On the road with Dr. G.T.

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Africa » Tanzania » West » Sumbawanga
July 22nd 2012
Published: July 23rd 2012
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Since the bus to Sumbawanga left at noon, I had time to walk around the Sunday market at Mpanda. Dr. G.T. and his new friend I.. joined me in the walkabout.

The bus trip to Sumbawanga was shorter than advertised, in that it was only 5 1/2 hours, not the 6 I'd been told. No breakdowns, no ticket mix ups. No armed guards needed. No mechanic needed on the bus. And the ride was actually comfortable. I had leg room to spare.

Dr. G.T. talked to a little boy who was standing up in the bus next to him, and soon the boy was sleeping on Dr. G.T.'s lap. I'm still not sure who the boy's mother or father was, but it's nice that everyone is quite willing to take care of other people's children. The boy even got most of Dr. G.T.'s packet of biscuits. It doesn't take just a village to raise a child - it takes a whole country!

Got a free safari game drive through Katavi park, but only saw a crush of hippos and a lonely giraffe by the side of the main road. The road was unpaved, but in much better condition that the road between Kigoma and Mpanda.

Used the travel time to talk with Dr. G.T. about African politics, government, business opportunities, his ambitions, hopes and dreams, and why people get old. He is an interesting character, and will likely be quite successful in life. He is very humble and hard working. He was on one or the other of his mobiles for a good part of the trip, organzing business stuff plus family matters.

Turns out he's worked as a tour guide on the northern circuit, and also climbed Kili 9 times. His mother is Massai and had 7 children. He's #5. His father has 5 wives.

Now, I have travelled the length of the world's longest lake - Lake Tanganyika. I wanted to do it on the MV Liemba, but that'll have to wait for another day.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to make it to the Zambian border at Kasasha and onto Mbala in Zambia. I'm hoping I can make arrangements to go see Kalumbo Falls at the Tanzanian-Zambian border, the 2nd highest water falls in Africa, before I head to Lusaka to link up with my family.

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