed the ancient foam cushion, eventually reminding me of the route my sciatic nerve takes from around my knee to just above my coccyx.

    The driver was obviously experienced and confident, throwing the 60 seater bus, (we cannot call it a coach, for they are reserve for the Dar es Salaam trip, "Royal class",) with verve and aplomb. Inferior motor bikes and tuk-tuks displayed their reverence for the king of the highway by moving onto the verge so that the bus could overtake without slowing down. All this I saw through the swirling rain and road spray, wiped into streaks by the tired wiper blades.

    Along the way we stopped at seemingly random places to collect country folk, people squeezing inside and bags of beans / maize on top, momentum being so grudgingly lost that the bus was away again whilst the conductor was still on the ground. It reminded me of jumping onto the back of one of the pre-occupational health and safety, quintessential, red, London, double-decker buses.

    The free flow of traffic on Tanzanian highways is impeded by two peculiarities: sleeping policemen and sleeping policemen.

    The first type are found buried across the road on the access to built-up areas, like mini town walls, or straddling vulnerable infrastructure like bridges. Initially this meant slowing down to 30 kph or so to negotiate the obstacle and then blowing a substantial diesel smoke trail as the bus commander gunned the engine. After a few hours the strategy changed in order to lose the minimum amount of velocity. This maneuver required driving on the on-coming side of the road and veering diagonally across the bump before flicking the charabanc inline. Particularly useful when passing trucks and cars, but I was glad not to be at the back of the bus.

    The second type are found comfortably waiting under trees on camp chairs with picnic items around them. They are to road users what fishermen are to fish, although in this case there is no alternative but to take the bait. It was sufficient to collect an autograph on the bus log and I guess the driver with the most signatures at the end of the month got a prize.

    Another delay though less frequent, (only 4 or 5 in 1000 km,) was caused by driving over single axle weigh bridges. 7,200 kgs front and 9,800 kgs rear if you are interested.

    Vehicles of character and a certain age frequently vociferate and this one had two squawks signifying disapproval. A loud banshee wail fading to an asthmatic wheeze as a speaker collapsed was caused I presume by an 80 kph bus speed limit. I wondered at first whether it was some sort of dead-man warning but since it provoked no reaction, I assumed that it wasn't. Or maybe it was and he was.

    Once on the undulating road in the hills South of Arusha, a second cry of protest could be heard on the descent when the engine braking system was electronically activated. It might have been the sound of a thousand horses blowing foam after a good gallop, or it might have been the engine breaking apart, but the driver kept it going until the very bottom of the trough whereupon he needed to grind down a gear to negotiate the upward slope. Who needs inertia?

    The schedule was so tight that rest stops were infrequent. We stopped once in a bus station where hawkers plied their wares through the windows of the bus; mainly peanuts, bananas and lolly water. I did notice the occasional fried something wrapped in the Guardian (Tanzanian version) but was not tempted. I brought some things with me to eat but never felt hungry.

    Once we stopped in the middle of nowhere for the passengers to relieve themselves in the bushes. The driver nipped out quick and was back almost before the people had alighted: I wasted no time and returned to the sound of the engine being revved up. Oh what fun to see folk flushed out of the foliage like pheasants frightened by a gun dog.

    The road down into Mbeya narrowed and the edges became ragged but we were due to arrive at 2300 hours and by golly we would. And we did.

    By this time I was happy to get out and even happier to be met by Brother Michael, from the Benedictine monastery which will be my next workaway. He did not waste any time but whisked me away to a diocesan hostel where I could spend the night for about 10 euros, including 3 meals.
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    Tony Hammond

    What a gas! No wonder you had no appetite but I'm surprised you didn't buy the fried food so you could read The Grauniad!

    Rose Siva

    What a memorable trip!

  • Day414

    Tribal trinkets

    December 15, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    I walked passed the Mt Meru Market, now named the Masai market as part of the Great Masaii Brand Naming convention, and paused there a while to check out the gewgaws in a large tin shed with 110 stalls lined with identical tourist paraphernalia. Unlike Australian tourist knick-knacks which are made in China, these momentous are locally made. (Its cheaper!)
    Some of the paintings are quite distinctive, copies of those in the cultural museum. Printing copies from a photograph is far too expensive in Tanzania, so the copies have to be made by hand, using oil paints. Fools a lot of Americans!
    I noticed some good quality cloth bags which could have come from anywhere and many rhinos and elephants carved from ebony. Ebony is light on the outside and black on the inside which allows the skilled artisan to make some amazing two tone pieces. Big wooden spoons or salad fork / spoons are nearly as common as giraffes and rhinos and of course brightly coloured Tanzanian shirts which Tanzanians eschew in favour of Man United T shirts.
    Many beads. Many many beads. It was Beadlam in there.
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    Andrew Mihno

    It might be bealam out there but just don’t let them string you along...

    Tony Hammond

    Colourful creations that caught your beady eye but are they prepared to haggle?

  • Day431

    True Native culture

    January 1, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    Most Masai warriors are photographed in the bush wearing a red blanket, holding a staff and pricking liking startled gazelles. So here is the real thing; the man who started the Kyosei Training Centre, Steven Saningo, a Masai man who himself only just managed to complete his education.
    It is his birthday today and the girls had to drag him kicking and screaming outside to have buckets of water thrown over him; for this is the custom. He was so reticent a week ago when it was his sister's turn to get soaked.

    His wife Riziki runs the accommodation side of the project, looking after a varying number of children / young adults who are unable to return home each day. One of the unmentionable things about having a child is that one loses one's identity. In Tanzania this fact is acknowledged by ever after calling the mother by the name of her firstborn. It is considered respectful to call her Mama Lau. Since I am older than all of them I am allowed to call them by their names, so I do.

    And here is their 6 year old daughter Lauree, known as Lau, back from her boarding school for the holidays and livening things up.

    Steven's sister Mary has been lodging here whilst she finished her Secondary Advanced Certificate in November: now she awaits the results before deciding what career to pursue.

    Another resident is Luciy another impoverished student from the countryside hosted by Steven and Riziki. Hers is a sad tale of absconding from an arranged marriage and drifting around until she ran across the Kyosei programme. Since her English was non-existent a year ago, it will be a miracle if she gets a Pass mark in the exam; which closes off most options. Here she is cooking dinner for all of us in her room.
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    Tony Hammond

    Fascinating portraits and life stories....

    Mona's Meanderings


  • Day445

    Stone me

    January 15, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    In Merelani, (Northern Tanzania, underneath Kilimanjaro,) whilst the women fetched water and did other household chores, Masaai warriors played the ancient game of strategy called Enkeshui, more commonly known as Mancala. They filled the cups with rough lumps of rock such as can be seen in the photos.

    Mancala is perhaps the oldest game in existence. A little evidence suggests it was played 5,000 years ago in ancient Sumeria, (modern Iraq); more evidence that it was played 3,600 years ago in ancient Sudan, (upper Nile); compelling evidence that ancient Egyptians played before 1400 BCE. Whatever.

    In 1967 a Masai tribesman showed one Manuel d'Souza, a man with an eye on the main chance. Thinking he had found saphires he quickly registered four mining claims. Well, the bad news from the crystal gazers was that it was only blue zoite: the good news was that it was found nowhere else on earth and polished up nicely.
    If deBeers could create an artificially high price for common diamonds, Tiffany & Co decided to do it with zoite. The first thing they did was rename it Tanzanite. Then they found it sells itself as it is attractive and rare.

    This shy stone does not like to be photographed and hides its particular beauty behind a blue veil. It suffers from pleochroism, a disease usually associated with politicians who show different colours when viewed from different directions. The colours revealed inside the gem as it is rotated are red-violet, deep blue, and yellow green, but heat treatment removes or reduces the yellow green or brownish colour, maximising the blue and violet.
    Gazing into the blue stone flashes of red can be seen like corona discharges or the interior of a well lit fire. I've never seen it before and would have bought it on the spot - except that I did not have half a million USD in my pocket and the nice lady would not take my IOU.
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    Tony Hammond

    Enough to blue your mind!

  • Day430


    December 31, 2019 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Here is a trip down memory lane for Mancunian graduates.
    Alas, the staff looked blankly at me when I asked for a pint of Robinsons.

    In this economically disadvantaged part of Arusha - in fact the world - what we once called poor, there is an absence of evening entertainment for the masses, most of whom do not have a TV at home. Many bars have TV rooms though, so what fills the gap, at least for the boys, is the English Football League enlivened by on-line punting (if you soccer loving shin kickers will forgive the rugby term,) on the Tanzanian football pools.

    And the team of choice for many is Manchester United. When United played City a few weeks ago, the noise rivaled that of Manchester itself.

    The girls on the other hand spend hours plaiting and re-plaiting their hair.
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    Tony Hammond

    Looks like it's a roaring success.....

  • Day436

    Chip off the old block

    January 6, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Nyunga Joseph Nyunga started sculpting in 1964. He studied all over the world: North Korea, London, Paris, Swaziland, China, Berlin and Finland. This statue is in the style known as Kimbuga, the Kiswahili for Hurricane.

    Kimbuga lives in the ocean and sometime comes ashore in tidal waves. When coastal areas have been denuded of vegetation and forest cover, Kimbuga can strike far inland causing devastation. So we must educate people about caring for the environment.
    But Kimbuga can also be good for us. When Kimbuga smashes into a mountain causing landslides, the minerals inside are released to us. If gold, diamonds and other precious metals are there, the people will prosper.

    Kimbuga has advisors, small creatures such as insects and amphibians that help in defense. There is a toad in one mnostril and a tortoise in the other. When they emerge come out it is a sign of rain. On the left forearm can be seen a chameleon; sign of variability, of impending change.

    The snail on the bottom lip signifies peace: touch it and it withdraws into its golden shell.Under the mother figure a baby emerges cautious about what it will find. An example of not rushing into things.
    The other carvings had no explanation.
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    Tony Hammond

    Looks like they are a cut above some of the art for tourists....


You might also know this place by the following names:

Arusha, Aruŝo, آروشا, ARK, アルーシャ, Аруша, 阿鲁沙