Has it really been week since my last post? Time is flying already!
Last night, a group of us from the compound where I am living went for a walk in the opposite direction from town. Our goal was an old dam and reservoir near the outskirts of town. There is no water in the reservoir, but it was a great walk and a chance to see another part of Dodoma.
We walked down the paved street for a little while before crossing over and taking a dirt path across a field. This path turned into a dirt road and went through a couple of small neighborhoods. It was early evening when we started out (about 5:30) and we saw a few people still working in their fields. At one point, we stopped and listened to a group of people who must have been gathered together for some sort of worship. Their singing was the most amazing sound. We stopped on the road a few yards behind where they were singing and just listened. Their song was a simple “Alleluia,” but was upbeat and included many parts beautifully woven together.
Continuing down the road, we passed several smaller farms. They were more like homes with gardens and farm animals (usually goats or chickens.) We also passed a larger garden where they are growing several types of fruits and vegetables, including fruit trees. Water is scarce here, but they have devised a system of pipes that bring water from somewhere nearby. As we walked by, we saw a man with a large watering can giving one row of crops a hefty drink. Growing anything in the dirt here takes a lot of work and water is just one of the many challenges growers face.
A man working the land
The dam itself is void of water, though there is evidence of recent holes dug in attempts to reach the water hidden below the surface. On an old water tower, you can see the marking left by years of water filling and emptying from the reservoir. I’m told that when the rainy season hits, there will be some water that partly fills it again. I also heard that it is a popular spot for kids to go fishing, and that apparently they actually catch things there. We spent part of our walk speculating how the fish appear in what now looks like a desert and decided they must bury themselves underground until the rains come, or lay their eggs that way.
The old water tower
Overgrown steps into the reservoir
We stopped several times on the way home for photo opportunities. While passing through the field, we were invited (“Karibu”) to join in a football game, but the sun was setting and we needed to get home. I am constantly in awe of the things I see here. Whether it is the most amazing sunset, vibrantly colored flowers growing from plants in dry, red, sandy soil, or wonderful music shared in a small community, Tanzania doesn’t disappoint.
The sunset was AMAZING!!
I also had to take pictures of the plants along the way home. Truly beautiful!
The top of a "tree"
The hillside just beside the dam
These plants reminded us of toothbrushes. They were such a pretty color, too!
We also thought these seed pods were interesting. The seeds inside are about the size of a hazel nut and the pods are about the size of a golf ball.
These leaves were just cool.
I have seen and heard of shoes hanging from telephone wires, but this was a new one for me.