Market and More Firsts!

2 blog posts in 2 days!

         Today, we went to Tengeru Market to practice our Swahili and buy food for the TCDC kitchen. We have been learning practical sayings this week, so we can get around and interact with the locals. Unfortunately for us, there is a HUGE difference between speaking Swahili to a teacher and the sellers at the market. As you could imagine, the combination of people speaking fast and the limitations of my vocabulary, I was barely able to communicate with the sellers. On top of that, I had to make sure I didn’t get ripped off. Bargaining in Swahili was a real challenge. Luckily, Mama J, had written down the normal prices of food, so that I had a target price to go for. Our class also came up with some golden lines “Sitaki bei ya Mzungu. Ninataka bei gani mafrica” which translates to I don’t want the foreigner price. I want the normal price. At the end of the day, I probably broke even. I bought a handful of carrots, 3 cucumbers, 7 bananas, 4 bell peppers, and 10 corn. All for 2000 shillings. That’s a good amount of food for roughly $1.25. While food may seem cheap to us when we convert to dollars, the average income is still under 2 dollars a day. Nonetheless, vegetables are very affordable, but the diet mainly consists of carbs such as ugali (maize), rice, and beans. Meat is eaten but in small quantities as it is very expensive. The food definitely has similarities to Indian food as it’s flavorful, but it’s less spicy and much more simple.



I bought all of that for a little less than $1.25

     Tengeru market also sells almost everything. It’s the second biggest market in Arusha. There were piles of clothes and thousands of shoes being sold. ‘’They had every thing from traditional Tanzanian kangas to soccer jerseys. I tried to get a cheap jersey, but quickly realized that I am quite gigantic compared to the average Tanzanian. Everything I tried out was a size too small.

     This week, we are stepping up the engineering in trying to hone our skills in soldering and circuitry. On Monday, we built an LED flashlight, which is useful on our walks home when it is pitch black outside. Also, today, we built a regulated power supply, which we could use to power machines with faulty circuitry. Although we’ve learn about capacitors, resistors, and AC circuits in physics class, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an application of those simultaneously used in real life. And now, using the principles we’ve learned, I have a power supply which I could very well use to power an ECG machine.


My Working LED

   Finally, on our trip back home, I couldn’t resist eating the street food off the main road. The vendor gave me a freshly grilled piece of barbeque chicken with various spices. Tomorrow, I’m going to try chips myayai, which is a French fry omelet. Wish me luck!

Oh I almost forgot, GO USA!

4 thoughts on “Market and More Firsts!

  1. After seeing those colorful vegetables and bargain prices I think I am ready to move to Tanzania. Hone your skills, Mom will be happy as there are lot of things in need of repair on your return. Also,USA did move to the next round even in loss!
    Good Luck.Stay healthy!


  2. Missed you at our July 4th get together. Post more pics of the local markets. It’s so much fun to read about the cultural things you are experiencing. French fry omelette sounds good. Anjali Auntie.

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