Mbulu: Out to the Countryside
Mbulu: Out to the Countryside.
I got up this morning and changed guesthouses in Mbulu.
Thinking it is time see where I am, I went to where all of the motorcycle taxi-drivers were parked. There was a group of about 15 of them. I asked if anyone could speak English. In no time, there were 15 or 20 curious people surrounding me, wondering what the foreigner could want… Eventually some guy came along who could speak English very well. He made a deal with one of the motorcycle-taxi drivers for me and for $5 I could take the motorcycle for an hour. It seemed pricey considering the situation, but I just wanted to go and take a drive around the countryside of Mbulu. I shook hands, got on the bike and cruised out of town.
I did my best to get as rural as possible and got off the red road and on paths only for feet or motorcycles. I got into red earth fields of maize planted with a hoe and a one bottom plow behind oxen. Everyone on the paths were so smiley, waving at the white guy cruising along their paths on a motorcycle.
I returned the motorcycle in Mbulu and then went to meet Paulo, 68, a local hog-hauler man who speaks better English than anyone else in town. I met Paulo last night when I went out for dinner after I arrived. He seems to be a really good man. Today he took me for a walk up on a hill behind the town so that I could have an overview of the place and he explained all of the vegetation to me. He showed me his house that he has been in since 1978. It is a stick and mud hut. His kids have all grown up and moved away and his wife has become a nurse in a town far away so he never gets to see her anymore. The small table for eating in his hut had chairs stacked on it as it has not been used in years and he is a bachelor now. His entire front and back yard is planted in maize that he eats, sells, and sells the maize stalks as cattle feed. There are gardens everywhere here, and maize is the premier crop for making something called ‘Ugali’ which is a flavorless mashed corn meal that is which the Tanzanians dip in other foods to give it a taste. Ugali is the staple and a part of nearly every meal.
I went with Paulo to the restaurant from yesterday and we chatted until the mosquitoes began bothering me. I paid for Paulo’s coffee and came back to the guesthouse at dark. He is trying to find out some information for me about a migrant naked tribe who live in the mountains. I sure would like to meet them…