Trip Start Jun 05, 2012
36Trip End Jul 10, 2012
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What I did
At this point there was a guy that came out of his hut. He was part of a different tribe than our guide which sparked information about the people of the area. There are 120 peaceful tribes all working together. For example, Maasai trade their cow maneur to the Mto wa Mbu people and tehy give fresh water for the Maasai. Next we saw an almond tree and our first little kids. The moms were trying to cook maize over a campfire and we played with the little kids who wanted to see their face when you took their picture. They were from the Sangoni tribe. Then we saw the henna plant which is used to make dye. We passed several houses made by the Makonde people which had coconut leaf roofs. Wood sticks with mud filled in between. We got to go inside a house, and it is a very humbling experience. I can't imagine living like that. We saw some guinea fowl in cages so I asked about them. The people are allowed to get a permit allowing them to keep two guinea fowl. Then we went to a woodcarving place where all the pieces are made. They used several types of wood, but one type was ebony which is a very heavy black wood. When the tree is young it is lighter colored and gets darker over time, so depending on how it is carved, sometimes you can see the light color. People gathering ebony can only use the dead branches or pieces elephants have knocked over. They have to pay some sort of fee for what they are taking. The also use teak, mahogany, and rosewood.
The we saw a Protestant church. There were tons of school kids who let out for the lunch break so they all came running for us. The school is sponsored by the Lutheran Church. Then we saw millet, sweet potatoes, and custard apple growing. Then we went to an art collective where people can go to learn how to paint
After lunch we had a pretty long walk back to the truck and headed towards a short stop in Arusha. We had a 30 minute break at the supermarket. We headed to the gas station, filled up, said goodbye to this driver and got a new driver. Miles read the paper that Ernie bought off the streets of Arusha. We were told that it was about 3.5 hours to Marangu and it is already 4:20 in the afternoon so it appears that dinner is going to be late. We could see Mt. Kilamanjaro after about an hour driving. It is the largest free standing mountain in the world, and the highest point of Africa. It looks so our of place because the land around it is flat and then there it is sticking up way above the clouds. Victor pointed out the direction of the three routes to the top but said really only two routes are used, one of which is from Marangu where we are camping and many people camp here before they start their climb. You have to have a porter and a guide, but you only have to have one cook per group. We stopped for a bush stop. Then Victor let us buy time for his cell phone. Each time you want to buy time for your phone you buy a little scratch off card with however much time you want then you enter a code into the phone. When time is almost up, they it beeps and you get about 5 seconds to finish the call before it hangs up on you. I got ahold of dad to tell him Happy Birthday! He seemed suprised and appreciative to hear from me. Then I still had enough time to leave a message for mom and for Renee Howell for her birthday too