Tuesday, November 13

Dodoma - 10 years on

As much as this last week has been about preparing ourselves as a family for life here in Dodoma, it has brought back lots of memories for me. Seeing familiar people and places, noticing how things have changed, catching up with Tanzanian friends who I haven't seen in 11 years and just being able to show Mark a lot of the things I've been telling him about over the years. It is more 'town-like' than it ever was ... but Dodoma still has the same charm!

(We have also been sharing photos on Facebook that we've taken and have  had friends who I taught with out there, all those years ago, reliving the memories too!)

Now that we're at the end of our week's visit to Dodoma, I thought I'd reflect on some of the things that have changed or are the same between now and 1999-2001 when I was last out here. They may be of more interest to people who have lived in Dodoma in the past but some are just fun observations.

In no particular order ...

  • There are a lot more sealed roads
  • There are street name signs on many roads (I never knew their names before!)
  • The primary and secondary school are on the same site
  • The school (CAMS) has it's own bus
  • The 'Two Sister's' has moved a couple of doors down but is still the same
  • The 'Superdealer' has twice as much stock as it used to
  • There is a top notch computer room at CAMS
  • There is a chinese restaurant, coffee house and a pizzeria with crazy golf in town .. yes, really!
  • There is a small supermarket that has several aisles and a electronic scanner (when the power is on!!)
  • There is a pool at the Dodoma Hotel (school swim lessons are there now)
  • There are only a handful of MAF families left in town
  • The Shabiby bus is MUCH improved ... AC, toilet, free soda and Morogoro stop and Dar bus station are more civilised
  • There is more traffic everywhere Dodoma, Dodoma-Dar road and Dar
  • The Dodoma market hasn't changed one bit ... the same smell's, the same hustle and bustle, the same stalls in the same places
  • There are a couple of nice shopping centres and cinema's in Dar (7 hours drive away)
  • There is a new wing to CAMS with two more classrooms and a large library and another 2 classrooms currently being built
  • There are a few more tv channels ... all as boring and poor quality as each other
  • Blueband has had it's packaging upgraded but it's still the same margarine type spread that doesn't need to be stored in the fridge!
  • There are about 10 ATM's in Dodoma (the nearest one used to be in Dar!)
  • There are twice as many Tz Shillings to the £ as there were
  • Beans and ugali still taste great
  • There is Nyrere Square in town by the Ice-cream parlour ... with a statue of Nyrere surrounded by some gardens
  • The cathedral has a big screen/projector/computer set up ... for the songs and the liturgy
  • Internet and mobile phones are everywhere (we used to have no phones and one email address between all the staff on one computer at the school!)
  • There are several universities in Dodoma, one hopes to have up to 40,000 students (currently at about 15,000)
  • One member of parliament is building their house (mansion?) up on Lion Rock
I'm sure I could add a whole load more things and I also think I will notice more still once we live there permanently. It was so fun though for so much to be familiar. After all, come February, Mark will be safely at work in the hangar, while I adjust the family to life in Tanzania!

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