Halfway Home

(No, not halfway house)

During my recent month-long radio silence I entered the second half of my year abroad.  While “blog time” still has me back in Nicaragua, I have actually traveled in the last three months through Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, Tunisia, Dubai, Tanzania, and Zambia before arriving here in Cape Town, South Africa.

I will get caught up soon with stories from all of those places; doing so just was not feasible in Dar es Salaam.  The electricity would go out, on average, every other day.  And when the electricity came back on, there was no guarantee that the proprietors of nearby internet cafes would return to work.  I couldn’t even go snooping around the neighborhood for a wi-fi signal; anyone who needs reliable internet pays for cellular data usage (much more easily obtained than a plan in the US), leaving simple wi-fi users like me in the dark.

I liked marking the first quarter of my trip with a few quotations, and I’ll do the same now to mark the completion of my second quarter.  These quotations can serve as a sort of sneak preview for upcoming posts.

  • “A los arquitectos no les importa nada la ciudad | The city doesn’t mean anything to the architects” – lament by an architect in a meeting of a professional group of architects and urbanists
  • “Panama Viejo, Multicentro, Multiplaza, Paitilla, Panama Viejo!” – shout by me hanging out the door of a bus, listing the bus’s route for potential riders
  • “The big challenge for the world is cities in Africa” – statement by a retired World Bank transport expert
  • “South-south collaboration” – description by the same transport expert of the assistance provided by Colombians to Tanzanians in the design of Dar es Salaam’s bus rapid transit system
  • “You don’t expect anybody to bring a new daladala [minibus] here because the fare isn’t fair” – consultant for Tanzania’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Development
  • “We must advise each other with my brain’s supreme committee” – subtitle translation for the Swahili in a movie shown on the Dar Express bus between Moshi and Dar es Salaam.

Related Posts:

Quarterly Quotes III

Quarterly Quotes

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  1. Rob Darrow says:

    I sure enjoy reading your posts. I am learning more and more about countries I have only heard about. Your insights and perspectives are very much appreciated.

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