Tanga

I can picture God walking absentmindedly through the green hills of Tanzania, taking a step past Tanga and finding himself knee deep in the Indian Ocean. Tanga is an unobtrusive town. The land here is perfectly flat, the breeze is cool and constant– ideal conditions for cycling. The whole town is on bicycles. They shop, talk, and smoke while cycling. I saw one man steering with his left hand while pulling another bike with his right. I follow suit, taking photos from my borrowed bicycle.

Tanga was originally a German port, and what remains of its Bauhaus architecture has been weathered by coastal winds. Although it is marked by a rather large dot on a map of Tanzania, Tanga has a small town feel, like Steveston, or Ballard. There are few postcards to be found here, and none of the town itself. They feel no need to depict and export its appeal, or maybe there is simply no market for it. There are few hotels here, and subsequently few wazungu.

I came here with Davin to meet his family. The Kordas live simply, without such luxuries as a washing machine, hot showers, or cereal. Their home is a small rancher hidden beneath the shade of a mango tree. The yard is full of dogs, chickens, and tents– annex bedrooms to supplement the little house. After meeting the Kordas, I now know why Davin and I get along so well. They’re storytellers. When we arrived, we sat down in the living room and shared stories for a few hours. It’s all the conversation I need.

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2 Responses

  1. I love the image of God taking big steps across the hills of Tanzania. I wish I could come visit. Joel, you should take a picture of your bicycle for us!

  2. tanks

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