Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hanging with the Guys

Today the plan was to visit a Chagga village and a nice waterfall in the Marangu area. My guide was a Kili guide who was off for the day. He and the driver picked me up, and off we went. It was raining, so I was worried about driving on the rough dirt roads, but it went well. We visited the Marangu Gate, one of the starting points to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is called the Coca Cola route as it is the easiest. The Machame route is much steeper, and is called the Whiskey route. We saw wet people beginning their climb- not for me to be wet and cold and tired for the next 5-7 days, but more power to them!

The rain stopped as we parked in the Chagga area. We walked to a place that makes banana beer. We each had a big cup of the beer. Mine was in a calabash gourd, as the guest of honor. Theirs was in a plastic cup. They feel that metal transmits diseases. I am not a beer drinker, and was put off by the millet seeds floating on the top, so they drank mine also (both were young guys in their early 30s). We sat and talked and drank. It was just like hanging with the guys. We discussed many topics including the attitude toward 'muzungus'. The guide said his family always asks why he would spend so much time with 'those' people. We also discussed adoption, as 2 of my children are adopted, which they could not understand the concept why you would do that.

After the beer bash, we walked to the Ndoro waterfall. We had to walk down, and then back up about 300 rough stairs. It was a challenge for my poor knees, especially after fast walking with the Hadzabe a few days earlier. But the waterfall was worth it. It was beautiful. 

Finally, we visited a Chagga traditional house, and some caves, where the Chagga hid and attacked the Maasai when they fought over the area and over cattle. It was fascinating. On the way back to town, we had a flat tire. As they worked to change it, some children came out from a farmhouse and I talked with them and we took pictures of each other. Hopefully they got to see that muzungu aren' t so bad after all.

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