Contemplating the move to Tanzania, makes me think back to life in Malaŵi and I wonder how similar/different it will be in Mwanza? Here are a few thoughts I’ve had.
I don’t think I’d really appreciated lightning and thunder before I experienced an African storm – the whole sky lit up by many strokes of lightning – truly amazing.
I love playing games and spent many a time, playing the traditional game of Bawo, on my veranda with the children. It’s simple to learn but requires some strategy and some luck to win. Wonder if the Tanzanians have an equivalent bean-game? If so, I cant wait to learn it!!
I’m often frustrated when buying clothes, because I just can’t find clothes that fit! So many times I have gone into a shop only to find items in sizes 8 or 22!! I’m looking forward to giving my material and measurements to a tailor and having clothes made to measure – a luxury in the UK and the norm in Malawi – wonder if it will be the same in Tanzania?
Fresh Fruit – (Mangoes & Passion Fruit)
I remember a man coming round to my house with a bucket full of passion fruit hoping to sell them to me for the equivalent of 50p. I bought the lot, delicious :-). The next day, he returned with another bucket and I bought them. The following day, you’ve guessed it, he called with yet another bucket full of passion fruit! Now, much as I love eating them, there’s only so many a girl can eat so reluctantly I had to decline the offer!!
Outside my house, was a mango tree. The children were always happy to climb it to pick some of this delicious fruit, in exchange for the chance to do some colouring on my veranda. Apart from one day when they were unusually reluctant – they explained there was a green mamba (highly poisonous snake) in the tree and could they wait ‘til it had gone?!!!
My life so often seems such a constant rush from one thing to another and there just never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that I need to do, let alone those I want to do. People and friendships are so important and yet spending quality time with people is so often squeezed out with the rush and pressure of life. My experience of living in an African village was of stark contrast to this – it was considered rude to walk past someone without saying hello and greeting them, and people had time for each other. Yes, things took longer to do and at times this was frustrating, but overall it made for a far better quality of life.
We’re moving to an urban setting in Africa and although it’s not the same country and many years have passed, I understand the pace of life is still considerably slower than here and I’m looking forward to returning to a more laid-back lifestyle.
I’ve watched countless nature programmes on the TV and I’m very much looking forward to seeing some of this wildlife for real in the Serengeti, which apparently is situated around about 3 hours’ drive from Mwanza.
In Malaŵi, I learned to speak Chicheŵa, a Bantu language and it made a real difference. So, I’m determined to learn as much Kiswahili as I can over the next few months so when I arrive I’ll be able to speak the language a little and really get to know people.
One of the treasured memories I have from my time in Malawi was looking across the plain from the veranda of my house seeing the numerous beautiful sunsets. Apparently the sunsets over Lake Victoria are amazing.