Part 1: Getting there

On Friday, we took a beat up, broken down greyhound sized bus for two hours. Heading south east of Moshi to the village of Makanya. The buses are definitely scary, but it's the main mode of transport besides getting a lift on the back of a motorcycle, which is even scarier.

Going to the bus station can only be compared to entering what would be considered a heated argument in Canada. As soon as you step into the bus depot vicinity, it's at least five men in your face hassling. "Taxi" "Bus" "Arusha" "taxi" Mzungu" "Mambo" "Poa", etc. etc. This process is not exclusive to foreigners, it's for every single person at the bus station, man, woman, and child. Intensity.

Then, one of the yelling men will run up and all of a sudden you have four tickets to some village in the middle of no where. But you can't just get on any bus, first Emmason had to see the bus, do a quick inspection. He said a couple of years ago, they would take engines from huge semi's and put them in buses so that no matter the weight or amount of humans it could still fly down the highway (I imagined warp speed and stars flying by all blurred into strips of light). After he approved of the bus and we had the tickets, it still was not time to actually board the bus. For some unknown reason, we stood in front of the bus while five men yelled in each others faces flapping tickets and money around.  We just stood there for ten minutes, holding our backpacks extra tight and taking it all in.  I think men speaking Swahili might just sound angry to an English speaking person. Or they like to seem angry but they smile just as quick. Who knows, finally we got on the last four seats at the very back of the bus. We hit warp speed almost immediately after reaching the highway. So fast. The bus itself is just an old hollowed out shell of what was once some sort of Chinese bus. They look like the buses from the 50's in America with the metal rails that you put your stuff up top on. Once they get going they don't stop they just honk and assume that everyone else should get out of their lane. On a two lane highway it's a bit hairy at times. Then they go for the pass onto oncoming traffic. My word. It stopped three times to pick up more people then the standing room permitted. At every stop women with baskets of stuff on their heads come up to the window and demand you buy something. Or men run up making kissing noises trying to sell gum and cigarettes. Madness, I say. Two and a bit hours later and we made it to the village.

Within five minutes, every child in the village (and perhaps surrounding region) had found us and were following us around yelling Mzungu. It was the first time many people in the village had met white people. My family was worried about problems with mob mentality if there was an election while in Africa. The closest I've come to death was being mauled by hundreds of screaming children. Emmason brought a soccer ball which blew the kids minds. I brought the trusty Nikon which was a hit.
 


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