Making Friends in Africa

After a few hours on the road, I got up from my seat and went to one of the front open windows to look out and take some pictures. As we passed some people selling stuff by the road, I pointed my camera thinking of taking a picture. Suddenly, I noticed a boy picking up something that looked like a potato and throwing it at me. At least it looked like he was going to throw it to the point that it made me duck! I think he didn’t throw anything, but it was a warning to be more careful.

There is not much to do when you’re on the road for several hours. Some of my travel companions had their heads stuck in their kindles. Others were sleeping. I prefer to look out the window and take it all in, losing myself.

We went by beautiful little villages. People were just getting along with their lives. I then noticed a change of scenery. More humidity also meant greener and more fertile land so there was a lot of agriculture going on. Tea fields and banana plantations dominate the southern highlands of Tanzania on both sides of the road. A completely different scenery from Malawi.

As soon as we approached Dar es Salaam, the traffic got so intense we were barely moving. Dar es Salaam is like the heart of Tanzania, the main port and door to the country. Everything converges to Dar es Salaam. The closer we got, the slower we moved. Hundreds of trucks stuck on the road both ways. We would start to move, only to stop 2 meters later. This went on for about an hour.

Inside the city, the chaos is tremendous! There are people everywhere! Again I was standing at the open front window of the truck. A guy started talking to me and I tried to be polite, talking back. He then got a bit aggressive, in what sounded like insults. I went back to my seat, opened my book and decided to stay put and out of trouble. For the second time that day I wasn’t making any friends in Africa.

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