Moshi

Part 1. The Road

The sign on the road says 29km to Moshi, but what does that mean to me? It does not tell me how many stops the bus will make, how many villages are along the way. It does not tell me that the closer we get to Moshi, the slower we will go. The driver will appear tentative, some unknown fear causing him to crawl across speed bumps. It is impossible to determine how much time will be spent at each village, but this I know: the bus will never move at less than full capacity, and the number of passengers boarding must always be greater than the number exiting. So the vehicle somehow grows, absorbing an absurd amount of passengers. We eventually make it to Moshi, after two hours of travel.

Moshi is pronounced “Moshhh,” the “i” being shushed.

Part 2. Maimorea Market

Maimorea is the largest thrift market I’ve ever seen. Long corridors and cluttered booths stretch over a mile in each direction. It is an entire city with its own distinct neighbourhoods. The ground is bumpy enough that even when you’re watching your feet you’re bound to stumble, like walking along the skin of a giant reptile. I see a girl in a knitted red, black and yellow sweater with the words “Awesome Ninja Turtle Varsity” on it. I ask to take her picture but she refuses. The locals laugh at my attempt and then offer me mandazi, ten cent donuts. Nadine treats me to muhogo, deep fried cassava, and I buy pastel dress shirts to my content.

Part 3. Uru Falls

We took a taxi up the side of Kili to see Uru Falls. The road was slippery. We were fishtailing about a meter from a cliff edge, and eventually got stuck in the mud. Half a dozen locals helped dig us out, and while I was pushing my left was covered with mud by the spinning tires, silencing any hopes I had of staying relatively clean. The path itself was about the same, but I managed to stay on my feet. Uru is possibly the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen. The path rises up the valley on approach, the sky falling in white sheets between the trees up ahead. The roar and mist embrace you as you rise up. It is magnificent.

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