Published: August 5th 2011August 4th 2011
I came soooo close to riding in an 18 wheeler up to Shinyanga. So close! It would have been awesome. But instead, plans fell through, and after about a 13 hour bus ride, with a total of 3 stops made to go to the bathroom (which was like 2 mins each and two of those in the bushes), I arrived in Shinyanga town. The ride was actually pretty cool and I am extremely excited to finally be here. Today I had a chance to meet and greet many of the people that will be assisting us throughout our project. On Saturday I will head to Nhobola village to meet with the village elders and begin work on Monday. My associate and I will be conducting a sort of census or baseline survey in order to get the basic information down of each villager. The village is about 1000 households, so we will have our hands full for the next few weeks.
I really enjoyed my time Dar. The people are amazing and I can't thank them enough for what they did for me. But seeing what people go through everyday while I was basically just touring around was getting to
The Highest Peak
The Range's Highest Peak
me, which is why I am so excited to come to Shinyanga and start working. Don't get me wrong, this area of the country is also marred in poverty, but at least now that I'm here I can start to feel like I'm doing something about it.
On the way up I saw some really cool stuff. They have these crazy rock formations, as soon as you get to Dodoma, the country's capital, all the way up to where I am staying. Some rocks, that have to weigh a tone, almost look as if they were placed there intentionally, but I’m not totally sure and would definitely like to find out more about these things. We drove by Morogoro which has the Uluguru mountain range, that made for some pretty sweet scenery. As we got closer to Shinyanga, we also saw some hills that looked really bizarre, but would be cool to hike, or as Vi would say, scramble. They looked like an uglier Carp dump, but as you got closer they were like a hill with rocks and trees scattered around on top of them, very strange looking. But again, the one constant throughout the voyage was seeing
some pretty awful living conditions and a lot of dry areas that gave me a terrible feeling.
On certain occasions people were just sitting or standing by the roadside with their palms up, opened to everyone driving by, just begging for something, anything that would help them out. It near brought me to tears. Other times, I’d see what looked like a river or stream that was once there, but now all that remained was dirt. You could see people digging in some of these places with buckets or their hands in the hopes of finding some water. It was a pretty gloomy sight to see, especially considering the village that I am about to help is suffering from similar conditions. With these people barley being able to find water, I can’t imagine what it must be like to go without water at all, just as the people of Somalia are going through right now.
Actually, although I have access to water, I have to buy it, as the house itself has no water left in the tank, and I gotta wait for someone to come by and refill it. And who knows how long that will take.
No word of a lie, around the place where I took this shot, there was a lady rockin a Fred Flintstone like outfit.
So, to wash myself, my dishes, and my cloths, I gotta go across the street, fill all four of my buckets, and use that water to giver until I got some H2O. Just a small taste of what so many people gotta do everyday in these parts. I obviously don’t mind, even if I had to do it for the rest of my stay. It be annoying for sure, but nowhere near what it must be like to have to live like that for your entire life.
PS…on the way up I was scared to eat or drink too much because there was no bathroom on the bus and I wasn’t sure how many stops we were gonna make. Therefore, I didn’t eat – I’m also not ready to squat and clean up with my hand and a bucket of water. I know I will have to, probably soon, but Im not ready just yet. Anyway, the old lady sitting beside me saw that I wasn’t eating. She ordered bread and muffins on two separate occasions. And each time, she offered me to eat something. I thanked her for her kindness in Swahili, as she didn’t know a
Keep on Rockin
Check out the rocks to the left. It almost looks like someone puttem on top of one another.
word of English, and would later give her and a kid sitting across from us some of my trail mix. But to think that this lady who didn’t know me, a foreigner whose more likely wealthier than she, offered me food was just another way that I have been touched by the kindness and generosity of these people. Asante.
There are more photos below