Friday, 21 September 2012

Another trip to Tanga

Friday September 21st

Another trip to Tanga today.  I was not timetabled for maths and the computer classes are ‘as and when’ I am available so I ‘skived’ school and arrived at Pangani square to catch the 7:30 ‘coach’ to Tanga.  I’m getting to know the road now, so took my Kindle and, with difficulty from the bouncing, read much of the way there.

I am really beginning to realise the meaning of ‘pole pole’ (slowly slowly). You have to change your speed of life or more exactly your speed of expectancy.  From my limited experience, and also from what Cliff (my eldest son) has been saying for years, nothing happens quickly in Africa.  This I found as I spent some hours opening an account at Barclays.

I quickly digress for those who are not totally acquainted with my family.  Last year Chez and I visited my son Cliff and Jane his wife in Dar as Salaam for three weeks.  During the time we travelled to various places around the country and one of these was Pangani where I visited the local school and was impressed with what they were doing with very limited resources. Thinking in terms of collecting books etc to send out, I asked the head what they were short of and he replied “Teachers”.  When we got home it soon became obvious that rather than becoming a couch potato in retirement, I could possibly be more useful spending some time in Tanzania.  To my surprise Chez said, “Go for it”, and so after much planning I am here. BUT. In the meantime my beloved son has moved to Myanmar (was Burma) and so my safety net has disappeared. Only kidding Cliff, see you in October.

To return to Tanga.  As I zigzagged around the town I used a combination of foot power, Bajaj (if I could find one, this is not Dar) and motorcycle.

The motorcycle is real currency in Tanzania.  Cars are incredibly expensive compared to the cost of living here and are way out of the league of the majority, so it is not unusual, as I ride to school, to be passed by a Chinese motor bike with husband steering and wife, and possibly wife’s sister, riding behind.  This also means that on some corners in Tanga you will find two or three young men sitting around talking next to their bikes and I soon found that a polite query for the directions to some distant place would often be met with an offer to take me for Tsh 1000.  I know I haven’t done a risk assessment and Health and Safety would ‘do a fit’ but it’s hot, I’m hot, and it beats walking. Suffice it to say that I got my jobs done, caught the coach and got back to the YM to find they had been without electricity all afternoon.  Thankfully it returned before dark

I seem to have rambled on and on this morning so will finish with a photo.  I have already commented at length about the minibuses plying their trade from Tanga to Pangani.  What I didn’t say is that these double up as the delivery vans.  God bless their springs.


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