We spent 1 month in Tanzania. We left Tanzania the head full of great memories and the heart full of new colors. Not that much for panoramas but rather for people we met. This way of taking the life much easier than we do in Europe, being always happy, always ready to help or serve was a gift for us. Another surprising thing is that despite many were very poor people were always wearing very clean clothes.
In Europe a lot of prejudice are commonly said about people of Africa. I will detail a few commonly used and comment them:
1 – In France but as well in other european countries people justify a kind of racism by the fact that in Africa people would be even more racists against white people.
This is fully wrong. Actually exactly the other way around. In most of the places we went, people were not only happy to greet us but many times they gave us the priority as a sign to welcome us. Furthermore I never had even once the feeling of any prejudice in opposite of black people leaving in Europe and needing to face unpleasant looks of some white people.
2 – We hear as well that it is unnecessary to help people of Africa because anyway they are just lazy.
Again this is wrong. Some people are doing jobs where I could not imagine any Mzungu (white people) doing. Like pulling heavy materials for transportation. I was amazed to see even old men or children doing such jobs.
The point is that compared to Europe things are not going so fast. People are communicating much more slowly we do in Europe. They have so much more feelings and emotions in their talk than I had so far ever experienced. Hence again a mistake of our culture to consider differences as mistakes instead of trying to understand their meaning.
Another point that Tanzania should be taken as reference is its ability to live in harmony with different religions but mainly christians and muslims. Our main hotel was hold by a person being muslim but christian were working too. The opposite is also fully normal. Anyone can believe in what he wants and wear any kind of religious sign he likes. It is anyone’s freedom.
The last but not the least is that we have a huge debit against Africa. All slaves we treated as inferior people, families we brake, people we murdered. All these people working for nothing made us rich. How can it be that after all this we even not gave a chance to these people to integrate. Furthermore, not even a trace of revenge could be felt.
There is however as well a darker side. Local people considering white men so rich that they can give money without ending. Taxis mainly consider normal to double or triple the prices. This can really be annoying. However, once one got a wrong experience it is easy to get out of it: there is a huge concurrence.
Linked to this there are sometimes children saying: Mzungu give money. Again we found this a pity. We would have liked to help them finding their way, exchanging ideas instead of seeing some of them expecting money from us which anyway would have changed nothing on the long term. This is however not generalized. Mainly in Arusha or Zanzibar where many tourists are. In Dar es Salaam however, people are quite rarely asking for money.
To conclude our experience was extremely positive. I had not expected so much feeling of life and happiness. Tanzania gave me another look on the life.