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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : TANganyika + ZANzibar = Tanzanie

To end up with the chapter concerning East Africa, I chose to spend 2 months in Tanzania. I could experiment to live for 1 month in a Tanzanian community by staying in an orphanage as you discovered it in the last newsletter.

I would say that Tanzania has a pretty strong culture, in part thanks to the Swahili which is the first language in the country, contrary to his Kenyan neighbor which decided to use mainly English.

A culture that I observed for a quite long time and that I will try to share a little but with you. 

Habits and art of living 

While taking care of it, i could see some of the habits of the local people. Those are little things but for me, it means a lot of what the travel can bring : discovering another way to do, to live.

Indeed, in Africa, you will see very often women using their head to carry different object. The objects that those women are carrying can be very heavy : indeed i have seen children carrying their bag and their head while some women where carrying fruits, baskets, wood and even a sewing machine ! 

In the street, you can see womem carrying fruits on their head

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In the same way, i could see after 2 months travelling in the are that the women were never siting on their knees. I was surprised, because in some situations, the gesture was looking pretty difficult. 

The african market... i think we can call that an art of living. When i am travelling, i like to go in this kind of place because this is very often the best place to see the way of living of the people and their habits.

In Africa and so in Tanzania, the markets are very colourful (for the tanzanians clothes of for the etals) and very noisy. Most of the time, an african market will lead you to adapt your walk to the rythm of the music coming off the big stereos, while you stop in the different etals full of fruits, clothes or utilitary objects. 

An etal of tanzanian market, tutti fruti

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However, if some people have the bad idea to help themselves without paying, without talking about the fact that they will be on trouble with the local population, they will be able to experience an anti-thief solution that i found amusing and very well thinked... 

In Mwanza, city in the North of Tanzania, i could stop some minutes in the entrance of a supermarket. Indee, it was a big board with the picture of all the thieves who get caught with a sign around their neck saying « I am a thief ».

I liked this solution because, on top of being non-violent, it is humiliating and turn the thief to not doing it again. 

A board of pictures very useful

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The draw is a way of communication which is used a lot in Tanzania. In the way of disturbing the thieves but also in a commercial way. In Tanzania, we use the draw, mainly by painting, to male known his activity.

The haircutting salons, which are so many in Tanzaniam are also using this way of communication. 

A draw advertising a haircutting salon

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You recognized maybe 50 Cents, the american Hip Hop singer. Indeed, the western culture is very present, maybe because of the former british colonisation. We can take the example of the brand of sodas Coca-Cola (which was almost everywhere i travelled) which is using a lot of advertisements in the country. 

Coca-Cola, present everywhere and especially here

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The national advertisement seems anyway beeing for the telephones companies. There is 3 or 4 companies in Tanzania which are fighting to get the monopole and EVERYWHERE you will go, you will notice the presence of at least one of them. 

In the big cities, there are even walking salesmen to top-up your phone !

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Diversity and importance of the religion
 

The religion has a big place in the Tanzanian life. Which religion? Well, contrary to many western countries: every religion has his place and there is no conflict between the members of the different institutions.

I thing that the religious movement has a more important place in the daily life than it can be in the western world (even if the visit of the Pope in France gathered a lot of people for the catholic Church).

Indeed, I could see many churches under construction, something that I hadn't seen in France for many years. 

Building a church in Bukoba

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The main influences in Tanzania are the Protestant Church and the Catholic Church inside the country and the Islamic religion along the coast and in Zanzibar. The delimitation of the religion are the conclusion of the arrival of the european missionnaries inside the country while the muslim religion come from the immigration from Yemen and Oman on the East-African coast. 

However, it has happened that the religion was not well understood and has been used for things, that had for me comical effects like this sticker aiming to protect a car. 

« This car is protected by the blood of Jesus »

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Don'get me wrong anyway by seeing any critical goals. As beeing a witness of the world of today, my aim is to tell what i see, not to judge... especially on difficult subject like the religion. 

The tanzanian cuisine 

In our chapter about cuisine, we will today discover a little bit about the tanzanian cuisine.

To compare with the Kenyan and Ugandan food, I would say that there is not so much differences but the goal is still the same: "To Nourish instead of enjoying".

In this fact, most of the dishes are not very attractive but they will for sure fill your stomach.

As the country is surrounded by lake and on the East Coast is the Indian Ocean, the fish is a very important meal very present in Tanzania.

Knowing that the prices are high close to culture places, which are often close to the roads, and that I am very often on the road, I could experiment some interesting facts. 

Indeed my drivers were stopping all the time to buy their vegetables or even their fish.

For the fish, the best solution to refresh it is to keep it outside the car. 

What? My fish is not fresh?

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It is also possible to observe the drying of the rice on big piece of plastic along the road.

The rice is present at almost every meal but, before that, it must be dried

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To finish with the food chapter, let me introduce you the Lord "National Dish". This one is a mix of potatoes and eggs. His name is not a Omelet with French fries but :"Chipsi Mayai".

The Chipsi Mayai, the Tanzanian national dish

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Moving in Tanzania... And what about hitchhiking? 

I think that hitchhiking in Tanzania was one of the most easy place so far. That was pretty much like in Kenya and Uganda. I didn't even meet drivers who was refusing me because i couldn't pay for the lift.

The road were different according to the place you wanted to go. On the main touristic roads going to the National Park and to the coast (mainly the way Arusha-Dar Es Salaam-Mbeya, not going to the new capital Dodoma), the road is nice of covered by macadam.

After, there is some ways more difficult to travel, like the one in the North-West of the country. 

However, you will be able to choose the railway. This one is covering a way of 3700 kilometers but i think that you will need to be very patient. 

The railways are easily watchable from the road

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Then, inside the cities and for the small trip, you can use the « Bicycle-Taxi ».

This way of travelling is nice and can lead you to have a good contact with the driver. 

The « Bicyle-Taxi », a good way to move 

A very present fauna and flora 

Of course, like Kenya, Tanzania has got many National Pars, with animals and vegetation.

Even if I couldn't enter inside those parks (the entrance fee is around 50 dollars without the extra costs), I was lucky enough to see some Elephants, Girafs, Zebras and other animals in Tanzania. Unfortunately, I was in the trucks and I couldn't stop it to take a picture! 

Anyway, while my vehicle was stopping, that happened that the animals came to me... like this monkey close to the Park of the Serengeti. 

A monkey who wants to give me a lift? Yes, here is the proof!


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However, all the animals in Tanzania are not as cute as this little monkey. Once again on the road, my driver stopped close to a crowd of people. Curious, i decided to follow my driver to finally discover a snake freshly dead. The skin seemed to be to sell... huh no very much for me, thanks. 

A very fresh skin of snake close to Moshi in

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Fauna, flora, the nature... Tanzania got different kind of landscape with some montains sometimes because this country is on the Great Rift Valley. In this fact, the roof of Africa is in Tanzania and his name is Kilimajaro, with his 5895 meters. One of my big disapointment is that i couldn't even see it because this one stayed under the clouds when i get here...

...I anyway had the opportunity to take a picture of this little flower and a side of this hidden mountain (yes i know, this is not a lot but.... it is pretty no ?) 

A little flower, close to the Kilimanjaro

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Here it is, my visit in East Africa is finishing. I will next heading towards Malawi and without doubt making the first anniversary of my trip in this country.

On that, i let you with the picture of a Masai that i met on my way.

 A Masai warrior (look at the size of the whole in his ears)

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See you soon 

Jeremy 



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