Marangu: Big Families and Exotic Expenses
Marangu: Big Families and Exotic Expenses.
Jan 1st 2016
I slept in until about 11:00. It felt good to have a long lay in. I took care of Marisa’s needs again this morning and she headed off. I headed for the shower and decided to get out of town.
One of the guys who worked at the ‘NewcastIe Hotel’ where I was staying knew of a place with cheap accommodation in a town called Marangu where I wanted to go. Marangu is at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. So, I caught a dola dola for 90 minutes towards the mountain. We were in a mini-van, which became a clown-car, and we crammed 26 people into the vehicle. It was crazy crowded. My legs started going numb because it was unable to shift them for lack of space.
Marangu is a nice mountain village. I wanted to get to a guesthouse called Mama Devota, and caught a motorcycle taxi there for $1. It was at least a 15 minute drive up the mountain. When I got dropped off, the place was very nice. It had a layered broken-rock driveway. At the front was a grandmother who introduced herself to me as ‘Grandmother’ but did not speak English. She was cutting up meat on the front terrace. I pointed to the meat and asked, “Moo?” She laughed shook her head and said, “Bhaaa.” That was fun. A young boy seated next to her knew a little and showed me a room for 10,000 Tanzanian shillings which is $5. Perfect! Better than I was expecting, and that never happens. I dropped my bags and went for a walk.
People here are very friendly. An older woman I met on the road grabbed my hand and took me to her house to show me her home. She had 8 children who she introduced me to. They have big families here. I had a hard time escaping and made my way to some waterfalls where I had to walk past a house with two girls in their early 20’s sitting outside. They said hello to me so I told me I was going to right direction to the water. When I came back I sat with them and chatted with them as they were cutting bananas. More big families as they were family of eight kids as well, six girls and two boys. One was really pretty, 22, and she was the one who was the most chatty. They made me explain to them why I do not have a girlfriend. It seemed like they wanted big families with me. They brought my fresh and ripe bananas from a tree. The bananas were probably the best I have ever tasted. Tree-fresh is a lot better than produce-cooler-fresh. The girls asked me to come and visit them again tomorrow.
I came back to the guesthouse, went out for a beer, and a local was trying to woo me into going with him climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and when they did not work he wanted to take me on a safari. There are $691 in park fees alone to climb the mountain. There are 45,000 visitors to the mountain each year. That is around $30 million just from the mountain. That thing makes enough money that the country should be a lot more prosperous just because of the Kilimanjaro alone. Wow! The safari he wanted to sell me was $160/day for everything inclusive. Exotic things sure are expensive in a country where many of the locals survive off of $100/month.