The TMI Entry–May 6th

Location update:  we are now in Dar es Salaam, having left Kasulu this morning for Kigoma, where we caught the flight to Dar.  It rained from most of the night last night, but this morning was beautiful and clear.  There were absolutelyIMGP4712 gorgeous views as we drove through the highlands (retracing much of Saturday’s route) before coming down into Kigoma.  We stopped at a secondary school run by the DWT were Bill gave his “blessing” on both wired and wireless plans to connect the school’s computers to the internet.  We arrived at the airport a little before 1:00 pm and said goodbye to Duadi and Efram.  We’ve all had our first real showers in over a week and are now awaiting for our take-out food to be delivered.

Why Wearing a Skirt in Western Tanzania is a Good Idea (for Women)

This is the TMI section.  Men can stop reading here.  (This is Cathy writing by the way.)

Wearing a skirt is culturally appropriate in Western Tanzania, all the best people do it.  A lot of Western/European women will wear pants, and this is perfectly acceptable,  but showing your knees is NOT acceptable.  So no shorts.  Just capris and pants.  A skirt is cooler than Capris or pants. 

I usually try to wear a very full skirt with an elastic waist.  The elastic waist is for all those large starchy meals that you will be offered.  (Don’t come to Tanzania if you want to lose weight.)  The wide skirt is to make it easier to climb in and out of Toyota Landcruisers, 4 x 4’s and other vehicles capable of off-roading.

So, culturally appropriate and cooler, BUT the real reason to wear a skirt in Western Tanzania has to do with plumbing.  It can be quite primitive.  As in a hole in the floor with a bucket of water to “flush” things down.  (Have I mentioned that a wise woman always carries a role of camping TP here?)  Don’t know about you, but I always found it awkward whenever I had a call of nature when hiking in the woods.  (TMI) So what to do?

When faced with a “water closet” as opposed to the preferred toilet,  a skirt is easily hiked up and tucked out of the way. 

And THAT is why I wear a skirt when leaving Dar es Salaam.  I REALLY much prefer toilets!

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