4th November 2010
Our tour guide arranges a walk for all of us in the foothills of Kili. I am looking forward to exploring a Tanzanian village on the mainland, but begin to wonder how many explanations we will get when our guide seems to answer every question in Swahili.
We walk through an alley shaded by Jakaranda trees into the countryside. We walk through banana plantations, passing graceful women who carry about 25kg of bananas on their heads to market and older brothers on bikes and motorbikes who are bringing their younger brothers and sisters to school.
Everybody is friendly and cheerful. I seem to be saying „Jambo“ to someone every 30 seconds.
Our guide moves at a steady pace, so if I stop to take photos I afterwards have to jog to catch up with the rest of the group. This feels more like a march than a stroll.
Then we walk through a group of houses that look suspiciously like a village. There is a school, a butcher, even a shoe repair shop – and yet our guide marches straight through.
AH decides to investigate what is going on. All he finds out is that we will be turning right soon...
I am beginning to get a bit worried when our guide stops passersby and seems to ask them for direction.
We pass many right turns before we finally turn.
Overall, our march through the Tanzanian countryside lasts 3 hours.
All my questions remain unanswered:
Who is the black lady in the trouser suit and handbag, who would not have been out of place on the catwalk?
What are the villagers drying on the rattan mats? (It looked like sprouted millet)
Who lives in the nice houses just outside the village, and who are the black guys in the jeeps who are covering us in a cloud of dust?
Even if we had spoken perfect Swahili, I am not sure our guide would have known the answer. He isn’t from the village, but from Moshi, and what do townies know about countrylife?