Tanzania 11 — Bumbire Island

In a way, this was the beginning of traveling again: still based in Kagondo, exploring the immediate surroundings. I was invited by a very lovely young priest to visit him in his parish — the big island „Bumbire“ and some 80 small surrounding islands in Lake Victoria.

Already getting there was an adventure. While we waited for the public transport boat which left some two hours later than planned without anybody complaining the least bit about it (part of the delay was that it waited for somebody to return from a visit to the hospital) these are scenes from the landing of another boat.

Here the small fish („dagaa“) is unloaded and brought up to the street by the bicycle boys. I was told that it is picked up by trucks and sold to distant parts of the countries. On of the few local food items which I really didn’t like, by the way.

Another boat in all its color, with the faithful name and ladder for boarding.

Even though for a small amount of money you can avoid getting wet. I was surprised how easily the man picked me up, heavy backpack and all. Next some of the items that are brought to the islands: beer, softdrinks, a bundle of the cheap flip-flops, some bags of sugar and flour.

And a look ahead in the boat, with the homemade anchor and a muslim lady wrapped in a colorful scarf.

Another island and small settlement we stopped at on our way. Generally, island life is even more materially deprived than the mainland village life.

A group of fishermen rowing out. But some use motor boats, too.

A small island with a single tree between the rocks, and a beautiful sunset.

At the priest’s home I was surprised to hear that he likes to work as a DJ for the village occasions. And his music was certainly danceable and worthy for a club, without trying to be Christian. Also his equipment was very impressive, but had to be powered by a small generator of course. The next picture is the service in the church in the morning (and morning means morning, like 6:30). Sadly, it was as empty as it looks. But then, they have mass every single day, and as I mentioned island life is really rough anyway.

The next picture shows — guess — the church bells. And the outside of the church, with most of the little family we had for these days: myself, the priest, and three young women who live with the priests (there was another very friendly one who had to leave the next morning after my arrival for some urgent duty), cook delicious food and are pursuing their education. That’s a general feature of the church in Tanzania — a haven of education. I’ve almost never heard as good English as from priests, and the seminaries seem to provide the best schooling you can get here.

Now me and the priest in a small rented motorboat to explore some of the smaller islands.

This is on an island where only men are allowed, and no alcohol either, but lots of smoking, and not only tobacco. The fishers come here for a limited time to dry the small fish they caught. And I was impressed to see a ship being built expertly in the middle of all that mess.

These are the outside and inside of the church building on the island, and our boat driver kneeling for a little prayer.

You might remember the picture of Lake Victoria at night from one of my early posts from Kagondo, where the lake is full of small lights from fishers. These are the lamps used, they attract the small fish which can then be caught easily. I wonder if they’ll ever learn, or evolution change their response to light… The picture next to it is another field of drying fish, and the birds who discovered their life is so much easier next to the fishermen.

This is the island-village bar and club, looked pretty nice, and again the sound system was impressive.

Now I’m leaving the island already, these are two of the girls running the priests‘ house. And there was no way I could stop her from carrying my backpack no top of her own luggage. And the chicken the second one is carrying so elegantly was a present from the priests‘ own little farm.

The way home was on the speedboat the priests have to more easily reach the surrounding islands, and was great fun. I was a little ambivalent about the money needed to sustain their work and life on the islands. On the one hand they certainly „deserve“ a high standard of living (if anybody does!) through their high education and dedicated work. On the other hand the contrast to the lives of the people they serve is quite extreme.

The last one: An old boat serving as the dock, and our small speedboat again.

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Datum: Freitag, 5. August 2011 14:20
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  1. 1

    wow wow wow!!!