Saturday, June 14, 2014

New and the Old

I am trying to clean up some things on my laptop tonight, since I just finished up with a project and have a few minutes before bedtime.
I was making sure some stories I had written on my desktop had indeed been made into blog posts before I delete them.  So I was looking through this site and previous posts.
I was looking at the Sights and Sounds post with all the various pictures, and it struck me how this country is so varied.
There are still people that live almost as if the rest of the world had not changed at all.  They have no electricity.  They cook using three stones as a stove.  They plant and harvest everything by hand.  Often they will use a big kinu to pound out their grains instead of taking them to a mill.  They walk everywhere they go, and some don't even have cell phones.
Then there are those that have taken in as many as possible of the developed-world's-ways.  We recently came from a wedding and the number of digital cameras and camera's on people's phones was surprising!  In some places, I think 80% of all the people have cell phones, and many of those have internet capabilities.
Cell phone towers are dotting the horizon more and more.  Even the road out to Mago has electric poles going up on it!  That seems so very strange after traveling that road for two years and there not being any electricity to the villages.  Now many people will have access to electricity!
Long flat mud houses along the "Road of Death" to Dodoma from Iringa
In other places where the lines have not come yet, there are more and more solar panels here and there.  Often we see in villages make-shift electric lines go from one place to another because people are buying electricity from someone who runs a generator at certain times in the day.  We are hearing more and more radios with loud music.  Even the buses have music videos or movies, of which I am not thrilled.   Everyone is subjected to it, whether they want to hear it or not.  Often it is so loud that even earplugs don't really help.
A few of the main roads are in good shape, and as soon as you leave those roads, often they are almost impassable.
The contrasts are amazing.
We see ox-carts, donkey carts, people carts, people carrying large loads on their heads.
Then we see the opposite.  We see semi-trucks, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, daladalas packed to overflowing with merchandise tied on top (even goats at times.)

Ox-cart on the road between Dodoma and Iringa
It think of all the changes my generation has seen in our lives.  And then I think about the changes the people in this generation here in Tanzania have seen!  Oh, what would their grandparents think?
It just amazes me.  We experience such a huge variety of circumstances and people from day to day and place to place.  We just don't know what to expect next.
Hmm.  We live in a very varied place.

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