I am now the proud possessor of a Tanzanian driving licence, valid for three years. Have to say, it feels rather odd being accredited to do something which I haven't actually done at all yet - ie. drive on Tanzanian roads - and I'm looking forward to the challenge. However, a few things I've learnt as a passenger:
- you have right of way if you're in a bigger vehicle, can hold your nerve better, and are closer to the interchange, right of way has nothing to do with whether you're already on the road or coming onto it;
- you use the horn to say, "I'm coming and I'm not going to stop";
- taxi drivers do not necessarily have 'the knowledge' of Dar Es Salaam, so probably best to give them a wide berth;
- judging by the state of many cars' windscreens, state of repair is not good, this could well extend to brakes so probably best not to assume fellow road users can stop in a hurry.
I'll let you know what the experience is actually like when it happens!
Also to report the good news that I have all the stuff I sent from the UK excess baggage, bad news is that it took pretty well the whole day on Friday to achieve this. Not much more I want to say on a public blog, except that when I took out insurance at a premium of 5% the value of the goods it seemed extortionate, it now seems astonishingly good value. If you do send stuff international air freight - which I'm not sure I advise - then pack it, pack it again, repack the repacking.... you get the idea. But great to be reunited with my piano, currently in my office, looking forward to having it set up shortly.
This morning went to Dar Es Salaam Pentecostal Church to the English service. Have to say that I was extremely impressed, preaching was straight from the Bible, and I can honestly say that the music was the best I've experienced in any church anywhere in the world. Bass, keyboard, drums, guitar, lead singer plus about 10 female and 7 male singers. A most extraordinary synthesis of discipline and freedom, with each and every one of them conveying a sense of worship as they led. Singing mostly in a statement-response style, which I'm guessing originated in a pre-literate age, certainly it made learning unfamiliar songs very straightforward! Leader very clear. And that's not the best bit, which is this: whilst they left the platform for the sermon they were still there for the notices, and as one person they stood absolutely still while this was going on. Golly was I impressed! Is it the teacher or the choirmaster in me that notices these things? Good routine for working with newcomers, so filled out a card and went to a brief meeting after the service. So thinking that I've now found the church I'd like to attach to whilst I'm here, I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about the church in due course!