Mwanza is very….

Just some random observations on how Mwanza is very…

Warm. There’s no need to listen to a weather report, as every morning is sunny and begins around 20 degrees and climbs to 30 and goes back to 20 at night. At least the next couple of months.

Loud. Cars with loud speakers selling things, people walking with megaphones with pre-recorded advertising, everybody honking to signal they’re coming round the bend, concerts accompanied by emceeing, prayers of all kinds broadcast at all times, avocados dropping on my tin roof, monkeys running over my roof, dogs barking.

Playful and flexible in the driving department; swerving is more normal than driving straight and there are Knightbus-like incidences all the time.

Out of cat food. They don’t really do cats as pets here, at best cats are used to catch rodents, at worst treated like rodents. I’m having to fly to Arusha soon and stock up on cat food from the pet store there.

Populated. When I compare the Mwanza region (25.000 km2 and 1 million people) to the Randstad (11.000 km2, 8 million people) I don’t understand how it seems so much more populated but perhaps it’s because they are all outside all the time.

Religious. Which is cool by me, I am a proponent of freedom of religion, and they seem to be fairly tolerant of each other’s beliefs. Having no organized belief causes disbelief. One unifying message across the board is that they are all hoping that (any) God will bless me with a child, to which I reply “he better not”. I do believe you can be a good and charitable person without subscribing to a religion, without being motivated by either fear (of ending up burning in hell for eternity) or by a heavenly reward in the afterlife.

Blessed with pineapple, avocados, mangos, oranges, and LOTS of tomatoes, OMG, so many tomatoes, I have never eaten so many tomatoes! Or pineapple, divine pineapple. I’m basically in fruit heaven.

Dusty. I think our askari (guard) shares a mantra with many: “a day not spent sweeping is a day not lived”.

Bumpy. Once we turn off the main road that is heading due east and we make our way to Kanyama Village Dispensary, it’s a good abdominal workout, what with bracing ourselves trying to stay upright in the car. Big rocks, undulations, paths carved into the dirt road by previous rainfalls – I can’t wait to see what kind of mud this will turn into once the rains hit end of the year…

Keen on greeting this hypopigmented person; Mambo, Habari, how-are-you, hello, hi, salama.

Funny when displaying women’s clothes and underwear; the mannequins have rather augmented behinds to better match the particular African shapeliness, but the colour of the mannequin is still produced in my pale skin colour.

Visually overwhelming. Every store front carries all fonts, all sizes of fonts, all colours of fonts in all kinds of materials. Every woman seems to wear all the colours and patterns mixed together. People walking selling everything from fried doughballs to popcorn, trinkets, necklaces, roasted corn on the cob, shoes, balls, bike tyres, mangoes.

Mwanza is just Very!

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