Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bryson & Emanuel-Guides Extraordinaires~~~Moshi, Tanzania

One week after I landed in Tanzania, I took one last look at Moshi and the people who work and live in this congested city. I had fulfilled two goals in one week, first Mt. Kilimanjaro, WOW... what an experience. Second, a life long dream of going on safari. Would I do either again, YES, but a little different, well a lot differently.

I will meet the AILC group tonight in Nairobi, but not until 9:00 pm, so I have the day to see Moshi up close and personal. Bryson and I walked through the city market. Markets in Africa are not at all like any market I've seen in the US, or for that matter not close to a country farmers market. Everything here is so dirty, the streets are all dirt roads with only the main highway being some what paved. The market itself sits in the center of town, about two blocks in diameter. All the villagers along with people who actually live right in Moshi sell and buy almost everything in the market. Women sit on the ground with buckets of fruit and vegetables to sell. Trucks are loaded to the brim with pineapples, bananas, and sugar cane. Inside this rickety old building there were large five hundred pound bins of rice, beans, and nuts. It seemed like each isles had a theme similar to the store in America, but it is all in the bulk, big bulk. People run their hands through all the bulk items, before buying what they want. The fish isle was so GROSS, the fish was mostly dried with the heads on, and the smell was horrific. I have never seen anything like the meat and egg isle. There were slabs of beef, goat, and lamb hanging with flies crawling all over it....... plus the eggs are not refrigerated and who knows what was inside the eggs. I am sure my eyes spoke volumes about my thoughts and feelings, and for the next fifteen days in Africa a vowed not to eat any meat of eggs.

After leaving the market, Bryson asked if I would like to walk through the market again by myself. My reply was quick and was OH NO!

My last day in Tanzania was an experience to never forget, especially when I ran into Nina and Martin for the last time. It was so good to see them and catch up on their Mt. climb. Martin did summit, however Nina did not. Both were looking forward to going on a safari and wanted my opinion on where to go.

Bryson dropped me off at the airport at 5:00pm and once again I was alone in a forgein country, but not for long. I was excited to meet up with the AILC group, not only to hear English, but to share my experiences of the past week.


Bryson-Mt. Guide Upper
Emanuel-Safari Guide Lower

While hiking on the mountain and enjoying the safaris I learned so much about both guides. My kids often wonder why I ask so many questions, possibly Bryson and Emanuel thought the same thing. At any rate I learned both are remarkable people.
Bryson is the only son of a family with four sisters. He like everyone one else in the villages around Moshi grew up very poor. He father, a farmer, grew a variety of crops that they would then sell in the markets each Tuesday and Friday. Bryson was able to go to secondary school (high school) only because his aunt paid for it. As a young boy of eight years old, he loved hunting DIK-DIK's, a small antelope looking animal. Bryson told me how he and several of the neighbor boys would go hunting at sunrise each Saturday. Along with a donkey used for carry, and a dog used for chasing the DIK-DIKs, and a sharp knife to slit the throats of the DIK-DIKs it was an all day trip. Bryson told me the dog would chase and catch the DIK-DIKs, and then he would run up and slit the throat of the captured animal. After which he would load it on the donkey, when they had killed about fifteen DIK-DIKs they would go home. Bryson said many days they would be gone for twelve to fifteen hours.
I also had many questions about Bryson's guide business. He told after he graduated from secondary school, he couldn't afford to go to Prep School, (college) so he became a porter of which he did for four years. He was then hired as an assistant guide for another four years, until a client from the USA encouraged him to go to guide school. Bryson then took the guides test and past it on the first time, something that is rare. When I ask how many guides there are on the mountain? Eight hundred, WOW, I could hardly believe his reply. Bryson is well known and well respected, as all most every other guide that would pass us, spoke to him and was glad to see him. Bryson is married with one two year old daughter; Regent and Angela are the apple of his eye.
Emanuel, my Safari guide, actually is one of four employees for Bryson Adventure & Safari Company. Emanuel a twenty-five year old single man was very nice, very cordial, and simply pleasant to be around. Emanuel was so knowledgeable about all the animals and each national park we went on safari in.
He too, has had a hard life, to American standards. He has resumed the role of the head of the house, do to the fact that his father passed away two years ago. He financially takes care of his mother, sister, brother and his own daughter. Emanuel told me how he would love to return to Prep school, but he doesn't have the money. I don't know if this was a plea for help, or just conversation. He like Bryson also had to attend guide school, in order to be a safari guide. East Africa has very strict rules for the business of pleasure, if one could call climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro pleasure.
While on the first day of the safari, I had expressed Brykn's desire for me to rope him an elephant. Emanuel just smiled. However, then on the second day when the huge elephant charged us, as I am backing up in the Land Rover thinking we were going to be trampled. Emanuel just laughed, and said "There is your chance rope him!"
At the Farm House, there are also guide quarters, but Emanuel would eat with me each meal. It was at dinner that he expressed his desire to see America. When I ask what it was he would like to see, he replied "The whole thing, but I would really like to ride a horse!" So funny to me, but then again I am sure he wondered why in the world I got such a kick out of the elephants, monkeys and giraffes. I assured him if he came to America, I could make sure he had the opportunity to ride a horse.

I was grateful to have two great guides, who cared about me and my experience and would do it all again, maybe even the Mt. Kilimanjaro!

From Mom: Jambo everyone. My first week in Africa has been very interesting to say the least. My legs are finally feeling normal, not like peg legs, though my toes are still numb. I didn't give my hiking boots to the porters, I think I'll have them bronzed, or maybe they can go on along with my cute green back pack! LOL, LOL! Wow. the safari was great, though I thought I was either going to be lunch for the Massai, or be smashed by an elephant. All I could think was what Kelli said? Not Kili-my-aunt-Lauri... Bryson has picked me up from the hotel and we just walked through the market where all the villagers sell their wares GROSS! Now I will go have lunch with his family and then head to Kili airport to fly on to Nairobi. I will be glad to hear English, that's for sure. After week 1, all I can say is it has been awesome, but we are SO...blessed. Love you all, Mom, Grandma & Lauri.
From Andi: Just having you in our lives makes us sooooo blessed. Glad you are having such a great experience. Miss ya tons! 2/4/09

From Mom: Well, I am back where I started a week ago--the Kilimanjaro airport. Bryson & Emanuel both bid me a fond farewell and asked I say hello to all of you. They also asked if any of you would like to climb the mountain or go on safari, that you call them. I suggest the safari! I will let you know when I get in Nairobi. Love you.