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The first 24 hours in Tanzania

Border crossing
It’s fascinating, even after so many border crossings, how everything changes as soon as you cross the line. Nature, food, people and language. Everything is different. But most interesting is the feeling you get when you're crossing the border. It's underneath you're skin. It’s there, just like that. It's personal and sometimes you don't understand why people love one country while others hate it. And that's the beauty of that special feeling (call it you're inner voice, your connection, intuition). If the feeling is less nice the head tries to fool you a bit. But listen to that feeling, it's always right.

I was eating pineapple in Rwanda, just before the border with Tanzania. People shouted to me; he Mzungu give me the food, it belongs to me. Oh is it? On arrival in Tanzania, just 1 hour later I was buying a pineapple again (yes, another addiction after coffee). Crossing borders as a white I'm always a bit suspicious. So when she mentioned the price I said, no that's too much. Just to see her reaction and it gives you a good start for some negotiation. The man beside me said, oh that's a pity, let me buy it for you! Welcome in Tanzania.

First night
As it was my first night camping in Tanzania I started early with searching for a place as you never know what challenge a new country will bring. Well glad I did. The first village, existing of just a few huts, where fighting about me. Man between women. As there was some alcohol involved it felt better to leave. The second cluster of huts didn't understand my question to get a piece of grass to pitch my tent. No problem. I took my camera out of my bag, just to show them my tent on the display. As soon as they saw the camera, they were screaming like chickens, running away as fast as they could and I never saw them again.

So happy that the third time was more successful. But this feeling changed soon when the sound of fire woke me up in the middle of the night. Holy f*ck, they were burning the grass pretty close to me. The light and the smell of the fire were so close that I was really afraid. I was already colleting my valuable stuff, just in case. Happily I couldn’t imagine that they would burn their huts, just in front of me, so I decided I was safe and went back to sleep again.

A road full of dust
Next morning I hit the road. It was dry and full of dust, dust and more dust which made it difficult to breathe. Hidden behind my sunglass, hat and buff I felt so sorry for the woman who was carrying 50 liters of water on her bicycle with a little child on her back (Tanzania is the first African country where I see woman cycling :-)). I decided to help her as I had some power left. The reward was a big smile. This immediately touched me deeply. Isn't that the circle in life? To help each other when you can?

I'm cycling in a remote area and I love it! In the next village there was nothing there which was on my wish-shopping-list. Back to basic as even the water comes from the river which is pretty dirty.

Tanzanian people
They are so nice! It’s the people who make the country. It’s them to make me feel at home. There is always a smile followed by the words Jambo (hello) and Karibu (welcome). When I’m pitching the tent, they will help me to clean the area, leave me alone and come again to ask if I need some water to wash. They share some rice and I give them my tomatoes in return. If there is only tea with sugar they prepare a cup without. It makes me feel so welcome. It makes me feel happy every day. Tanzania I love you x

The last stretch
After a long and windy road I finally arrived in Singida where I prepare my last stretch. Mainly off road all the way up to Lake Natron to see the flamingos. And it will be only 3 more weeks before I see Youri again. Can’t wait! Youri, my love …. I couldn’t have done this without your help and support. So much love to you!

Love from Singida where I enjoy doing nothing :-), recover from my hay fever and charge the battery before I hit the road again.
Isa