A Day with Arusha Dr. Dre


I slept, I showered, and I drank a lot of beers.  It was good to not use a squatter toilet for a change.  The blackouts still come and go in the building, but you just take it with a grain of salt.  Everyone we met seems to stay at the same place and we all went out for some beer.    At the same time, I’m doing laundry, recuperating, and trying to figure out my next step.  Doing a safari in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro seem very impossible at this point because the cheapest one could set me back 700 dollars.  That is alot.  Not only that, I feel like when I’m older and have more money, I can just come here for a nice 7 days safari in the lodges like the other old rich blokes do.  I have no loss there.
I have two choices to make and alot time to make them.  Moshi for the maji moto, or straight to Lushoto for a self trek through the Usambara mountain.  I want to get to Zanzibar by the 4th of Feb to meet up with others, but I have enough time to do it all.
Sitting there doing almost nothing and quite enjoying it to be honest, I remembered to hit up GMG because he invited me to his house when we left the mountain.
He said pick me up at 2PM, African time.  So G, Justin, babu, the whole crew came at 4PM.  We hopped on a dala-dala and went off to their village.
Their village is called Moshono, it is not very far from Arusha.  The dala-dala even became better with people who knows the prices and the route.  They insisted on paying for my ride, which is a nice change for me.
We got to Moshono, and it was a whole different place.  It is quiet, everyone just minds their own business, and dirt roads filled with greens stretch to no where.  In the villages, most people walk.  So we walked.  We walked past church, openings with mount Meru in the background, small farms, tiny convenient stores, chickens everywhere, and pool halls.  We picked up some beers, and walked even more until we arrived at a row of concrete over brick houses with tin roofs.
There are chickens in the inside yard of the houses and cloth lines drying clothes.  All three of them plus their friend Kennedy live in the same court yard village house.
GMG’s house is a room stuffed with a bed, a couch and speaker and camera equipments.  Despite the smallness of the room, everything is very neat and tidy.
Everyone opened some beer and just sat around and talked.  G’s laptop and computer slowly turned on and he showed me the beats he made.
Turned out he was joking when he said he produces.  He went to IT school for university and from there he learned how to make music.  He uses Fruit Loop for the beats and Cubase for recording.  He idolizes Dr. Dre and loves Kendrick Lamar’s music.  When they are not working, they all just hang out and listen to music and try to freestyle.
It brings me back memories of the homies in Jason’s house just drinking and freestyling before we go out.  Preston with his “I toss books in the blender and verses come out”.  The backseat freestyle on Bill’s Bus.  It was the reminiscence of good old times.
G showed me some more of the beats he made.  It was actually really impressive.  Old school beats laced with samples, it resembled the Anno Domini beats you get to hear very often on dunk mix tapes.
G complained that in Tanzania, in order to get media attention you have to pay a lot money, which they don’t have.  He asked me about how it is in America, and I told him it takes connections.
Then they showed me the music video they made called “hustle and bang” where G and another dude called Joel rapped in Swahili.  It was a pretty funny video even thou I don’t understand what they are saying.  G said he will send me a link to his YouTube account when African internet can finally upload his videos, and I’ll share it with you all.
G then asked me to do a verse with them on a song they are making.  Turns out he got mikes and filters and all that stuff.  I recorded sixteen lines, then the back voice, then the bunch of yea and uh huh in the background.  I can’t believe I did my first recording in Africa.
We drank more beer and bullshitted a bit before we made our way back to Arusha. All of them aren’t originally from Arusha. G is from Dar, the others grew up in Moshi. Yet they are all working in the porter and cook business in the mountains. However, that’s not where their ambition ends, and like the rest of the world, they want to succeed.
It was already late by then, there is no light in the village, but somehow everyone can see the road fine.  The village is quiet and the sound of crickets chirping filled the air.  We walked the same long distance back to the main road and got on another dala-dala.  The villages might not have much, but it has genuine Tanzanians.  They are nice, and they treat you like normal people, not this distinct class called tourists who look more like fat stacks of cash than just another person.  I can trust the people in these villages.
Some other dala-dala was trying to get us to go on theirs but our dala-dala fought them off and after filling the cabin half full, off we went.  I forgot to mention despite cars in Africa are mostly driven from the right side, the wrong side, the transmission is automatic.  The transmission in south america and even central are mostly manual, and I was skeptical of renting a car and drive in Africa if I needed to because I can’t drive stick with my left hand.  Now that fear is put to rest because from the most beat up looking dala-dala to the stacked land rovers, all cars are automatic.
We went to dinner in Arusha near where I was staying.  I would have never found the place.  The restaurant is tucked by a bus station near the city council building.  You have to walk there through absolutely darkness in pothole filled dirt roads.
There is a big open space and then a bar area.  The food was amazing.  Fried fish in some kind of sauce, spices, more sauces and rice.  Like in Dar, the waitress pour soap and water to wash your hands before you eat because in Tanzania people eat with their hands often.  We drank more beer, and their preferred beer is Safari.  After food the waitress brought mangos and bananas.  The total for five people including all the beers was 40000 schillings.  That was the cheapest meal I had eaten in Tanzania, and probably the best so far.  I paid half the bill because everyone was so fucking nice, and said good bye.
It was an exceptional day.  I learned the life in the village and city are indeed different, and Tanzanians just like everyone else, just want to be happy.  Despite poverty, they value friendships and their life goals.  Poverty doesn’t change those who are strong.


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