After my non-blog post last week, I seem to remember somebody (can't remember who, sorry!) suggesting it might be interesting to show you my walk to work. Well here it is! Hope you enjoy it!
First of all, courtesy of Google maps, a map of the immediate area:
So Crystal Towers you can see towards the top right:
and work is not marked here but is next to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (coming back to this shortly). At the bottom of Crystal Towers are four shops:
Alas, the one on the left was a Chinese / Indian / Tanzanian restaurant plus a whole number of other bits and pieces, but is no longer functioning. Ultrasound is a medical outfit I believe. Next is a small supermarket with a slightly odd collection of stuff geared, I think, around Indian cooking. And Snoopy's sells pizzas and chicken pieces, can be useful at the end of a long day!
You then then get to the junction with Mindu Street. The road at this point has been repaired several times since I've been here, but seems to be particularly susceptible to damage:
This is one of the reasons I prefer to walk to work - and also why there are a very large number of very large cars, often 4 wheel drive.
In fact, when I first arrived I was staying in an apartment block in Mindu Street, I don't know if these two pictures give a sense just how close the blocks are to each other:
On the right is Tambaza High School which I pass on the right as I continue to walk down Kalenga Street, with the junior campus of the International School of Tanganyika (IST) on the left:
Couple of things here. The United Republic of Tanzania is the union, 50 years ago, of Zanzibar and what is normally referred to as Mainland Tanzania. To refer to Tanganyika is normally taken to mean that you think that the two should separate again. So, IST is the one reference to Tanganyika that I'm aware of that does not carry this connotation. Also, IST is by far the highest fee charging school in the area,I had reason to look up their fee structure on one occasion and was somewhat nonplussed to discover that they charge an alumni fee. That is,to join the school, you have to pay a fee because at some later date you are going to become an ex-member. If I'm late to work by my own standards (ie. 6.45 rather than 6.30) I find myself having to negotiate my way past endless hulking great 4 by 4s. Children have one uniform, it seems, and parents have another...
I then get to the junction with United Nations Road. Readers with very long memories will remember my fixation, whilst in Jamaica, with road signs. So, let's indulge in a bit of nostalgia:
Two things I had to learn in my first few months here. Firstly, signs like this for ATMs can be separated by a very considerable distance from the actuality - so far, in fact, that you may have to take a turning or two on the way which is not, of course, indicated. Secondly, ATMs work about 70% of the time in my experience, which led me to conclude that it is better to manage my finances without them. And don't even dream of using a credit card....
United Nations Road pictured at 7am. on a Sunday morning does not look particularly dramatic:
But when it gets busy on a weekday morning or late afternoon, my goodness, it gets busy! Traffic coming every which way until it can get to the stage where, quite literally, nobody can move anywhere. Once again, I'm glad that I walk to work!
On past the junction, a new office block being constructed on the left:
On the corner as I turn left is the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, part of the Vice President's office:
and a sign announcing our presence:
Past a cafe which is quite a useful alternative to our own canteen and where I quite often buy lunch if working on Saturdays:
and past a pile of small bricks ready to be pressed into the road and smoothed out:
So finally to work, my office window is towards the top right of the second picture here:
So that's it! I've arrived in about 5 minutes, considerably less time than it took to write this blog - and quite possibly to read it. And certainly considerably less time than many of my colleagues spend traveling, total of 4 hours is not unusual even when the going is reasonably good, with much of the time spent stationary or at a snail's pace.
So, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my everyday life, happy, within reason, to write blogs on any other aspect you think might be of interest. Meanwhile, have been asked to speak at the Christian Fellowship this week, so will tell you about that next Sunday. Wiki njema - have a good week!