Ethiopian food and bomb blasts

Trip Start Jan 09, 2011
1
4
12
Trip End Dec 04, 2011


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Where I stayed
UDSM

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, February 17, 2011

The last couple weeks have been pretty intense. There have been protests on campus and threats against the school. Tear gas has been shot off a few times, but it only lasted about a week. The kids here were mad because they had no money to eat, so they started rioting until the government would loan them more money(to eat). They want/wanted 10,000 shillings a day, which averages about to about seven dollars. They are only receiving half that. But after about a week the riots ended and everything was chill. They "evacuated" us to a killer hotel and we got to swim(I'm learning and getting pretty good) for a day and relax while intense stuff was going down over here. We wanted to stay and observe, but it's not really much of our business anyway; it's hard to remember sometimes that we're just visiting. 

Anyway, the riots settled, the kids here got 100,000 shillings(taken from next semesters loan fund) to last until march, and we headed off to Zanzibar for a weekend. It was downright beautiful. I would of taken more pictures but I forgot my camera on one of the days that we did a ton of stuff. We toured a spice farm, drank out of coconuts, walked around the tourist part of city for a while, then went to a music festival that had a lot of Rasta guys with there white girlfriends in the crowd, it was pretty rad. What bummed me out though is the tourism, the (white) people come to Zanzibar directly from Western Europe and sometimes don't even get out of the bus between the airport and the resort. 

I mean, I understand that some people just wanna get away to the beach for a while, but people shouldn't ignore the locals. The truth is, people don't even give the local salesman the time of day, and look at everyone like they're just trying to rip them off. Sometimes this is true, but a lot of the time people are just trying to get by, or even be your friend! My friend Austin said it really well. He said people just ignore the locals here and don't even think about their lives or where they're coming from(I kinda interpreted his words my own way, he is a very insightful man, and his hair is beautiful). 

The people here are too nice and good hearted to be ignored, and even if they weren't, people should still try and have social interactions with them. I find it hard to believe that people travel to other country's in the west and act the same way. It should be no different here. 

I got off topic for a moment. Anyway, classes have been slow, but they warned us; It's supposed to pick up soon quickly and not stop until May, very exciting. Yesterday though, yesterday. I digress. 

So me and my fellow American friend from Arizona, Elliot, are eating Ethiopian food with three Norwegians when suddenly we start hearing large booms. We thought they were fireworks or something because yesterday was a Muslim holiday and they cancelled school for it. Unfortunately, it was not fireworks. It seems a Tanzanian Army stockpile in the city had caught fire somehow, and there were rounds and explosives going off and damaging the surrounding area. The sky lit up with an orange glow that really made me realize where I was and what was happening.  
 
We went back to campus in a taxi and got up on the roof of my building, there were a lot of others on the roof two watching the explosions. It was a sickening fireworks display. The fire was massive and it was accompanied by an orchestra of small and big booms for about an hour and a half. Every so often a fireball would shoot up and burn into the sky, turn black, and disappear into the scattered lights. I sat there next to a couple of people that I had met recently and talked for a while about what happened and everything. My buddy Teddy got some pictures of the blasts, I'll get them from him and post them. They are eye opening, It was hard to believe what was going on. Once it calmed down though things were settled, and me and a couple guys were on the roof talking about it for a while. 

On a lighter note, Alex, a guy from Norway, invited me to go watch a footbal game last night. It was pretty cool. They have a projection screen over by the cafeteria where they play the games live. So of course we were there at 11 at night until about 12:30 because of the time difference. It was awesome though. It was Arsenal vrs. Barcelona. Arsenal and other English teams are big in Tanzania, so whenever they would score the kids would freak out, straight up. When Arsenal came back from behind and won the last 10 minutes people flipped. People were singing, and swinging their shirts around their heads. I understand now why people like this sport so much, it was ridiculous. I want to watch some more games before I head back to the states and get back to watching some real good old american sports(Nascar).

So that's my update Mid-February, if you see a spelling mistake I meant to do that. I hope everyone back home is keeping it real. Listen to Artificial Flavoring on Facebook if you get the chance. Shoutout to MetacLeod photography, and keep an eye out for some new entries sooner or sooner. Keep it real-

-Grant 
 
 

   
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Comments

Ay-J on

He shouted us out. =)

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