Tanzania, December 22-25th, Dar es Salaam
After returning from Zanzibar I moved to Todo’s home locataed on a half acre of land, in the outskirts of Dar.
Each night I turn out the lights, leave the overhead fan running gently and climb under the netting, tucking myself in diligently. I slept soundly in Tanzania.
I discovered that home owners choose to cook their food outside the house itself. There are many reasons. It’s too hot (the houses are not air conditioned.) There are no gas and few electric stoves. Cooking with charcoal gives off unclean air. So, cooking is accomplished outside on grills using charcoal. Now, I understand why Todo bought that huge sack of charcoal when we were returning from Bagamoyo.
Great pains are taken to clean the rice (by hand) before cooking.
I discovered that the kitchen is more a gathering place than a cooking center. Sometimes there are four or five people hanging out on the floor.
Martin and Grace are back from their honeymoon and drop by.
This home is next door to Todo’s and there is a entrance cut into the high wall for easy coming and going between each house. Both houses are surrounded by a seven foot wall and each night when the sun sets a guard arrives to protect the property, sadly a necessary step in Dar.
Christmas Eve morning Todo and I decide to go shopping and pick up the bus tickets for Arusha – the center from which our safari will begin. Our departure was delayed, a flat tire. Todo to the rescue. One cannot call AAA for help in Tanzania..
It seemed odd but just the evening before this car just stopped running on a very busy corner as we were driving from downtown Dar to Todo’s home. We were rescued (pushed out of traffic’s way) by a kind man. Thanks to cell phones Todo’s brother, Pere, along with the MC at Martin’s wedding who brought a friend who’s a car mechanic came to our rescue. The air conditioning had drained the battery – his little machine told him. So, Pere jump started us, (no more air conditioning)and off were drove into the dark night. Interestingly I forgot to take any pictures.
Today the car is going in for many repairs. You know, it’s a miracle that cars don’t breakdown all the time. The roads are in such bad condition.
Rube went visiting with Pere and Winnie. Todo and I ventured off on the bus to pick up the bus tickets to Arusha (northern Tanzania) where our Safari would begin. I needed to get to a bank for cash and Todo wanted ingredients to make their special soap for washing clothes and dishes. Throughout the day we travelled many buses and even the bajaji when the traffic was just too congested. The Arusha bus tickets purchased we took a long bus ride to the Kariakoo Market. It was Christmas Eve and the journeys long but …… I really enjoy the crazy traffic along with the sellers at the bus windows with tiny Christmas trees looking for a buyer.
The Kariakoo Market needs to be seen to behold. It covers many blocks. It’s location is the opposite end of Dar from Todo’s home. At one point we walked thru 6 blocks of frigerators, toilets, and tons of other major household appliances, with, of course, hardware stores. I looked at Todo and said, this is Dar’s version of Home Depot. We laughed a lot at that.
Suddenly we darted into a tiny hole in the wall to purchase the soap components. While dark and foreboding (there was a barricade (like in banks, floor to ceiling) between us the buyers and the seller. The owner was dressed as though she was a nun, in a long blue outfit. The barricade protected her from thieves. Our purchases made we continued exploring the Market. Now, we have a very heavy package to carry,
Zipper bought, Todo said: stay here, I sat on a sack filled with God knows what. Todo disappeared and reappeared with the zipper installed! Our next stop – a bank. We found one that would take my Instant Cash card. This was guarded by a man in uniform with a menacing rifle. Money got, we headed to the outdoor vegetable market.
We bought a fair amount. Now, both of us had our arms full of goodies. Time to head for a bus – which came quite quickly. It was crowded so, we stood. Being tall, I was crouched, intent on holding for balance to a handle on the back of a seat. In my other arm were the vegetables. Oh dear, a tomato rolled out of my bag. Retrieved, I tried to be more responsible. We laughed so hard.
The car was ready, we jumped in and headed for the first ice cream cart. We were hungry – not eaten all day. And then home. A shower, yes, indeed a shower was next. It had been 95 degrees out there!
It’s very dark now!
Christmas day was celebrated with a barbecue which the youngest sister, Editha, and family hosted. In fact the teenage daughter and son did the cooking.
Note: The cooking is done in a covered addition at the back of the house. Again separate from the kitchen which is in the house.
This dish of potatoes etc is prepared outside over a charcoal stove.
The party started at 11:30 am and continued into early evening. I left around 5 pm for a good late afternoon’s sleep. This visit is intense!