The Bus Stop

The bus stop in Mchinga Moja is the pivot point of the village. About 2000 people live here in the village, located by the A7 highway from Dar es Salaam to Mtwara via Lindi. Here Daladala, vans used for public transport, and buses stop over here.

I am waiting for Evelyn who has gone to do some shopping. I use the time observing the people and what they are doing. A daladala is departing as the next one arrives. As the van is rolling in the sliding door is already opened. I see two huge sacks of rice next to the passenger seats. The car comes to a halt, people are climbing out, others getting in. Luggage is hauled from the roof. It doesn’t take too long until every passenger has his luggage and leaves. Some take a motorbike taxi, others go to one of the small stores nearby, still others go to “mnada”, the temporary market that is travelling from village to village Here people can buy things that usually are not sold in the village.

I watch people rushing to the bus stop to catch their bus. People are busy here, but at a rather slow pace.

Lorries, too, stop over here, to load and unload. Those things are brought or taken away by motorbike, bicycle, or by push cart. The streets in the village are sandy or on soil, and the vast majority does not own cars.

It seems everything is fine. But I begin thinking: Taking a daladala to go from here to Lindi, which is 32 km south, it costs roughly 90 cents. That is not much, for people from the West. But when I consider that around one third of the people here still live on less than three Euros a day, I see that the fare is not at all cheap, and it is an indicator that there is still much to be done to overcome poverty here.

I am aware that passing out money might be easy, but that will in no way really help. We have to go deeper for helping them in ways that they themselves come out of poverty.

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