We did not wake to a torrential downpour. No, we woke to another sunny day that is obscured by only the 100 trillion particulates in the air known as dust. Ugh, the dust!!! Why does it have to be so bad? Why can't it stay in its behind-the-sofas and on-top-of-unread-books home? Why does it have to reside in my throat, on every flat surface, under the fingernails, upon the computer keyboard and all over the resident toddler in the house? Oh, right, because hardly any of the roads are paved!
|A short cut around traffic. Picture not even taken through the car window.|
But just beyond the doors of this technology mecca is a dirt road. Actually, many dirt roads. I would say about 70 percent of the roads in Arusha are paved. Not bad considering just 10 years ago that number was probably more like 20 percent. But those roads are mostly in the commercial areas. All residential areas and "short cuts" have graded but unpaved roads. Which as you can imagine generates a lot of dust in a place that hasn’t seen rain in about 6 months. A less conceited person might wonder "Oh no, what about the crops? Isn't agriculture the major industry in Tanzania?" Yeahyeahyeah.... what about our nasal passages, people! Dust + 20 month old petri dish = lots of colds!
You're probably thinking this situation warrants some kind of humanitarian intervention that should be addressed by a little spare change from Mr. Gates? Well, that would be nice. But we'll settle for you joining us for this little glass of whine and maybe a prayer or two for some rain before bed. In fact, if you need a reason beyond this self-centered moan, a good downpour would help disperse the masses who are gathering in town to celebrate/contest the pending election results from yesterday.
More perspective on The Dust from our good friends here, 66% of whom have already gone back to 'Merica.