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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.

A lovely home on nearly an acre of land
A lovely home on nearly an acre of land

 

The living room where many people hang out
The living room where many people hang out

 

My bedroom has the mosquito netting already installed (and very much needed).
My bedroom has the mosquito netting already installed (and very much needed).

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.

Over a charcoal stove Rube is cooking her famous bean dish
Over a charcoal stove Rube is cooking her famous bean dish
The bean dish is now ready to be eaten.  Delicious!
The bean dish is now ready to be eaten. Delicious!

 

A great deal of rice is eaten.
A great deal of rice is eaten.

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.

Paulyn, the matriarch who lives with Todo and Todo catchup, languishing comfortably on the floor.
Paulyn, the matriarch who lives with Todo and Todo catchup, languishing comfortably on the floor.

Martin and Grace are back from their honeymoon and drop by.

Grace comes in to see us all
Grace comes in to see us all
Grace greeting Paulyn, Martin's grandmother, and Todo
Grace greeting Paulyn, Martin’s grandmother, and Todo

 

 A very happy Martin
A very happy Martin
Martin's father, as a wedding present, is having this home built for Martin and Grace.
Martin’s father, as a wedding present, is having this home built for Martin and Grace.

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.

This will be the entrance to Martin and Grace's home.
This will be the entrance to Martin and Grace’s home.

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..

Takes out the wrench and lifts the car up.  It works.
Todo takes out the wrench and jack.  She lifts the car up. It works.
Oh woe, jack did not hold.  Clunk.  (It's 90 degrees!)
Oh woe, jack did not hold. Clunk. (It’s 90 degrees!)
Undaunted, wood and a construction worker and others (brought wood) and the car is jacked up again
Undaunted, Todo and a construction worker working on Martin’s house next door  and others brought wood. The car is jacked up again.
Success.  The finishing touches - tightening the bolts
Success. The finishing touches – tightening the bolts

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.

We dropped the car off.
Toido has a detailed list for the mechanic.

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,

Todo decided my handbag (bought in Zanzibar) needed a better zipper.  We came upon this shop.
Todo decided my handbag (bought in Zanzibar) needed a better zipper. We came upon this shop.

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.

Straight ahead of us were many vendors sitting on the street with fresh vegetables and fruits.
Straight ahead of us were many vendors sitting on the street with fresh vegetables and fruits.

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!

Showered, clean and about to put my laundry in a pail to soak!
Showered, clean and about to put my laundry in a pail to soak!

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.

Yes, they are preparing a recipe that is close to Kentucky Fried chicken, a great favorite
Yes,  ? and Grace are preparing a recipe that is close to Kentucky Fried chicken, a great favorite

 

Step number 2 for Kentucky Fried Chicken
Doris (duaghter of Editha) is undertaking step number 2 for Kentucky Fried Chicken

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.

Potato dish
Potato dish

This dish of potatoes etc is prepared outside over a charcoal stove.

The son is busy minding the barbecue
Dennis, the older son, is busy minding the barbecue.
Goat meat which I tasted later and LOVED.
Goat meat which I tasted later and LOVED.
The child with the computer has his young relatives fascinated.
The child in the blue shirt is Daniel, the younger son is showing the computer to his young relatives and they are fascinated.
Three sisters,  Editha, ? and Rube
Editha, Topi and Rube
Young relatives hanging out waiting for the barbecue to be served.
Young relatives hanging out waiting for the barbecue to be served.
Ann, Christmas Day Barbeque at Editha's
Ann, Christmas Day Barbeque at Editha’s
Ann, Gloria and a cousin had a good chat.
Ann, Gloria and a cousin had a good chat.
Editha & Ann.  I felt I could become a good friend of hers.
Editha & Ann. I felt I could become a good friend of hers.

 

 

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!

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