Popped to Dar Es Salaam for a week to help out with some solar power lighting installations in houses in a remote village, Mkoko, at least 2.5 hours drive from Dar Es Salaam. And why not?
Note also, that Dar Es Salaam is not the capital – Dodoma is! I learnt that too!
Tanzania is a large east African country, known for its vast wilderness areas. Sitting directly below Kenya, it plays second fiddle in terms of tourism popularity to its neighbour. Which is a shame to be honest. But, not for much longer from what I saw and heard.
Interestingly, the Omani Arabs founded their African slave trade business in Tanzania way back in 1699, where some 1.4million peoples were enslaved over the years, in a town just north of Dar Es Salaam. Also, Bagamoyo ,another town laying north of Dar Es Salaam, was where Dr David Livingstone was buried for four days!
Our first day, after travelling for more than 24 hours, saw us frequent the popular Samaki Samaki bar – sounds like Smacky Smacky – which is a fish bar (honest!).
Enough of that, I was there to help install solar powered lighting and TV systems into a remote village, Mkoko, see map of rough location.
En route to the village of Mkoko, we passed by many mud huts with both tin and thatched roofs. Surprisingly, these mud huts last for many years and do not wash away in the rains that frequent this area.
The important work we were there for was to install solar power lighting into the houses.
And a very happy customer once we had completed! Yes, he was even happier when Jeff gave him his shirt of his back!
Unfortnately, we couldn’t stay around for darkness to see the lights working. The road out was a rough dirt road which we needed to see in daylight. Shame to be honest, as the lights made a lot of difference to the inside of the house.
The locals were friendly enough and happy to pose for some insane Brit taking pictures!
Ok, I didn’t get to ride in Africa, but sat on a bike anyway!!
End of a long few days, decided to stop off at another bar, Karibu Sand, adjacent to the Indian Ocean, for a beer! Jeff and Robin gulping down just the one – this time!
Was our trip successful? Yes and no. We learnt a lot that’s for sure. And these lessons will be put into practice for the next time. No – we didn’t install anywhere as near as many systems as we would have hoped. But, hey, that’s the way these things go. Africa is a hard place to work; its unforgiving when things go wrong; best be prepared next time.
As an aside, I did watch the latest Ghostbusters film on the way home, and I have to ask the question “Why?” Not why did I watch it, although I have since asked myself that, but simply “Why?”. What was the point? It was dreadful!
Overall impressions of Tanzania. All though only there for a short while, and saw only a small part of it, I have to say it has a lot of potential. Once the locals realise what they have and stop spoiling it with chucking away their waste that is!
Looking forwards to the next trip!