Safari Njema (Bon Voyage) feat. Goma + Lars

Prologue:

One post and then gone… again. Sitting at home waiting for a message. At least a reminder of existence. No one seems to know where he is. Flyers all around the town. Outcrys on Social Media, Facebook is flooded with pictures. Too much trouble, too many people and no sign of the little traveller. Everybody is starting to wonder. People are uncertain, trying to escape into the belief that everything is fine while not knowing if that is the right thing to do or just a way of denying the doubts.

We write the month of February, Leo has made his way to Arusha, deep into Tanzanian soil. On his treck he already met 3 crazy Germans, lots of food and now finally reuniting with his father he is all set to percieve the unperishable beauty of the Ngoronggoro Crater.

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The Landcruiser cuts through little streets, out of Arusha and on to the main road, heading out on a safari (which against the common belief does actually not mean anything but journey). In the front seat, a driver who is notoriously wearing black shades, topped of by a pack of cigarettes that is always next to him in case the opportunity for smoking will appear. The road crosses through the plains of North-Eastern Tanzania, travelling through bushland. Along the road Masai are walking, wrapped in their classic blankets and wearing sandals made from Car tires. On both sides of the car steppe and akacia trees. The image is completed by the occasional “Chagua Magufuli” (Vote for Magufuli) poster. At this point a person with a slight political interested will notice, that weirdly enough there do not seem to be posters of other presidential candidates anywhere,though, considering that the elections are already over, who really cares anymore ? Besides, maybe there were posters of other canditates, that were ripped of after they lost. Our Travellers could definetely care less. Still a bit sleepy they percieve a big sign to their right. “Ngorongoro Crater”

A few minutes later the car decellerates. Slowly, the breaks start working and the driver stops at the side on the road. A heard of Zebras are crossing the street and walking into the bushes.

At this point Leo was holding his little notebook, trying to write down what was happening. while he was fascinated by the beauty of the zebras he decided, that it was not worth loosing the great experience just because he had set himself the task of writing about all his experiences. Over and out.

Dear reader, at this point you have reached an important point of this text. It is the point where stupid author perspectives are replaced by actual honest writing, unnessecary information is replaced by pictures and boredom is replaced by fun.

Here are some pictures from our journey to the Ngorongoro and Tarangire National Parks. Sadly, I can only provide the pictures that my father has taken. My camera has an own story that will be told later on.

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Our ultracool driver
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The touristic hub wich sold overpriced handcrafts in fact had some pretty cool sculptures

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Welcome to Ngorongoro

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Baboons ‘n Impalas

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Apart from those beautiful animals, we saw lots more. Some pictures are with my beuatiful father in Germany, but I think those already give an impression. Apart from bathing elephants among others I also tried to buy some new sandals.

The masai (indigenous population of the region around Arusha) were pretty cool. One offered to sell me his sandals which looked pretty nice and durable being made of old car tires, but we couldn’t settle on a price.

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I had another try in town, but I suppose that “my feet are to big” – “mfite ikirenge kinini cyane (Kinyarwanda)”

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Sunday, 7.02, Lake Victoria

After a lot of Zebras, Gnus, Antilopes, Waterbucks, bathing elephants and the beautiful landscape around Arusha I said goodbye to my dad and his colleague Christoph, who had offered us his guest house for the week, that we stayed in Arusha. Apart from 2 nationalparks we also visited some BioGas plants, that Christoph and his partners had constructed. In the end, my ingenious idea of attending a fake workshop on Biogas to visit Arusha and dad without taking official vacation turned out to actually give me a lot of information on Biogas plants and their construction.

When arriving at the bus station on Saturday morning my rafikis (friends) where already waiting for me to show me the bus. The fact that I did actually know where it was standing and where I had to go did not seem to stop them, still they were a bit droopy as I confessed to them that I would definetely pay them any money for a minute of taking me to a place i knew. As I found my seat I immediately cuddled up to fal into a rather inconstant sleep. After half an hour of driving I had the brilliant idea of getting my wallet out of my backpocket to increase my sleeping experience, only to notice that is wasn’t there. Having realised that I did not have it my cozy sleepiness turned into a more unpleasant feeling of not having any cash with me, not having the bus ticket anymore and not knowing how i would be able to get back to Rwanda without money. I had exactly 13000 Rwanda Francs left in my backpack. 10000 to get to the border and another 3000 from The Border to Kigali. Under the condition of finding a forex bureau and not eating for 2 days, which did sound a bit unpleasant to me.

What happened next:

  1. Felt very shitty
  2. Told the lady on the bus that I did not have my ticket because my wallet was stolen Called dad and succeeded in blocking my visa card
  3. Thought about all the stuff that was still in the wallet
  4. Felt even shittier, because I didn’t eat a lot for breakfast and did not have money to buy food
  5. Found my wallet, which had slipped into a slit on the side of the chair
  6. Felt better but stupid and arrived a bit exhausted in Mwanza

From Mwanza I took the first bus in the morning. The journey included a ferry dirtroads, a break down, lots of waiting, lots of bumps, a conversation with a cool guy from Burundi and loosing the digital camera, that I had finally gotten from Germany after 3 months of not taking pictures because Patrick had stolen mine.

I arrived in Kigali at 9 o’clock on Sunday. It rained a lot and the whole town was excited about the final of the CHAN championship between Mali and Congo. It took me some time to get back into Rwandan life and more importantly the fact that I had to be back in the office and work.

Laureene, the Ugandan couchsurfer who had been living with Jared and I had gone to Gisenyi and Alessa finally moved in with us. Now our house community is even cooler then it was before. Not because Laureene was gone but more because Alessa was there. Anyway, I escaped from my Kigali duties pretty quickly, as I left for the Amani festival in Goma on Friday. This time I brought my vaccination card and visa with me and everything worked out pretty well. Mohammed, a wonderful couchsurfer from Libanon, who runs a matress factory in goma invited us to stay in his house and we had some lovely food and delicious lebanese sweets.

At the Festival i directly saw my drummer friend Eve from Kigali who had played shortly after I came. The funniest but also shortest encounter was with the friend of the family Aly Keita, the balafon player from Ivory Coast who has played a lot with my uncle and who has known me since I was a little kid.

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He had a nice concert and my support for Aly’s music involved dancing very lavishly and carrying a random guy on my shoulders, which drew in the crowds attention for a few seconds. Saturday we were joined by some 4 more people, including Ben who I had met in Arusha.

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Ben and I in Arusha

Ben also is a pretty cool guy as almost everybody I have met during the last month. We were a beautiful bigcommunity and the best part was definetely the concert of Ismael Lo which included some almost mosh pits and a very happy jumping and dancing crowd.

Ismael Lo

 

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find the Germans

The following week I had a few practises with the school band and on February 20th they had a concert on the premises of the school. I set up the sound and was pretty hapy when everything went well. They are little superstars, at least at the school.

Last Thursday I finally picked up my friend Lars from the airport who already started his 4 week internship at a local colour factory. On friday he was able to witness the beauty of OneLove. The project is finally starting to bear some fruits and people are starting to come without a lot of advertising. That is cool.

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the beautiful flyer for this weeks concert

Our time mainly consisted of:

  • working
  • playing saxophone with Kinga Blues
  • listening to music
  • eating mangos
  • djing at one love
  • dancing
  • going to a pretty sick outdoor party
  • Hopping on top of a crowded car at 2am
  • spontaneously Djing at the Sundowner
  • loosing Lars’ Camera

 

Fotos of last Fridays Jam Session at One Love:

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Let’s see where the next week will take us, hopefully to Kampala and…

…places.

 

 

 

 

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