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  • There are days when Tanzania and I do not get along.

    The potholes jar my thoughts, there's no water in the morning. The "carpenter"-fundi (handyman) shows up with two rusty screwdrivers and has no idea how to do his job. He does it half way and disappears. Doesn't come back, ever. Definitely not "kesho", tomorrow.

    My Scandinavian brain gets angry when I have to negotiate the price for the taxi trip twice: when we start, and again when we are there. Driving with my husband the police stops us and tries to find a reason to fine us. The fine is negotiable and there's no receipt.

    I am the whitey, mzungu. A walking bag of money up for grabs. I am tired and frustrated and sweaty and dusty.

    There are days when Tanzania and I are friends.

    The sky is big and blue, and the smoke from the morning fires smells sweet. The ladies carrying their various things on their heads smile at me shyly. Their sense of colour is clashing and bright and marvelous. The taxi driver tells me about his childhood, of his father and the six wives, the fifty children. Those were the days, he says. We worked together and no-one went hungry.

    I see a man on his moped with two huge fish sticking out of his saddlebags. The tailfins wave above his head as he weaves through the traffic and I have to laugh. I hope whoever eats them will wash them first.

    I exchange greetings in my limited swahili with a lady at work, and for a moment we really meet. How are you, mama, how is your family? We are all fine, and you, what news from your home? Only peace. Yes, peace.
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