Moshi Update and Adventures in Machame
Moshi has been really cool (as always) and I’ve been enjoying my time here, I’ve gotten to see many of the local spots such as the YMCA, various cafés, craft stores, street food vendors, hospitals, and even local stores. Moshi is really feeling like home now, which is pretty confusing since I’ll be on a flight on my way back to The States by this time next week. I’ve so enjoyed my time here at The Watering Hole, I’ve made tons of new friends and connections here and have really enjoyed the work I’ve been doing. I’m really going to miss Moshi everyone when I get back to The States, and I feel like it’ll take some time to get re-adjusted to American-style life. This upcoming week is number 9 of 10, and we have some projects that we’re working on, including the arrival of five guests from Germany, and the construction of a ping-pong table for the Mama Clementina Foundation.
Last weekend Fredi and I accompanied three guest teachers on a trip to Machame, Kilimanjaro. Machame is a sprawling region in the cultivation zone of Mount Kilimanjaro, about a mile above sea level and is inhabited by the Chagga tribe called Wachagga in Swahili. After a trek through the Kilimanjaro jungle, we arrived at a pretty big waterfall, where we took pictures and enjoyed the view. From there, we continued through some small villages until coming up on a cave that was once used to hide away relatives during colonization, and when slavers would come and kidnap the natives. The cave became a cultural fixture and more recently has been used as a place of baptism for young children. After exploring the cave we continued on to a Machame bar, which served the local brew called Mbege, which is a sort of banana wine, that is truly an experience to drink. Mbege is a coarse drink with a one-of-a-kind taste and texture that is truly unique to the Chagga people.
Photos from Machame
Methali of the Week
“Kijiti kimoja hakisimamishi jengo”
“One pole cannot support a building”
Whether good or bad fortune, we picked about the worst possible day of the week, weather-wise to go to Machame. It had been raining since the early morning, and the mud paths were slick and wet, making traversing the thin, undulating trails of Kilimanjaro very difficult. There were many slips and falls on the way to our destinations, but none of them serious, and there’s a reason for that. At all times, our tour guides Fredi and Kado made sure that our guests were safe when descending particularly slippery parts of the trail, even holding them steady as they navigated down dangerous areas. I was blown away by this and noticed that it wasn’t just our guests that were being assisted. Holding on to another person and talking through precarious descents, offering encouraging words like ‘polepole’ ‘hakuna matata’ or ‘twende’ (‘slowly slowly’, ‘no problem’, and ‘lets go’) also helped Kado and Fredi to descend safely as well. I noticed that whenever there were two people descending together, neither ever fell, whereas everybody had a lone slip when not paying attention. I think this speaks to the fact that working together toward a common goal and learning from others offers mutual benefits to everyone involved, no matter the circumstance, and that is the spirit of this methali.