Sunday, November 4, 2012

More Sights Around Moshi

Materuni / Mnambe Waterfall
I am realizing with these posts that I am spoiled with all the things I've been able to see recently! It seems like every weekend we are doing something interesting and seeing great things. Ryan and Stacy are so good to us teachers, they try to give us a good experience being here.  And so far, so good!  I feel like I've seen a lot of the surrounding areas, and it's only been 2 months! If it's been a hard week of teaching, it helps to have something to look forward to on Saturday or Sunday. And while I enjoy teaching, seeing new sights is one of my favorite activities! So I am blessed.

On Sunday we drove up the hills of Moshi about half an hour, through many Chagga villages (a local tribe here) and into a remote area. The roads were dirt and steep and it was a bumpy ride to get to our final destination. It is always fun to wave to the locals and see their curious looks as we go by. Kids are my favorite, when we wave to them, a smile lights up their face, they get so excited, waving back while jumping up and down, or running after our car.  This time the locals were a little unusual -- a lot of little pubs line the road in the Chagga area, it's well known that they Chagga people have a habit of drinking. They brew beer out of millet they grow, or even bananas. It's apparently nasty (haven't tried it! no thanks!) but strong, and has the desired effect of getting them drunk. As we went up the hill, it was only about 3pm but we passed plenty of staggering Chaggas, or pubs with overly friendly drunk Chaggas. The way back home was much worse, I think 75% of the people we saw on the way home were drunk, even the elderly ones making their way home. Sad to think of a whole people group in bondage to alcoholism, and how that cycle will go on and on unless people take a stand against it.

 After quite a bit of intense driving (think the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland but crazier), we reached a hill where we parked, and began our hike to the Materuni waterfall. The locals found this interesting, and our group was followed by about 10 young men and children, who I guess didn't have anything better to do with their afternoon! They did tell us that in Chagga, the waterfall is called Mnambe, meaning 'firstborn,' because 200 years ago or so, the Chagga used to throw their firstborn child off the top of the waterfall, as a human sacrifice to their gods. Yikes...

On that happy note, we hiked to the falls, which took about 30 minutes, and the air was so much cooler than in Moshi, that a 30 minute hike was actually really pleasant and easy. We hiked along the ridge of a valley, from which the view was just incredible. We could see Moshi in the distance, and lots of green hills and little villages in between.  Kilimanjaro was also looming off to the right. It was a great hike, and we passed all kinds of little homes and huts that made me marvel at the fact that people live here, well off the beaten path, and walk such a distance every day to get to 'town'. 

Pre-icy dive
Once at the waterfalls, many people jumped right in, only to find the water so icy it took your breath away! The waterfall was beautiful and inviting, but the cold water made us only want to take a quick dip, before scurrying out to warm up in the sun. But before I knew it, my friends were swimming under the waterfall to climb up on some rocks underneath it. I couldn't resist either, and dove in to swim. When I say icy, I really do mean icy, and it was even difficult for me to take a deep breath while I was in that water. But it was rather refreshing and I enjoyed the experience! It cooled me off for the uphill hike back, which was of course more challenging than the way there.
I made it under the waterfall!
This is me congratulating another
girl on surviving the swim. 

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