My Kahama Tanzania Friends

My Kahama Tanzania Friends
I talk with everyone, I am not respective of money, social class, gender, color, status, job, tribe or age, I truly do not care. I am even a nice enough friend to tell my friends they have a pimple on their face. I sat down while my friends at this street side restaurant as they peeled potatoes for chips, I eat all my meals at this location.

Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Monday, June 1, 2009


This is a beautiful girl; there is something special about her eyes.

This is my cook, his name is Bussy or something close to that, he cooks me four eggs for 1000 shillings, about 75 cents US.

The girl with the standing with the scarf on her head is called MamaSuzy or something like that; the names are local and difficult for me to understand. These people do not speak English, we communicate well, just not in a normal spoken way. She makes great Madazis, however much different than in Kenya and the flavor of the dough is better, I keep winking at her.

This is Bussy cooking me four eggs, this is my restaurant, and this is my life today in Kahama, Tanzania.

My plate of eggs, the normal meal here is something called MyEye, they take the potato chips and put in with the eggs and serve it.

Here they are peeling potatoes, this is early morning, MamaSuzy was cooking me four Mandazis and the rest were peeling potatoes for later in the day. I am feeling sad today, I am planning to leave Kahama, I know if I stayed around longer these people would become better friends. I do not know why I am leaving, I suppose I should stay another day… hmm, I think I will.

I have been to many countries, I think the count is 85 now, I am good at living with people, I do not always like them, they do not always like me but we accept each other, this is what love is about. I know some of you think I am harsh and insensitive; however I have come to Africa five times. I like the place, and I keep returning because I accept the place.

I have tried to convince many people to come travel in Africa, their answer is no, this speaks volumes to me. Many people become angry when I explain Africa, however I keep hoping they will open their eyes and see how they refuse to treat African as an equals. They continually expect Africa to be less, I expect Africa to be Africa, and they can be what they want to be. I expect all my friends to bath and be polite, because they are my friends, and I am their friend, this is what friendship is about, we want something from each other and we have expectations.

Read a guidebook on Africa, truly sad, the whole book is about finding Animals to look at and ignores the people of Africa like they should be ignored, like we should never take a close look.

Are you coming to Africa? Or maybe the thought has never cross you mind, this is the arrogance of man at work, passing judgments from afar, however steadfastly refusing to come visit, yet somehow saying they understand and know, this is not love, this is enforcement of an illusion.

I will stay another day, I keep thinking of MamaSuzy and her Mandazis, she always smiles. I would go to Europe if they would smile more, we are truly misguided in our beliefs, intolerant of the truth.

My Kahama Tanzania Friends


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What a beautiful and inspiring post - it makes me want to go look for a ticket for Africa right now, and go on the same adventure youre doing. I have been to Ethiopia and Kenya, and loved it, I agree the people are much more interesting that the animals and the nature. I love your pictures of people and ordinary things because you can see you regular people live every day.

Hi Andy, you need to learn some Kiswahili! MyEye is actually mayai, just means eggs. Im enjoying your posts again, having had a period of voluntary abstinence when I was travelling myself and couldnt deal with all the mail and inbox clutter. But in recent weeks, Ive noticed youve been concentrating a lot on this body odour topic, which seems like something you should have got used to a long time ago. In my experience, people bathe very frequently in Africa, even if it means walking a long way to a stream of fresh water. But in many parts its rare that people use chemical deodorants or anti-perspirants to mask their natural perfume. Are you still doing that yourself?

It is true that many Africans and their descendants emit the foulest odor known to mankind. Particulary a day without a shower.

I intend to travel n the future through Africa. Very well written post, good thoughts.

Maybe I could make a million selling deodorant ?


I enjoyed seeing Kahama again. I was a PCV there for over two years back in the mid sixties. I think it is rather funny the talk on body ordor. Africans are cleaner than most PCV's. If you find a water hole, you will always see a group of people bathing.

I remember when I was in my first month in Kahama, I was walking down the street sniffing and saying to myself, these Africans smell. Then I looked behind me and I could see the Africans sniffing and I know they were thinking, these mzungas smell.
About a month later, I was walking down the street and noticed I didnt notice any smell and the people passing me didnt either. I concluded that once you eat the African diet, your body smell become the same. We are what we eat.

Anyways "good on you" to be traveling the falling off the map places. They are the only ones that provide adventures.

PCV - Peace Corp Volunteer. The world developes and what is reality in the 60's is not the reality of today.

Development sometimes destroys the normal daily activities, I did not see people going to bath in the river. I see peope trying to bath near their home. The problem is not all homes have bathing areas because it cost money. They need to go to the river, but that would be old fashioned, the elect to take less showers.

Getting in a bus with a person is also newer development, we know more how people smell as our lives become closer.

Any way you do it, taking shower in East Africa is a very cold experience at 1300 meter or more above sea level. I avoid them.

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