There was some really beautiful country in southern Tanzania and northern Malawi. We did a lot of climbing and descending as we drove through the region. There were some great scenic views. One thought that came to mind as we traversed the area was that it would be a great route for a motorcycle ride. The scenery was great, the distances weren’t unmanageable, and there were plenty of places to stop.
I’ve done my share of driving, I spent 6 years working as an over-the-road truck driver in the United States. I’ve seen my share of accidents. If you were to ask me, I’d say this driver made it out alive. The most important question to ask in any accident is whether anyone was hurt. We came across the accident as we were driving down the road. I took this picture from the back of the truck. How did the accident happen? Who knows? The luckiest part of the whole situation from our perspective is that the truck is not totally blocking the whole road. This means that traffic will be able to get by, It may be a day or so before the accident gets cleaned up. There can be a lot of space between major towns where a wrecker big enough to get this truck back up right can be found.
These are houses that I saw in Tanzania. Notice that the houses are made out of mud. Notice that some of them have no doors. Notice that there are windows on a most of them. That’s a good sign. Sometimes, they have no windows, just big holes where the windows should go. Notice the tin and thatch roofs. Tin is better and more upscale than thatch. But there were lots of thatched roofs in rural Tanzania. The mud homes tended to be the most common type of structure for a home that we saw. We didn’t get to see inside, but I have a feeling that it really wouldn’t have mattered. I don’t thing there was a whole lot inside. Rampant materialism has not made a significant dent in the Tanzanian lifestyle.
It’s a picture of just the truck, I think that the picture is somewhat scenic. This was our lunch stop. I just wanted to get the big rocky hill behind us in the picture. It’s a good looking truck, isn’t it? It is. I was proud to be in such a good-looking truck. Don’t let that give you the wrong impression. My life on the truck was hardly idyllic. Then again, what life is?
I like this picture. It shows the group and the truck. We pulled the truck off the side of the road and made lunch in an open field. Most of the group is in the picture. We drug the chairs out of the truck and put them into a circle like we usually do. Then, the group of 3-4 people that is on cook duty fixes the lunch. The best hing about the food on the truck is that there really isn’t ever enough of it. This means that people are often quite hungry and, because of that, the food usually tastes pretty good. If a person was having to pay for it in a restaurant, the food wouldn’t be nearly as good.
We’re gathering firewood. This is one of the drivers who is chopping some of the bigger pieces of firewood. There is a lot of firewood on the side of the road in Africa. You just have to recognize the locations where the firewood is laying around and go gather it. We gathered enough for a couple of days worth of fires in a few minutes. Firewood is plentiful in Africa. We use it to make toast and as a focus of the nightly meals on some occasions.
We were just driving down the road in Tanzania and we entered a National Park. I believe the name is the Mikumi National Park. We saw lots of animals and we didn’t even have to pay a large amount of dollars for the privilege. The parks in Tanzania can cost upwards of $100 per day per person plus vehicle fees for each person entering the park. When I can get into a park and see lots of animals by just driving down the road in Tanzania, I have to be impressed. I also have to take a picture and tell you about it.
This is the beach on the truck. The beach is the place where people stick their heads out of the truck to look where we are going down the road. It’s called the beach because it’s so sunny relative to the other seats in the truck. In this picture we are going through the scales where they weigh the truck and the driver have requested that we all move to a position as close to the front of the truck as possible. That means that a lot of the people are going to be on the beach, which is close to the front of the truck. They look happy, don’t they? That’s because we aren’t going to have to empty the truck, get searched, and fined for being overweight.
We’ve left Stonetown and we’re moving down the road. This is a smaller town in Tanzania. The markets are very important in those towns. This was a pretty significant market. That’s why I grabbed the picture. Note that these people have no mall. They have no other significant commercial activity. This is the best commercial thing that they have going in their life. Happy shopping…
They let us go see a Masai village on the trip. For $7, of course. When we got there we were greeted by dozens of young Masai whipper-snappers. I came to find out that they were all related. It seems that a Masai village is one man and his wives and children. In this case, the number of wives was five. A Masai warrior can have as many wives as he can afford. What that means is that he can buy all the wives he wants as long as he has the requisite dowry. This dowry is usually paid in cattle. I was told that the standard asking price was around 10 cows. All this gets a little complicated. The point here is that a Masai male may have lots of wives and lots of children. Notice the huts. They are made out of mud and have no modern conveniences. I make this comment for all the American women who might want to rush out and find a Masai male to marry them. If you want to live the traditional Masai life you’ll have to get your dad to come up with a little dowry. Plus you’re going to have some competition for your guy’s attention. 20120603