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In love with my ‘new home’ in Mwamapalala

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“Nswaganelele’ is how I would describe myself in the last five days. A Sukuma word literary meaning a very active thing that  quietly works or strongly destroys from within without the outside noticing. Some 40km away from Bariadi district town, I have been the positive ‘nswaganelele’ in the past week.

So busy having fun and working in the hidden villages of Mwalulushi in Mwamapalala ward. It’s the highlight of my exploration in ‘usukumani’ so far, I should say.

I have been ‘natural’ for a week now. Having pounded coffee and boiled potatoes for breakfast. A guava or an orange as  after meals. I have not used a thing processed with added chemicals. No soda,no packed milk or packed juice and interacting with young ones whose moral conscience seems still intact. The bond among family, neighbours, friends and strangers alike here is amazing.

The old homesteads of ten family houses in each other peoples’ neighbourhood. Cattle giving us a natural scent  in the back yard.

Eating rice and dried potatoes gotten from the family farm and meat from the slaughtered goat from the home zizi. Talk is about local elections in October and the soon to open cotton season.

Breathing in fresh air from the large flat lands of Mwalushu, listening to sounds of passing leopards in the past of mid night, once in five days.

It’s like I have been catapulted forty years back: Children chasing after cows in the side road,a woman giving me a greeting ‘N’gwangaruka bhaba’ as if almost putting her knees on the ground.

Children waving at our motocycle as it penetrates mercilessly through different villages of Nkoma, Mwalushu, Mwamigagani, Mwanunui, Dasina among others. It reminded me of my childhood when we would play soccer along village roads, only to give way when a vehicle was approaching.

The evening meetings have been most interesting to me. Men sitting in groups to have sips of coffee as they discuss local issues in their heavy kisukuma accents. To a stranger, it would appear like they are approaching a fight but it’s a calm conversation, they say.

Water, though a little been salty, is as thirst quenching as any fresh water can be.

My laptop has had to be charged every two days at a town centre 20km away….

Iam impressed at how Non Government Organisations play such a pivotal role in village peoples’ lives-At my home for now here,-institutions like World Vision have a hand at hospitals and bringing water closer to my people.

A catholic institution is involved in running a school. The local government has its responsibilities to work on as it’s supposed to. And the wananchi make their lives through making their own ‘small economy’ at town centres.

A shop, motorcycle and bicycle to transport people, a tomato seller, and local brew seller. In their small way, money exchanges hands every day.

When I had just arrived, at first I was not sure of what to expect. Then a subtle sense of fear. But I got more curious. Then I relaxed. Then it became easy with everyone. Now am in love. In love with the natural setting of my people and for now, I feel like staying here forever.

Natongwanga sana ahenaha’. To an outsider, it may appear like a small community within parochial village borders, but it is still a world with sufficient support systems.See pictures below.

preparing to sleep after a great rual meal

preparing to sleep after a great rural meal

with no electricy,we enjoy this fire in the evenings

with no electricy,we enjoy this fire in the evenings

This village is too cold in the evenings.Men gather to enjoy the warmth of this fire after 7

My host's son,Dotto Mwabala prepares to have dinner

SEE WHERE TO PUT YOUR HAND:With no electricity,my host has to use a torch for his night meals

SEE WHERE TO PUT YOUR HAND:With no electricity,my host has to use a torch for his night meals

AFTER A DAY IN THE FIELD:The sitting room is comfortable enough for yours truly to fall asleep!

AFTER A DAY IN THE FIELD:The sitting room is comfortable enough for yours truly to fall asleep!

In case of thirst at night,water is right there in the green jag at my new bed's side

In case of thirst at night,water is right there in the green jag at my new bed's side

Feeling th natural sense from the walls.Is it morning already?

Feeling the natural scent from the brown walls.Is it morning already?I so seem to be asking

Working on food security in their own way,mothers cut sweet potatoes and dry them for future use

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Atugonza

    20/06/2010 at 11:45 am

    we are carpenter of our life, each day we hammer a nail place a board or elect a wall……….so
    Our attitude and the choice we make today build ours for tomorrow

  2. George jinasa

    30/09/2012 at 6:04 pm

    You have really reminded me of my life in mwema palapa during my childhood. We used to go to mwalushu, mwamunu, mwanunui, mwabayanda, nkololo, ngeme, ibindo, zagayo, bonamhala, idoselo, nik kwenda kushuhudia mashindano ya ngoma za asili kati ya bagalo na bagika

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