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.

Kahama, Tanzania
East Africa
Tuesday, June 2, 2009


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

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,

“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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Writing is gamemanship.

1350 Shillings is one dollar, now find a calculator

I liked that you detailed the social dynamics between you and the people talk to in Kahama. As an African American, this part of your most interesting. I want to go there now. Youve already inspired me to travel in South America. I found two of the 3 Platypus hostels in Colombia, but I didnt see German? the owner. He was out and I was staying somewhere else. I may not be your target audience but, thank you, thank you X2 Andy for putting my fears of world travel at rest. I would not have went to Peru, Ecuador, or Colombia if not for your efforts. Keep doing what you do, pay no attention to the grammar police and keep telling your story the way you see fit. For me its one of the most original. Take Care Andy.

Thx for the Human interest stories Andy, much better. A question: a lady offers to spend the night with you for X amt of money, but you say she isnt a prostitute. Does that mean she doesnt offer herself to every man that comes along? Or she is a regular girl just looking to make a few extra shillings? Or she doesnt have a pimp and is working on her own?

Great post. Would it be possible to meet Annas Mother and arrange some language classes for a very small fee without breaking a social rule? I realize you are not really intersted in trying to learn the language, but I would think doing it this way would get you closer to a family to see how they live and think, maybe learning more about the social norms.

Andy wrote: .....I could increase my hate mail without a problem and make enemies out of good people like Anna.

More hate mail would be interesting to see, but not at the expense of hurting good people. And, as you have written before, even good people will ask for money in many cultures. I know I have had this happen a few times. It was almost as if the request was being said out of obligation, as if it was just expected that I should be asked, not that I was expected to give.

Bob L

1 percent of prostitutes on planet have pimps.

90 percent of poor girls want money for sex.

99 percent of Philippines girls want money for sex, only 50 percent are prostitutes.

American girls want something, it is how a person wants and whether they give that makes them a prostitute

80 percent of men or women will do anything for money, the girl fits is a normal girl.

Americans will work 16 hours per day for greed. The word prostitution defined by a USA person is not close to the worlds understanding. The world knows and understands normal people do things for money and are not judgemental.

When I see greed, in a man or women, I now see the person as a prostitute. It has nothing to do with sex. Women trade sex for value in all cultures, so this is normal.

It is always possible to circumvent social rules. I am the problem, I am not willing to lie and sneak around, I am the problem. Anna told me she could come over in morning.

Lie to father. Come when people sleeping, I told her I was not a child and do not have secrets or hide.

Hate mail, I am planning to allow readers to read this mail. The big problem is profanity and moderation.

We have all deleted comments now and could show, maybe we can do inside password area so not punished by google.

Awesome post and incredibly insightful - this is type of commentary which is truthful and politically incorrect enough which you wont find anywhere else, the girl who couldnt talk to you because she would be perceived as prostitution is very insightful, only could be observed be a professional traveler.

Im not sure about Filipino girls, though, actually I think most of them are actually good, even in the bars most of them seem good. Maybe I am just too naive?

We have all deleted comments now and could show, maybe we can do inside password area so not punished by google.

I am not so sure I would want to see ALL of it. Maybe just a small sampling once in a while. ** out the bad words. I know there are bad people out there. Being reminded once in a while is a good thing. Being flooded by reminders would be a bad thing.

Bob L

I think your stereotyping of Filipino girls is way off. I think you hate the Philippines because of all the time you wasted there trying to get your backpack sewn together. Try hanging out somewhere besides L.A. Cafe or EDSA clubs and stop stalking the clerks at Robinsons Mall

You will find most Filipina WOMEN not GIRLS are looking for what most normal people are looking for. Love,marriage and to be financially secure and raise a nice family and beautiful home/nest. You should be so lucky to find someone so nice, yet many men around the world come to the Philippines and find a LIFE LONG partner. Thai girls may be prettier but they are the ones who are looking for a white ATM NOT Filipinas.

I have not lived in the USA for 11 years. I talk with all people, it is not important to me their morals, I sm not going to change them.

However as a writer I know that readers focus on the judgements I write about, not on the ones I enforce.

In this story I enforced on myself my need not to hide or be secret. I also would not assist Anna in having secrets.

Thr Bible tells people to bring things into the light so that all men can see.

I love the Philipines, not for the girl but for my ability to speak English. I am in Kenya it is the same.

As a tourist, as a white man, as a person from the USA, I am stereotyped and preyed upon by certain types of people.

If you read about my social paths you can see there are many paths I can take. This is all for fun, the strict judgements I make on myself.

Relax, I said that writing can be gamemanship. Life is a game, and the losers are the game.

99 percent of Philippines girls want money for sex, only 50 percent are prostitutes.
hi andy.
im a proud filipino. i also love to celebrate life as the way you do. i really enjoy reading your posts. but i was disturbed when i got accrossed by YOUR OWN statistics of filipino women wanting money for sex. it makes me sad to know that your image of my fellow filipino women is very low. im not trying to convince you to think the other way around but i just hope that there will be an opportunity for foreign travellers like you to see a better image of filipino women just the way i appreciate and respect my filipino ladies.

rock on.


This is an exaggeration...

Think about or empathize with a tourist in the Philippines, it is very difficult to separate from the mess. Contrary to any idea you have about proper Philippines society, this is not easy to get near, know, or even find. What is presented to tourist is not the best of the Philippines, do not complain about me, I am not in the Philippines, do not live there, and because of the high cost of Hotels am not planning on visiting.

I like the Philippines, complain to the vast majority of tourist in Southeast Asia that refuse to even give it a chance.

I do not need to go to Boraca or whatnot, I can find beaches in many place in Thailand for half the price.

Tourism in the Philippines attracts a special client and not mainstream.


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