Dar Es-Salaam

March 27, 2013 - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

I left Mombasa very early and reached Dar Es-Salaam (Dar) 10 hours later. I haven’t slept the night before, but the landscape on the journey was too beautiful to let my eyes close and fall asleep.

We passed Lunga-Lunga, where I got my visa and a compliment on my African-hairstyle. The bus almost left without me at the border. I was running behind it and the people started to laugh and said “pole pole”. It means “slowly slowly”. The bus stopped and on we went.

The people on the bus were lovely. I got to talk to someone, who is a Muslim, but very informed about Christianity and other things. He explained very complicated things about Religion and life in general to me. And when I got to know, that the people (friends of my parents) who were expecting me in Dar, thought I was coming one day later, I was lucky to have the company of this person. He talked to my parents friends on the phone and guided me at the crowded bus-station.

Dar is big. Very very big. And dusty. And there are big traffic jams.

But after a little time, I was picked up. We drove to a good place to eat. Pizza. My first European food since I’ve been in East-Africa.

The place where I could stay for the next two weeks is close to the beach. The woman, who let me stay in her place, shared even her bed with me. This is something very new for me. I don’t think there are many people in Germany, who would do this. And on short notice.

The people I got in contact with in Dar, all seemed to be welcoming and kind. The food tastes very good and help is offered the minute you open your mouth to ask for it.

This is the rainy time now. Almost every day, there are big grey clouds hanging in the sky. Sometimes, it rains all day without a break.

The roads get muddy and cars get stuck. And because Dar is big, people have to drive far distances. Every morning and every afternoon, there is a big traffic jam. And Dar doesn’t have Matatus. They also have public transport, but it’s more organised. There are bus-stops and the busses are bigger. They are called Dala-Dala. But they are also crowded during rush-hour.

What I’ve noticed so far – there are not as many mosques around here and the English language is rarely spoken. The weather is the same. One big difference to Kenya is, that the tribalism doesn’t exist here. Tanzania has tribes as well, but there is no fight between them. And no gossiping.

Two days ago, my parents arrived. They’ll work in Hekima Waldorf School until they close for holidays. This school cannot be compared to the Waldorf Schools we know in Germany. Let me start with the construction of the building. The money doesn’t allow to copy the Rudolf Steiner way of building. There is no water and no electricity in the hills. And the teacher’s salary is very low. Partly because the parents cannot pay enough and partly because have of the students are orphans. Still, they can manage to grow and bring the kids up there with their own school-busses. The school has troubles but always fights to get along for the student’s sake.

It’s the only Waldorf School in Tanzania so far. Maybe in the next years, it will be possible to get a bigger community to be informed about the Waldorf-concept, to have more local support. Everyone is working on that - which is hard but respectable work.

Something else I noticed: I know the value of the Tanzanian Shilling already. Although it’s only been two weeks since I came. When I first saw the money, I thought I am so rich! But 1.000 Tsh is similar to 0,50 Euro. It took me longer to understand the currencies when I first came to Kenya.


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