This morning I met Moshi at the phone store to get a sim card and then we headed off to the Tanzania tourist board to meet someone he has been working with for many years. We left for lunch and had to stop at every single corner to greet all the people that Moshi knew, which felt like everyone and you HAVE to go through a series of greetings. It’s rude if you don’t. Many people head to Arusha for the work but most are from small villages so when you meet someone from your tribe it’s a greeting that takes even longer because you have to find out about the health and well being of mutual friends. AND THEN a soccer game was playing just after lunch which brings everyone out to watch so it took us a lot longer than anticipated to get to the office.
Things happen in different ways here and while we may see it as “more slowly” it’s really just a more friendly way of working and people take time for each other.
We met Abu and Beka at the office (which has no furniture yet). The office is in a really busy part of the city and you definately get a taste of Arusha life on the way there (although I’m not sure how people will find it). I wish I took a picture but totally forgot (the picture that is attached is in my hotel lobby). Abu and Beka are really wonderful people. They have been working as guides and both studied through the colleges here. Animals can tell when the rains are coming 2 weeks in advance and then they plan their migration in their animal heads based on when the grasses will be most lush (grasses are the fastest growing food). So when they are planning tours of course it makes sense to plan them based on migration patterns which change every year. Abu says he sometimes likes to go into the parks on his own to just watch and study the animals. These are the people you want to be with on a Safari!
We are off to Kondoa tomorrow. It was dry all day so the roads will be fine and I am really looking forward to getting out of Arusha. Arusha is busy but you have to be “on”all the time.