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Page history last edited by Kyle Karber 9 years, 5 months ago


A few more interviews and back to Arusha today.


We were sent off with a beautiful meal from our kind and generous hosts


We also got the best glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro so far, as it has been hiding in the clouds.




Did lots of interviews today and had many interesting findings


This boy (grade 7) rigged up a light similar to the ones we saw in Kabuku, though his was more impressive with a switch and indoor and outdoor lights




After sitting down and conducting just one interview at the market, we slowly grew a sizable crowd eager to be interviewed heard.






I stagger drunkenly down the road, swaying back and forth, left and right. Stumble and nearly fall. But I haven’t had a drop to drink. I am walking in the shadow of the earth, with only starlight illuminating my way. The ruts, potholes, and protruding rocks make a fool of me. There are a surprising number of shadows walking the same road as me, but they don’t seem to have the same difficulty. It’s as if they have subconsciously memorized every dent and fissure of the wrinkled blanket of a road. I turn my flashlight back on.





Beehives to help support the local foundation for widows, Takima, which I later helped hang


“Kibatari”, a makeshift kerosene lantern that a surprising number of people in Machame use




We arrived at Machame in the late morning, just in time for tea- a custom forged in colonial times and left behind. We then went to a meeting, where the democratic village government is having a discussion with the people about a new tax. This type of governance was made possible in part by Tanzania’s first president, Nyerere, who encouraged (and in some cases forced) the 120+ different tribes of Tanzania to move from their respective tribal lifestyles into integrated and organized farming villages. These more centralized villages also made it easier to provide services such as water and electricity. I’ll skip the part about it being an idealistic socialist movement that ultimately failed. Machame is evidence of a fairly well developed village where there is access to the grid and to tap water. Still, more than half of the village does not have electricity and only the richest few have running water.


Note: (village -> ward -> region -> Tanzania) is similar to (town -> county -> state -> USA)



There was much argument at the meeting between the government and the people. The government put a new tax in place where everyone over 18 has to pay about 4 USD to contribute to a laboratory for the secondary school. The people argued that they didn’t have enough time to raise the money and that Christmas was coming up. They argued that they didn’t have jobs (a show of hands looked like about half the men were without jobs) and that the tax was unfair and shouldn't be levied in the first place. The government held its ground and said that the tax would remain, there would be no extension, and their property would be auctioned if they didn’t pay. Sounds like the democracy that I know.


After that was settled we were given an opportunity to speak. I fumbled through “neitwa Kyle, nimetoka marekani, mimi ni … [line?] mwanafundi” meaning “I am Kyle, I’m from America, I am a student.” I then explained the wind generator and Maggie translated. After the meeting there were many people who were very interested and had a lot of positive things to say. The village chairperson then hung out with us the rest of the day and even went with us to the river.



No, I am not just photoshopped into this picture



Runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro flows year-round



We had a day to relax before heading to the Machame District at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, so we went to visit Tom the Tortoise. No one knows how old he is, just stories like "my grandparents grandparents knew of Tom and he was huge back then, too." He allegedly won a "luggage carrying contest" and received a VW beetle as a prize. Apparently, Tom was hit by a car some time back and was moved to a coffee processing facility for his protection. All I know for sure is that he is lonely and has entirely too little room.


He was very happy to see people and chased us wherever we went, but he didn't understand to stop when he reached us so we had to continually move back, lest we be crushed.


It was like being chased by a steamroller



 Posts from 10/7 to 10/15- Travel and first days in Arusha


Posts from 10/16 to 10/18- Kabuku

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