Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day in Arusha

Common sight on these roads
A few weekends ago, we took a trip to Arusha, the next 'big city' over from Moshi. Arusha has about 1.5 million people, whereas Moshi only has about 150,000.  Arusha has lots of amenities that Moshi doesn't have, so it's a popular place for the area. On our drive from Moshi, we passed through lots of dry, sparsely populated area, and then started an small ascent up to Arusha, a much cooler and greener area. Ryan told us that about 10 years ago, Moshi used to be as temperate and lush as Arusha, with lots of rain and greenery. Unfortunately, a lot of deforestation happened, and too many trees were destroyed to sustain the water cycle there. Now, Moshi has a much hotter and drier climate, and much of the greenery has disappeared. Tanzania has passed a law imposing a heavy fine for those who cut trees in Moshi, because of the damage that has been done to the climate. It puts locals in a tough position - they are desperately poor and need to cut the wood to cook their meager meals. But the area will be in danger of desertification if they lose more trees.

Anyway, back to our trip to Arusha - we got to the city and got stuck in traffic, I felt at home, haha! It took us about 30 minutes to get a few miles, so it was reminiscent of Southern California.

Once in the city center, we stopped for lunch, passing both the McDonald's and Starbucks copycat stores.
"Stiggbucks Coffee" - hmm sounds familiar...
McMoody's Restaurant
 After a great Italian lunch (what a treat!), we headed to the Cultural Heritage Museum in Arusha. This is a new museum that displays centuries of Tanzanian history, as well as new artists' works. Tons of great sculptures, paintings, photographs were displayed all over. 

Wooden soldier men from the 19th cent
Carved chairs
The only difference between this place and an American museum is that ALL of the works, historical or not, are for sale. That was a little surprising!

Iron elephant
A neat weaving

Great day seeing a new place, wandering around a (air-conditioned) museum, and seeing incredible art by very talented people!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting history lesson... Cool stuff at the museum, I bet there were more wood carvings that were amazing to see. Fun stuff!