Jambo Tanzania!

p1020415

Jambo means “hello” in Swahili and I hear it all day long in Tanzania because Tanzania is such a friendly place. Part of East Africa, Tanzania is famous for its animal parks, Mount Kilimanjaro (“Kili”) and the Olduvai Gorge. It was called “Tanganyika” until after the English colonists pulled out in 1961, and is home to more than 100 tribesdownload that live peacefully in part because of deliberate government policies. Swahili is the national language and, fortunately for me, English is commonly spoken. The people I have met here are full of joy and warmth in spite of the difficult lives most of them lead.

I came to Tanzania to join a safari. Mine, like most, began and ended in the city of Arusha. Arusha has a population of more than 400,000 but feels small and easy.  My driver yells “asante Baba!” (thanks daddy!) to a driver who lets him pass. The children giggle and wave when they walk by. When I walk through town with my hotel manager, a dozen young men greet him like a brother.

p1020106

The school children all wear uniforms that feature sweaters. I am sweating in my tank top.

p1020126

The women wear brightly colored traditional dress and carry pretty much anything on their heads.

p1020401

Yes, hakuna matata is a real (wonderful) phrase in Swahili.

p1020133

Tanzanians eat a lot of barbequed meat and “ugali,” which is like polenta. But they like pizza too

fullsizerender-11

A small art gallery in Arusha.

The Masai, one of Tanzania’s biggest tribes, live throughout the countryside in villages called “boma.”  The Masai measure their wealth by the number of cattle they own and live on a diet of mostly meat, raw blood and milk. They are polygamous.  We visited one of the Masai communities and learned a little about how they live.

When we arrived, the warriors and women lined up opposite each other and sang a song in perfect harmony.

p1030024p1030012
p1030058

The children are friendly but live in very difficult conditions.

p1030437

The Masai women make and sell a variety of small crafts, including jewelry.

Tanzania is a place where “karibu” — you are welcome.

p1020437

Masai mud houses.

We, in Africa, have no more need of being ‘converted’ to socialism than we have of being ‘taught’ democracy. Both are rooted in our past — in the traditional society which produced us.
Julius Nyerere, who lead Tanzania to independence

15 comments

  1. Thank you, Kim. I would so love to take Davon there. Thank you.
    By the way if you stumble across a school in the world that can work with and embrace young adults even for 6 mo or a year pls let me know. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Is there an inverse relationship between having lots of “stuff” and being warm and friendly to strangers? Hmmm. Thanks for sharing the pictures and comments. Looks like a wonderful time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s