A Journey: Mwanza

I promised a post on our trip to Mwanza a few weeks back. Of course I’m late, as seems to be the trend with my blogging habits. This post has a silly little diddy I wrote on the way to the city with intentions of mailing it off to my penpal in the States, as well as some photographs.

–You know that saying “go eat dirt”? Well, I have eaten a lot of dirt today. Literally. I am on the way to Mwanza with Megan and Edson. We have two priorities:

  • Fix the car.
  • Buy fabric.

I am equally excited for both tasks.

Our tarmac road ran out about an hour into our trip. Now we are on the packed dirt roads so familiar from my first Tanzanian affair.
The wind blows so strongly through the hardtop that I can hardly keep my eyes open let alone breathe. Orange clouds of dust float along the road as we pass the lorries–large machines built for transport and kicking up earth. I coach myself to inhale on their approach, exhale during their passing.
Girls in cobalt blue skirts carry hoes taller than they as they run laughing to the fields. I presume school has started again.

As we continue, the sky turns dark and begins to drop the gift and burden of rain. The red road turns slick and brown. I reassure myself that Edson knows what he is doing, to let go and trust. He worked for the U.N., after all. I begin to contemplate how many near-death experiences I’ve encountered here–the risks of a midnight piki ride and 10 hour bus trips to the north. Then in my mind I am back home, thinking of and wondering how many near-death moments I didn’t experience. Maybe because my head was in a book, my eyes glued to a computer screen, my ears filled with songs from an iPod–all senses busy.

As the rain pours, and we rattle and weave around potholes, people, other vehicles, I continue to consider,
Trust Edson.

And now some photographs.

View from the ferry, my favorite part of traveling to and from Mwanza.

Shelves of fabric, khanga and kitenge, in shops throughout the city.

The mess we made while digging for the perfect fabric for this year’s products.

Hotel Tilapia – super fancy, don’t order the vegetable pie. It’s really lackluster for the price.

Lake Victoria from Hotel Tilapia.

The healthiest street-food I’ve ever come across – peeled fresh and salted. 

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