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Africa » Tanzania » North » Shinyanga
August 29th 2011
Published: August 31st 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

As I type this, the surveying process of the village is well under way. Right now, I got just over 250 surveys to read over and collect the data from so for the next week or so, I’ll be mostly office bound. As a result, there isn’t really that much to talk about, which I figure is a perfect time to tell ya how everyday life is here for me in the community and to answer a lot of the questions I’ve been asked by you, the fans.

The weather can be best described as perfect baseball weather. Its 30C everyday with mostly clear skies and sunshine, partly cloudy with wind gusts of around 10 km/hour with a 0% chance of showers. As a result, walking to and from and all around town everyday turns me into quite the sweaty fella (and darker too!) but at least there is no humidity so walks are beauty. The walk itself is always pretty entertaining too. On every corner of every street it seems there is about 4-5 guys either on bikes or motorbikes, asking you if you need a lift. All the streets on my route are covered in shops, hair salons,
My PadMy PadMy Pad

Pretty sweet tall bungalow. Check out the karterskorners like boundary around the garden, real slick.
or lil restaurants and bars, and every shop keeper tries to convince ya to come in and spend a few bucks on him instead of the competition. There isn’t a lot of money to go around, so any little bit counts, and since I’m a foreigner, always rockin my Canadian roots bag, I’m seen as bit of a big wheel around here. Being here for about a month now almost everyone recognizes me too which is pretty cool. Haha the fan base just continues to grow. I got my regular stops along my route, either for a few bottles of water or to have some chipsi mayai for lunch – which is basically a French fry omelette, and is absolutely delicious.

The food here is pretty solid for the most part. French fries are everywhere and can be served in a variety of ways. So far my best experience was when they served it with mishkaki, which is BBQ meat on a skewer. They tossed the meat on top of the fries and then added tomatoes and onions, kinda like the Tanzanian poutine I figured, and it was beauty. Other side options that you see with every diner meal
MmmmmmmMmmmmmmMmmmmmm

This was at a really ritzy place actually. Boneless chicken and fries and breaded fish and fries on the farther plate. My meal was beauty.
are rice and this thing called ugali – which is basically corn and water mixed together and the end product looks like mash potatoes with no taste at all. Its used as a the spoon as it can be rolled up into a ball that you use to scoop up your meal. I’m not really a fan and the rice don’t taste great to me either.

Chicken here is solid. They aren’t as big as the ones we got back home, but there real tasty either fried, BBQ, or boiled. If I wanna good meal, there is a motel near me that serves chipsi kuku – fried chicken and fries, and it is awesome. Add in a beer or two and you got a helluva dinner for 6 bucks Canadian, which is on the expensive side of things.

By far the best stuff to eat though is samosas. I love these things and I’m trying to learn how to make them. They are kinda like mini burritos in a way, just mincemeat, onions, and maybe a few spies or other veggies wrapped in a triangle. These along with chapattis, which are kinda like a really thin pancake, are my favs. Too bad there only really served during breakfast. There are other little pastry things that are either filled with potatoes, meat, or rice but I have no idea what they are called - they are all good as well. But because I don’t know what they’re called and haven’t really seen them since Dar, I can’t order them! But once I do, its gonna besweet.

The beers are also great. I’d honestly put them right up with the best beers that we got back home. Mdovu, Serengeti, Tusker, and Kilimanjaro can easily go up against Carling, Maclays, or Lakeport any day of the week. Mdovu, which means elephant, is my fav. Honestly though, if that were in Canada, I’d be drinkin it full time, a great malt beer.

Although I haven’t seen any really cool wildlife yet, the local stuff you see is pretty sweet. There are birds everywhere, especially in my yard. I probably have at least 15 different types flyin around in here alone. The worst though are the pigeons. They just wont go away even though I’ve put up a few scarecrows to keep’em from landin on my roof. They are a serious pest and I am contemplating getting a bow n’arrow to teach’em a lesson. I don’t even know what some of the other stuff I’ve seen is called, I think one was a hedgehog, they look awesome. The bugs, however, I am not a fan of.

As of today, I’ve killed a cockroach, a centipede, and a big spider. The worst was the cockroach. It was actually like my 3rd day here and I hear this buzzzzz noise in my room at like 3am. At first I thought it was a bat outside so I just dozed off again but I hear it again like 10 minutes later. After I hear it again and again I start freakin out, and there is no power either, so I got my lantern and flashlight, that’s it, eh. Finally I spot it. It looks wounded, like it hit the wall a lil too hard and is limpin…..towards me! So, armed with my bottle of Kilimanjaro water, as it gets within range, WHAMO! I thought I broke the bottle I hit that thing so hard. What a disgusting insect.

The mosquitoes are vicious also. And I think they’re smarter than Canadian mosquitoes. Like I have to kill at least one per night, and I usually wake up with bites, despite my net. I woke up the other day when the power came back on like at 5am and had 2 inside my net with me! I’m in a normal bungalow style home and there is no way this many should be getting in but somehow, they find a way. I’m actual sick right now with something that feels like the flu. But if I was like Caughey, I’d probably think it was malaria! I’m actually very surprised I haven’t caught it already considering how many bites I got.

Whats really buggin me though is that there really isn’t that much to do here. The bars are ok, more like patios which are nice for a beer or two. Some also have a pool table. Haha, there is a disco but I haven’t hit that yet. Its like a night club I guess, but so far I’ve heard mixed reviews. Other than that, there really isn’t anything goin on. There is no movie theatre; actually I think the only one in the country is in Dar. Sports wise, they got soccer fields and
LizardLizardLizard

These are everywhere and this is one of the biggest ones I've seen so far, it makes its home on my wall, outside of course. No idea if there dangerous or not. Two small ones have actually mader inside my place.
a basketball court, but no one really uses them, at least as often as I thought. And if the power shuts off at night, chances are everyone else is shuttin down too. With money also being an issue for most, its not like they can spend the little they do have on leisurely activities either I suppose. I think the fact that recreational activity is so limited is just another trait associated with poverty, and one that doesn’t really get talked about.

And maybe because of people’s diets, folks don’t have the energy to be more active. According to the early answers I'm seeing in the survey, most people only get 2 meals a day, and I doubt they get all the proper nutrition they need. Still, you’d think that if a lot of people didn’t have jobs, the one thing they would have is sports. The ball you might be using might not look like a real ball, but at least your givener! Regardless, day and night when I’m cruising the streets, I see people just sittin around, doin nothing. I’ve seen the odd game of checkers, but other than that not much else. Back home if your
Sonic?Sonic?Sonic?

This thing went right up to her, real cool looking.
sittin around, usually its on a patio and your chattin with the lads over a few pops about a few skirts. Here, you just sit and stare at the dirt road.

I’m hoping that this will change once our cargo bin of donations gets in to town. Along with the help of some students and teachers from the international school in town, we are gonna start running some organized after school sports programs. I’m debating on getting an adult league goin too depending on how many resources we got. Hopefully that gives folks at least something to do with their time and maybe boost up moral here too. Perhaps because life is so hard here, it might be difficult for people to look past their obstacles and actually enjoy the little things in life like sports, teamwork, camaraderie, etc. Hopefully we can help out here on this aspect. And if the sports we introduce like baseball, hockey, and football really kick off – maybe they’ll start showin TSN here so we can watch the Grey Cup – Bombers are 7-1 baby! Yes Sir!



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Desk JobDesk Job
Desk Job

Hard at work in the office.
A Real PisserA Real Pisser
A Real Pisser

This is actually in my backyard. No room to team it up here, eh?
AflacAflac
Aflac

Check out the ducks at the top. One is gettin pillaged!
TakatakaTakataka
Takataka

Unfortunately, since there is a limited garbage or recycling program the trash gets tossed everywhere. No green bins either.
SmashedSmashed
Smashed

Man that thing is gross.
Bugs LifeBugs Life
Bugs Life

Look at the size a that thing!


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