2013 Conclusion: Arusha

2013 has been or rather was a good year for me. Ticked off a couple of items on my bucket list and added others and proceeded to tick them off.

Fiiiiinaly graduated from campus, Attended the World Youth Day in Brazil, became the subject of a documentary still in production, got a good job and witnessed many happy moments with friends and family.

So me and the sister decided to ‘jump’ the year ‘Overseas’ . . ok fine over land next door in Arusha. Its a rather short trip over land and the border crossings are not fussy at all. I think we spent all of 15 mins getting cleared inclusive of our car. I suspect though that my sister was well armed with all requisite documents.  I was happy to clutch my beer can.

We were however looking suspicious or maybe its a Kenyan number plate thing but we were stopped several times by Tanzanian cops who were very interested in the Drivers license and Comesa Insurance. If these two are in order most would let you pass but there are always the stubborn types who simply want a bribe. they will angle for silly things like the fire extinguisher type and the log book etc. Not wanting to get acquinted with the legal system of the Swahili speakers we gave a token, and we were waved away with very broad smiles. They however take bribes rather awkwardly as though they don’t know what to do during the process. twas hilarious.

Did not encounter a single pothole on the Tanzania side and all road markings were intact and more or less made sense with busstops clearly marked and plenty of road signs to guide drivers. Traffic lights are mostly obeyed however their equivalent of yellow lines are totally ignored and guys overtake anywhere. Their police have shiny new speedguns which they use with relish like our cops and Alcoblow. Its however pleasurable driving with breathtaking scenery in along the plains especially about 20km past Arusha which seems predominantly Maasai populated.

We stayed at Pamoja Expedition Lodge a small bed n breakfast on the outskirts of Arusha with very nice facilities and nice whether you want peace and quiet or want to paint the town red, the staff will accommodate you either way.

Booze and food is cheap in Arusha though depending on where you are buying but in most stores, stuff is cheaper than in .ke

Arusha, located next to the Kilimanjaro, is on...
Arusha, located next to the Kilimanjaro, is one of three cities in Tanzania that provides continuous water supply. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would like to tour more of Tanzania especially the less talked about southern areas. I am sure there are gems down there that are not frequented by many.

My new year resolution is to find a way of crossing over into Malawi.





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Age and politics

As is usual with kenyan politics, mudslinging and dragging your opponents through the mud is considered very standard operating procedure when vying for any seat.

It is thus not unusual to hear characters aspiring to occupy the highest office in the land throwing juicy opinions on their opponents ability at conducting their daily business. This is not like the customary insulting that goes on in Mali. This is seedy, sleazy and downright childish insulting that should only be attributed to bad upbringing.

The president thinks as much too and regularly joins in the fun, only his insults are usually targeted at regular folk who enjoy their tipple more often than not and retire and rest before working. Such upsetting of capitalistic norms are what warrant insults by the commander in chief. Insults are things that are dragged out when nothing else of note can be generated by the concerned parties. How else do you explain how a man aspiring to lead 40 million kenyans in military,economic and political conquests wasting precious time at a rally insulting opponents while he could be trying to convince the populace why his policies are superior to his opponents. Taking swipes at their age and soccer skills is guaranteed to generate better response from the crowd and thus more media coverage and hence more publicity.

But I gotta admit some of the swipes are hilarious and really bring home the reality about some of our political contestants. The recent comments by Ruto about how he used to read about and sing for William ole Ntimama when he was still in class 3 were really hilarious. I dug around for old photos of Ntimama and he looked old back then like older than the members of the UhuRuto brigade. Of Course the constitution affords protection from discrimination agains age, sex etc but come on. Ancient is ancient. A 40 year old able bodied man is not expected to be living with his mother and getting a weekly allowance however rich the folks may be. Same with an octogenarian claiming he wants to revolutionise anything.  Its just common sense and little todo with hiding behind rights.

I am a proponent of the idea that time should be respected. The insistence of perpetuity in holding offices is detrimental to the entire fabric of the ecosystem. The stubborn office holders ironically also limit themselves in the opportunities they can take advantage of and the growth in stature, influence and the all to enigmatic legacy. Who doesn’t want to go down in history as being awesome? Look at what Mandela did for himself with only one term in office. Imagine if he had been rigging himself into power for the 5th time. Would he still be a global icon? Do your time and leave. If you cant find something else to do then your lack of creativity is a case in itself as to why you are unfit to hold the office.

Old guys should stick to what they are best at doing. Guiding and giving advise. Even biology thinks so.

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