Here are a few stories from our trip that I didn’t include in our trip reports but thought may interest a few of you.
The Unknown Boy
On our 2nd night in Tanzania we went to dinner at Robert's house. As Robert often has students staying and family visiting there is usually a houseful when we visit which is lovely. On this occasion there was a boy of about 9 there and when we asked Robert who he was he said he didn’t know but thought he must be a friend of his son Peter. During dinner the boy seemed relaxed, ate well, and happily accepted a football that we gave him. We thought nothing more of it.
Several days later Robert said he had a story to tell us. He said that the .day after we had been to dinner he asked Mama Diana (his wife) about the boy and she said that he wasn’t a friend of Peter’s, she had actually found him that afternoon at the market, dirty and crying and saying he had run away from his grandma who lived a long way away. So Mama Diana told the “local Authorities” that she had found the boy and as it was getting late she would take him home with her and then try and take him back to his home the following day. So when we arrived for dinner he had been washed, dressed in some of Peter’s old clothes and had happily settled in. Then the following day Mama Diana took the boy back to the market and found some older boys who said he actually lived close by with his aunt so Mama Diana took him home.
Then……..a few days later Mama Diana opened the gates to their home to find the same boy waiting outside, this time with a backpack on, and saying he wanted to move in with them permanently!!!! Not surprising I suppose as he had had a nice meal, clean clothes, a bed to sleep in and a football. Needless to say Mama Diana took him home again!!
Shopping with Emmanual
One day we went out shopping in Moshi with Emmanual to get him some tools. At the shops we let Emmanual go in on his own as I wasn’t sure if the price would go up if they knew we were paying. Anyway at the first shop where Emmanual found something he wanted he called out to us “Mr. Peter it is TSHxxx, is that ok?” and we said it was fine. Then, to our surprise he asked if we would actually pay for it now and when we said yes he looked really surprised and pleased and said “ So I can actually have it now?” and we said yes!!
He obviously wasn’t used to anyone going out and actually paying for something for him there and then
At the end of our first week at ACTT we were invited back to Ebenezer School on the Friday afternoon to attend the final session of an ICT course that the teachers had been doing. At about 1pm Robert said we and Emmanual should all eat a quick lunch from Mama Irene and then we would set off.
We got to Ebenezer School shortly after 1.45pm and were met by the Deputy Headmaster who said the teachers were just doing the final bit of their course so he would show us around the school and then we would all have lunch!!! Robert gave us a smile and as we are walking round the school he quietly says “I hope you are ready for some more food!!”. Anyway when we got to the school hall, lunch was being served! They must have thought we all had small appetites as we all asked for small portions!! I had hoped I could give some of mine to Emmanual (as he was a young lad with a good appetite) but he struggled to eat his!!
Tanzanians are always very hospitable and during our stay we had meals at various schools and other establishments and this was the only time there was any confusion!! Luckily that afternoon we didn’t have to do too much other than listen to the teachers do their presentations.
However that evening we were supposed to be going out with Sandra and Frank and some of their friends for an early dinner. Needless to say I had to send Sanrda a quick text to explain that we wouldn’t be joining them for dinner!!
As I’m sure people know when you are in the front of a car driving on the roads in Tanzania you must wear a seat belt. On the day we went out with Paula, Angel, Eric and Jenny, Angel chose to sit in the front of the car. Soon after we set off Pete noticed that she didn’t have her seatbelt on and just mentioned it. What followed was then hilarious. It was immediately obvious that Angel had no idea what to do with the seat belt!! And it is actually quite difficult to explain to someone who has never seen a seat belt before, what to do with it, when you are sitting behind them on the other side of the car. And of course the more she got it wrong the more we all laughed and the more of a mess she got into!!. Obviously she eventually sorted it out!!
This just went to reinforce how unusual it is for these young people to ever travel by car.
And finally …….Dinner with Wazungu
As I mentioned on this same day Paula brought along her friend Jenny who we had not met before. Now apparently when Paula asked Jenny if she would like to come out for the day she didn’t tell her what she would be doing. So when Jenny met us she was a bit taken aback and didn’t know what to expect. Now as those who have read my trip reports will know we had a very nice day out.
At the start of the day Jenny was understandably quiet but she relaxed as the day went on. At the end of the day when we were all having dinner together in a bar Pete asked Jenny if she had enjoyed her day and she said Yes she had but it was something she had never expected to do. When we asked her to explain she said “ Never in my life did I ever think that I would ever be sat down eating a meal with Wazungu!!”.
That certainly made me sit back and think!!