In Passing - Via Via

24.02 - Yesterday we went out to look for some PVC support sheet - a journey through an industrial area of Arusha - dusty wide rough dirt roads lined with large scale buildings and people walking about. We didn't have much luck finding what we were looking for - but we did get some leads that Seppo can follow up after I leave.

Its not much fun shooting from the window of a Land Rover kangaroo. First off it feels too much like cheating for me - if I take a shot people should have the option to complain and give me the chance to delete something if they really don't want to be in the picture. So there is a certain amount of guilt involved in taking shots like these, but with so little time to get out of the vehicle I haven't got a lot of choice except to not take any.

After work we ate at the cafe and headed out to Via Via - a local outdoor night club frequented by local Tanzanian's, European's and white faces from various corners of the world in a large rambling series of dance floors, bars and a food stall or two.

White faces provide a ticket to a so-called 'better life' for ambitious youth, and there is a slight feeling that it doesn't matter much who you are as what you might be able to do in providing more options to an otherwise limited choice. Stressed out Europeans and North Americans tired of fighting a losing rat race battle to have more of everything enjoy the 'chill' of the Tanzanian culture and women and men everywhere in the world fall for the 'I've never felt this way about anyone before' routine with the conviction of lemmings with only a small proportion of them finding someone who really means it.

Inside the first dance hall the live music had the possibility to be quite good except that the habit of bands here tinkling away their tunes with the characteristic echo effects on full is to turn the volume of the singer up so high that it sounds more like an auction at a cattle ranch than anything remotely melodic. The beat of the drummer stands up to the punishment inflicted on the rest of the band by the singer, so you can enter the dance floor for a limited period until the blood starts dripping from your ears.

In any case watching from a comfortable distance I do marvel at the articulated hip movements Tanzanian women are capable of while dancing and wonder if they are actually engineered differently to us westerners.

Somewhere around 2am I got a tap on the shoulder and I turn to see Elina Voipio - a neighbour from Finland doing voluntary work here. She's bright eyed and obviously thoroughly enjoying the work and as most people who come here to live for a while the journey home is met with a degree of reluctance.

Back to work topics then. Tonight we start the second Arusha Masai Cafe workshop so there is work to be done to prepare. It will be a mixed bunch this weekend with some from last weekend's workshop and some newcomers. A busy few days ahead and at sometime today I try and get a bit of shuteye to make up for the lack of sleep from last night. Its sunny again this morning and the cock is crowing - time to get moving.