A Friend in Need is a Friend in Debt
Polo Ralph Lauren Pure Light
So Much Trouble in the World
What about Slave Day?
Black My Story Black Idea
No Permanent Situation
The dog Father
You’ll Never Walk Alone, Liverpool Football Club
Tracy Chapman (my favourite) Obama
Power of Jesus
Real Hip Hop
Ruben Hood Smile for Me Outlaw Focus in Africa
Titles for some kiosques and small shops….
Hilary Clinton Shop (a somewhat bedraggle, tacked together kiosque by the roadside)
Camp David (a wee café, all cafés are wee)
Los Angeles Guest House
The Mushroom Café New Nice Café
Truthful Faithful Training Centre Boy Guys Bar Welcome to Dream Time Quality Shop Damasscuss Grocery New Improved Bull Washing Bar With Lemon Power
While walking to work..
When I asked what made Tanzanians so friendly, so well disposed, Abel said “Julius Nyerere”.
Julius Nyerere actually put these two words together “Peace and Love”.
I stopped to purchase a 400 shilling mango on the street but was missing a few shillings and a young man contributed to my purchase. I offered slices to those who saw my delight as I continued my way home. I think the annual arrival of this fruit from Kenya is welcome by everyone. Rightly so; it is delicious.
200 shillings worth of roasted peanuts sold on the street are wrapped in a newspaper cone.
I’ve pass a gravel pit where people are way up the mountainside shoveling gravel down towards waiting ‘dump’ trucks and it looks as the dump trucks are unloaded by hand as well.
Heading home from a field trip Hanga Nyerere sang a familiar hymn in Kiswahili.
A nation wearing cast off clothes and carrying them so well:
On two occasions men walked past wearing slightly small ‘ladies’ tailored jackets – trend setting.
I saw a lady wearing Auntie Aileen’s mink coat she kept all those years in our freezer. No lie. Or a second cousin.
Motorcycle taxis sporting ski jackets with fake fur trim, pink scarves, ski hats from Apex ‘n Aspen.
Tee shirts that read: Duluth, Minnie Mouse, “Born 00”, “I’m Bad my Tee Shirt is Good”, “The Vibrators”. Sweat Shirts from McGill, ball caps from Alaska; jackets from Bean, SunIce, Patagonia.
Even Tim Horton has his say.
The thing is, whatever, they can pull it off, make it work.
A protected, nurtured, cultivated, expensive view within the bosom of the United Nations.
The sweet sour smell of bodies washed from a cold water bucket.
As I set out for work one busy morning three cows with humps were skillfully negotiating the roundabout guided by a man with a shuka and slim stick with which he lightly tapped these biddable animals.
Given the lack of defensive driving I am surprised at how few accidents I’ve seen, but the dogs don’t make it. Possibly the more rules the fewer wits.
Lovely baby grass-green preying mantis on my vegetable basket all day out on the balcony.
Chips (french fries) are hand-cut. Yes, hand-pealed, hand-cut, fried on an open charcoal fire.
Coca Cola (soda) and plastic chairs are everywhere, just as in some Amsterdam café or on every sundeck anywhereland.
Cellphones border on ridiclous.
Philippa, two little boys with their all wooden, miniature toy ‘bambulence’.
Joseph Israel, still a high school student studying biology, wants to leave Tanzania as soon as possible as he sees little future what with government corruption. I gave him Wangari Mathaii’s book that Toshi had left me. She won the Nobel Peace prize in 2004 for her work in reforestation. She was a Kenyan educated in the United States, during the Civil Rights movement and in Germany. She returned to fight for Kenya her entire life. She was a biologist so I gave him her book. I hope he reads it. He said he surely would. I watched him cycle off home, a long way from the Sunday afternoon soccer game where we met.
I pass a pile of largish rocks some women and children are turning into gravel, with hammers and without eye protection.
The librarian’s name is Godlove, and I’ve met Godlisten and Godwin.
The about grade six young boy skillfully practicing soccer moves with a homemade ball in the gravel by the roadside. He is wearing sandals made of spent tires and his clothes are in tatters and his every move is brilliant, lithe.
I saw some comment in some magazine about an accompanying photo of a rooster tied to book-rack on the back of some Afrikan bicycle, and how wasn’t this animal cruelty? No, it was a rooster tied upright on the back of a bike. Around here you don’t just stop at Mallmart for your average frozen bird.
I live beside the Impala Hotel. Big. For months I’ve watched people shoveling through the green slop that comes out the back door, feeling badly thinking this was their source of food. Finally I stopped one day to ask (I guess it took me all this time to work up the nerve +/or learn some of the words required to squeak out the question). Phew, it turns out the bags of slop are for their pigs. Made me feel so much better.
Goats walking, no, strolling down the street window shopping, stopping to peer through the door of the motorcycle shop.
On the the list of offerings on the window of a beautician’s shop the likes of: message and man cure. (Funny but keep in mind my Kiswahili.)
When I asked if Peter was Tanzanian his immediate response was “I’m Afrikan”. I could have hugged him for the strength in his reply, his pride.
Tony to co-worker Frida: “I’m beginning to feel old.”
Frida’s response: “What do you mean??? You are old.”
There’s a chronic shortage of dough in people’s pockets.