Location: Moshi, Tanzania
I arrived in Moshi on Friday and have been enjoying my stay. I had an awesome full day, waking up enjoying my tea and then when a young African guy sat down(Evens), I thought, Oh no, here we go again. “what’s your name?” Where do you come from?” guess! the US. He was good. He works at the backpackers and I started asking him info about Moshi- safari’s, where to buy kangas (wraps woman wear) and kitenge’s (fabric woman make clothing from). He started asking another woman and next thing I know, she asks when I want to go. I was so happy. I spent half the day with her going to a few shops and then bringing my fabric to her tailor, (I was glad she recommended me one as tailors line the streets here!) and then enjoying lunch. It was just what I needed. I felt so at home. She (josefine) made me feel so comfortable.
I gave my fabric to her tailor on Friday and this morning, they were ready. So exciting. Clothes designed for me! I love it! I love the beauty and vibrant colors of the fabric. The only problem is fitting it all in my backpack. Darn sleeping bag and mosquito net are taking up too much room as I definitely didn’t overpack clothing, that’s for sure!
Yesterday, I took a dala dala with Evens to the Marangu waterfall and then started hiking to the Marangu gate- one of the entrances to begin climbing Kilimanjaro. I started feeling the altitude at 5,000 feet with a headache and cheated my way to the gate by hoping in the back of pickup truck delivering soda and then catching a taxi. I couldn’t see the mountain from there as it was overcast but it was nice to relax in the sun and hear the rustle of the trees.
Kilimanjaro is beautiful but it’s not always visible-hiding behind the clouds. Magical beautiful with snow. I’m thankful to be here and witness her beauty. I hope that global warming won’t remove her beautiful snow blanket as it will be a shame for centuries of snow to no longer grace her presence. Not to mention the problems it will present to local people who rely on water and different plant and animal life that prosper in the Kilimanjaro region. And tourism and climbing the mountain may change as well. So many little things are altered and yet some people still don’t want to believe global warming is happening or worse yet, they don’t believe anything can or will change and thus, continue to live the same way without reducing their impact on the planet. Human cause or not, we can make small changes to help curb what will ultimately be a sad state of affairs, I’ll likely witness in my lifetime.
I think I’ll stay in Moshi for a while. It’s nice to stay in a place and chill, get to know the area, the people, make my room feel like my room with all my stuff out on the table rather than feeling like I’m living out of a backpack. That’s the trick to being on the road is not always packing up your stuff every third day! I have somewhat of a routine- wake up, stretch or dance, eat breakfast and then see what the day brings. You never know in Africa. Anything is possible! Live for today. Don’t worry about tomorrow!
They often say Kesho, which means tomorrow. Kesho never comes.
It’s a good metaphor for life. Don’t think about tomorrow, live in the present. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. It’s exactly the mindset I need while traveling in this amazing and challenging place. (of course, it’s good to have security for the future but day to day interactions, we could learn a thing or two from how Africans interact and do).
Oh my pocketknife is coming in handy! My hair has gotten icky from the variations in the air, humidity, dust, not to mention it’s been long overdue for a haircut. So I gave my hair a trim. Pocketknife scissors work better than you’d expect! I briefly considered going to a hair cut place but Evens said the “woman wouldn’t know what to do with your hair (i doubt that) and they’ll make you look like a monkey.” (the woman are always putting hair extensions/weaving hair into theirs).
Lots of love,