views from a verandah while we muse on differences

5 06 2012

Oh darn.  Our lives are such that we are forced to spend large amounts of time on the verandah above.  How awful is that? 

Deon is doing mostly computer work at present, our house needs to be fixed up quite a lot and we are still figuring many things out, so we sit on the verandah. And work. And eat. And think. And chat. There are worse places to do these things, huh?

We get to see some special things from our perch.

Yellow-billed kites, up to 8 at a time, come for their morning bath.

People get to enjoy the beach.

And a happy pack of dogs do too.

We are staying at Tunza Lodge, run by friendly South Africans, and get to see such a range of people at the lodge.

We also get regular shows of immense grandeur as the sun sets.

Various watercraft go by

And we get to see it all, hear the sounds of Fish eagles and other vibrant signs of life… what a life! 

I cannot help but compare some things with Mbale in Uganda.  On the other end of the lake, just about 500km away… but some significant differences exist.

The Sukuma people, the largest tribe of Tanzania, are peace-loving and docile.  There were some hairy-scary incidents around Mbale with the Bugisu and other tribes: Decapitations near the mine and tribal battles that were downright brutal.  We have not had any bags or cars checked for bombs, no tear-gas incidents:  it seems more peaceful here.

Mwanza is a much larger city than Mbale (it is the second largest city in Tanzania) so there are more shops, banks, hotels and generally easier access to things we may need.  A big city does not appeal to us (we have chosen to stay about 10 km outside of the CBD) but the things are nearer than having to travel 5 or more hours to get to Kampala from Mbale.  A bigger city means more people.  There are many around. There is a larger expat community and it seems as if the missionaries here have been so helpful and welcoming to us.  It appears that it will not be difficult to build good friendships here.

Power is far more reliable than in Mbale!  The regular powercuts – out every day, or every second day if lucky is not usual here.  The power was off for several hours yesterday – but that was only once in a week!  Wow!

Mwanza is still so very unknown to me and I have to learn where everything is.  Mbale was comfortable and small… the unknown is always intimidating at first!

There is a lot to see and do around Mwanza.  The lake is just about on our doorstep, Serengeti is not very far away, the airport is about 10 minutes from our new house.  Getting around should be easier.  Deon’s working situation is also far more relaxed, so we plan to use opportunities to get away and discover this very interesting land.

It seems very positive at the moment, but there are a few difficulties too.  English is not as widely spoken as in Uganda: to get by comfortably I will have to learn Swahili.  People can be as obstinate, perhaps more so, than in Mbale. People are also not as friendly, overall, as in Uganda.   Things seem to be  generally more expensive than in Uganda. Corruption is a bit more evident:  in Mbale we were often approached: “Mzungu!  Give me money!”  Here we have to be so careful what we hand over in shops, or what we sign for in restaurants: people seem most opportunistic to gain where they can.

But we are prepared to give it our best shot.  It IS beautiful, reasonably safe and there is much to keep us living healthily and happily.

Vibrant natural life is highly entertaining.

We look forward to our new house being ready (it needs good maintenance this week!)

And with this as our base, with amazing views from our verandah…




All picture property and copyright of Karen Scheepers.  Please consult me before further use.




One response

5 06 2012

Thanks Karen that I can share in your experience, I really enjoy the pics and great stories. Love you girl, Ans

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