Life in Moshi

I am based at Mama Florentina’s home in Moshi, Tanzania. While Moshi is a town… soon to be a city, officially, I am told… it still has all the characteristics of a third world culture. Mama’s home is in the “best” part of town, but is conversely referred to as Shanty Town. That is a GOOD name, here. She has added several out buildings since our visit a year ago, including a “cow house” with a thatched roof and three cows, for milking.

The electricity failed, again, yesterday. No one gets excited here. They calmly just light oil lamps and Matrona starts up the outside “cookers”, fueled by charcoal, to prepare the meals. We spent the evening sitting under the roofed deck, commenting on the nearly full moon, the possible early coming of the monsoon season, and sharing tales of childhood escapades. Mama Flo apparently was quite adventurous as a child, which truly comes as no surprise. Based on the tales, the only surprise is that she LIVED to tell the tales! My own tales of escape and daring pale in comparison to her life in Africa. But she seemed to enjoy them, anyway.

It has been cloudy and periodically rainy for the last two days, hence the talk of an early monsoon season. The rain is a very welcome presence here in Tanzania, bringing relief from the heat and hope that water will soon run through the dried up creeks and furrows.

All roads in Moshi, except for a few, very main thorough fares, are red dirt and quite rutted. When it rains, the roads become VERY slippery, and really quite treacherous up into the villages. Due to changes in weather and some other complications with local schedules, I will have to delay my walk of the proposed well sites in the villages. Instead, Mama and I, driven by Ephraim, will make our way to the port in Tanga today. It is an overnight trip and will allow us to make contacts and get clearer about shipping regulations. This is VERY important, as we will be charged storage charges if our container of equipment does not clear customs or does not begin transport within 7 days of coming into harbor! We discussed trying to take the bus, to save on costs, but in the end decided that the increased risk to ourselves and additional time spent was not worth it.

And so, we leave for Tanga, with prayers for a safe journey and connection to good people… who will play their part in Water for Uru!

Barbara Joye

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