Four days in the Country

28th March – Wednesday

There is much here reminding me of Sue. The goats – all the little well tended and well fed goats.  These animals can forage on scruffy vegetation and appear to thrive. They are quite little, sometimes shiny and smooth.  There are some sheep and delightful looking small cattle and these tender grey donkeys.  They all look well cared for.

Coming home yesterday from our trip to visit farmers, there is a large dry plain through which the highway runs to Arusha.  It is dry and appears somewhat barren or overgrazed.  Perhaps it needs the rain and it will bloom again with grasses for the foraging animals. The animals are tended by Masai all along the highway.  I’d guess the animals must be always on the move in search of something to nibble.  Still, they don’t look worse for wear, although the cattle aren’t overweight and they are small – rather pretty.

Children tend the stock as well – little children, the littlest of children.  They tend each other too.  The older appear to very carefully watch over the very young.

Farther afield, driving through the lush corn country along bumpy country roads with ruts and holes, there are always people walking and caring for the animals – always.  But for this, you’d think you were in the middle of nowhere . . . ‘cept it is mostly all farmed as well with layers of green stretching to the hills beyond – the greens of corn at varying stages of growth.  Shrubs and taller trees contribute these shades too – quite pastoral and pleasing.

Children carry water in little jugs – they are not overburdened.  Nor do the animals appear overburdened.  Children carry bits of fire wood sometimes or herd the animals.  I haven’t seen a child crying. The school feeding program is supposed to keep kids off the farm and in the classroom but I wonder . . . .

I see the odd stack of spent corn – the stocks – filling an ox drawn cart or on the back of a bicycle or on someone’s back.  And I see people farming like Sue, out there with a machete bringing food for their animals. (I made popcorn the other evening.)

Then there is the laundry, washed by hand in streams, spread to dry on bushes.  To wash clothes simply, in a bucket each evening, and to leave to dry on the balcony does not take long, nor is it particularly burdensome.  I suppose I could have been reading instead but, at the moment, it was a job that needed tending and I do not have a real want to read.  I’ll have clean clothes to wear to work.  Simple and – dare I use the “S word” – sustainable.   Sustainable really means this: living more simply, but by whose definition?

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5 Responses to Four days in the Country

  1. Shari Lovell says:

    Dear Tony:

    I am a friend of Diana and Lad’s from their Toronto days and Di has turned me on to your adventure which I have been following with great interest. I am always delighted to receive an update on your Blog. This experience would certainly make a great book so perhaps you will be incorporating some photos and journal entries into a personal publication when you return home! Your commentary alone paints a vivid picture.

    With every good wish for continued safe travels on this amazing journey!

    Shari Lovell
    Rockwood, Ontario, Canada

    • wadawson says:

      Thank you very much Shari and a pleasant surprise to hear from you via Diana.
      So far I am managing well and working hard at learning about all the complications of development. I share this expereince with some very astute Tanzanians who are sincerely kind and helpful. I’ve been out in country and I have seen most beautiful farmland; lyers of green stretching to the hills beyond. My language acquisition is weak but this Saturday I hope to locate a tutor and will plod on. The director of my programme is from France and he said some helpful words to me: You’ll never speak it but don’t give up trying. My thoughts as well and I note he still uses a translator.
      I’m continuing to write an account and I am learning to manage photos too. I appreciate your comments, they fortify me.

      Wish I could see Di….



  2. bobparkhurst says:

    Tony you are such an observant man. Your observations about the people , the animals , the children + how the work is allotted amongst the family members are remarkable (personally I’ve never seen a pretty cow though!). And it sounds as though you are settling into the work and surroundings as well as making the necessary adaptations. l agree that this would make a great book – perhaps your next project on return.
    All the best…

  3. Pamela says:

    You’re so full of enthusiasm! I’m impressed at how much you/Bob write. I can see your romantic side clearly. Thank you for taking the package for Rehema ~ much more expedient than we expected! Things aren’t quite how we envision them………..

  4. Aaron says:

    I wonder how many of us could leave in a more simple manner? Might not be a bad thing to try.
    Be well, Tony.

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