There comes a point when the novelty of a new place begins to wear off. It’s true to say that life here in Mwanza has probably reached that point- it’s taken eight months but life here has definitely become more mundane. It’s also true to say that some of the things here are a little irksome.
The continual power cuts; the low level internet connectivity; the price of even the most basic of Western goods at our local supermarket (U-Turn); the continual requests for money and the expectation we’re made of it just because we’re white; the employment laws here which make it feel like it is impossible for Anita to secure work with any permanence; the close-nit expat community many who have known each other for years and some of whom, it seems, don’t really want to get to know us. All combine to make life a little less rosy.
This may sound quite a negative post and I suppose it is, but even now we’re not about to “jack it in”. In spite of the negs there is still a lot going for this place.
We’ve made some good friends and have enjoyed some great experiences in East Africa, in spite of the technological frustrations, the students are great, they work hard, want to do well and are a pleasure to teach, we are probably better off than we would ever have been in the UK. True we don’t have a car, but we have not really needed one. It is true that western goods are expensive but there are alternatives and a lack of sugary processed food is good for us. There are some genuinely friendly Tanzanians who aren’t seeing us as a meal ticket.
The grass is not always greener, but neither is it always a browny-yellow, it’s just different and as we adjust to Tanzanian life we need to accept that truth.