I have been to two different churches these past two weeks with my host family, since my baba is a pastor at one church and the chaplain for the university nearby. These are Lutheran churches, and the music is so joyful and exciting here since people in the choir have little dance moments while they sing. Each church has also had two choirs. Besides being in Swahili, services weren’t too different from at home. Tanzania is split between people who are Christian and Muslim, so we will hear the Muslim prayers throughout the city even though the area we are at seems to be predominantly Christian.
Women here wear dresses every single day, and it is much more conservative than in the US. One thing we see everywhere is kangas, which are brightly patterned cloth that is wrapped around as a skirt and has a religious phrase in Swahili on it. In the market they are sold everywhere, and you can get them made into a skirt at a tailor shop or you can just wrap it around yourself. Kangas are also worn over your clothing while cooking or working around the house because they can help protect your other clothing. A bunch of us on the trip bought kangas and got them tailored into skirts, which is inexpensive and it is how many people get clothes here. Talking to my host mom she thought it was weird that people in the US rarely wear skirts and that we can wear pants around our father. It’s so great to talk to her and we have both learned so much about being a women in our respective countries.
I have walked to the market most days, which is always bustling with activity! There’s tons of motorbikes here (called/pronounced peekeepeekee) that people will use to get rides to other nearby villages. The market has so many fresh fruits and vegetables like mangos, avocados, corn, bananas, and passion fruit. There is also lots of rice, fish, and a kind of sweet pasta sold. In the village there is hardly any packaged or processed food (aka no snacks), so everything for all the meals takes quite a long time since everything must be prepared from scratch. A long time means around 2 hours, so we eat around 8pm and often get to help with dinner. The market also sells lots of kangas and you can see all the bright patterns as you walk through the narrow pathways.
I love how you can just walk anywhere you really need in Lushoto to pick up things for dinner or order some street food. It makes things seems simpler since there is so much less that people have to rely on. And it is a way of life that is often a lot of work, but it’s enjoyable and easily becomes the routine. I like being able to make my own food, bathe by pouring my own water over my head, and wash clothes by hand.