Tanzania Human Interest Stories

Tanzania Human Interest Stories
I met a girl by the name of Anna yesterday and her sister who’s name I cannot remember. I meet many people every day of my life; I try not to write about them, they are my friends and enemies.

I have five major social paths here in Kahama, Tanzania as I walk from the Marine Hotel to somewhere different.

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Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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Tanzania girl in the city of Kabanga who worked in the bar behind the Garden Hotel her name is Rejemma, she works with Levita.

SOCIAL PATHS IN KAHAMA, TANZANIA
1. One leading to my restaurant, Anna is on this path and a well worn path.

2. One leads down the hill into the neighborhood towards the Hilton Hotel where Veronica works as a cook. (Not the big Hilton, a similar name.)

3. One leads behind the Marine Hotel and up the hill, past the pharmacy lady, and the two girls who put braids in their hair, also where I can buy bread.

4. One leads up the hill and forks to the left, crosses through the bus area and is a business wall, this is an aggressive area where many boys and men holler are me and make mocking remarks.

5. One goes straight up the hill that passes my restaurant, and I can stop at the fruit market, buy a banana, there is an old man who sits on the corner next to the gate, I say hello to him. There is a friend of mine in the electrical shop who sold me a piece of copper wire, I stop and shake his hand, and allow him to call me Andrew.



This is Filio; he worked at the small vendor stand in the city Kabanga where I purchased Water. We had a discussion about the two new Islamic Mosques in the center of village for missionary reasons.

Meeting Anna yesterday in Kahama woke me up from a stagnated view; she has an intense way of talking that made me think. She is studying to be a school teacher north of here in the city of Musoma. I met here because I walked past her at least 15 times on the path leading toward other paths. I wave hello to people as I pass them, and she did one of them pull down with her hand, and wave me over gestures.

All conversations deal with where am I from, I say the USA, do I speak Swahili, do I want to learn Swahili, where is my wife, “fine” etc. Then if there English is good, we can branch of into other topics. Anna is adamant that she is going to teach me Swahili, she knows I am not interested, however she is persisting.

I finally asked her,
“Come to my Hotel and we can sit drink a soda and you can teach me a few words.”

My Hotel has a nice shaded area, many tables in front, and during the day would generally be a great place to study a language, at night horrible. I am a dreadfully slow student of languages, I must write down every word and pound them into my brain by rote memory, and I am not a natural.

She answered,
“I cannot come to your Hotel.”
“Why I asked.”
Her and her sister started searching for words in English and mumbling, the he fat sister with two children says.
“People will think Anna want money for me and she is working,”
She is trying to find a word, I finally piped up,
“Prostitute.”

“Yes, people will think I am a prostitute”

This is not the correct word; girls who ask for money here are not prostitutes, even though they are prostitutes.

My instincts have been telling me for five countries that nice girls were not allowed to talk to me; any conversation with a nice girl ends abruptly. I decided to push some more with Anna, and started asking her how she was going to teach me Swahili when she is not allowed to talk with me? She started to see the futility of the idea, and how I was correct. Anna is 24 years old, dangerously mentally strong, however realizes she is fully under the thumb of local social controls. She starts to realize there is no path to us being friends, the best we can do is if I stop by for no longer than 5-10 minutes and talk one time per day as I walk my social paths.

This is what the paths are for, they are ways for me to develop friends in small villages, I must go down the same ones and kind of force accidental conversations to occur, this is a necessity, I need friendship, it is an emotional need, not a want.

By the way, the girl Rajeema above offered to be my friend for the whole night for 80,000 Tanzania Shillings. I think the real price is 30,000 Shilling, I am not sure. She is not a prostitute; however she is talking about sex.

There is a small boy of 4-5 with green teeth, an odd shaped head, and who speaks small English near my restaurant area. He comes along every day and holds my hand, says something like “give me money.” He does not want money, it is just the custom of small children, he has been taught to behave this way with white people.

Maybe I should write more human interest stories, 80 percent would be explaining how people in round about ways ask me for money, the other 20 percent would be talking about nice people for your entertainment. Anyway I do it; I could increase my hate mail without a problem and make enemies out of good people like Anna.

Tanzania Human Interest Stories

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