Quote of the Day



Someone I love is arriving in Tanzania today and I hardly know where it is nor what it is about. Care to come learn along with me?

Tanzania (Tan za NEE a) is on the east coast of Africa, about halfway down; Tanzania has a population of about 38 million. Swahili is the de facto official language, though each ethic group -- and there are 120 of them -- speaks it own language; universities, however, use English. Tanzania was a German colony until after World War I, when it became a British colony until its Independence Day on January 9th, 1961.

Tanzania is the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park (click the Serengeti link for a very cool live webcam) and the Goombe Stream National Park, of Jane Goodall fame.

My niece is staying in a Maasai village. The Maasai are a fascinating nomadic culture. Here are a few tidbits:

The Maasai are polygamous by necessity: a long standing and practical adaptation to high infant and warrior mortality rates. Polyandry is also practiced. A woman marries not just her husband, but the entire age group. Men are expected to give up their bed to a visiting age-mate guest. The woman decides strictly on her own if she will join the visiting male. Any child which may result is the husband's child and his descendant in the patrilineal order of Maasai society. ~ Wikipedia

A high infant mortality rate among the Maasai has led to babies not truly being recognized until they reach an age of 3 moons. The end of life is virtually without ceremony, and the dead are left out for scavengers. ~ Wikipedia

If you've read any good fiction set in Tanzania, do let me know. I prefer to take both my history and geography swaddled in a good story.


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