04 November 2016


"Wikiendi iliyopita nilienda Moshi." Technically, this translates literally to "Last weekend I went to Smoke," since the name of this town--Moshi--means "smoke" in Swahili. (That's right, "wikiendi" means "weekend.") So, though I don't smoke, I did go to Moshi to play ultimate frisbee.

Upon arrival at the central bus station, I immediately noticed a few differences between Moshi and Arusha. The bus station itself was quite spacious and sparsely populated, save for the swarm vendors that still held up baskets of snacks to the windows of big buses to attract customers. For a center of business in East Africa, it was relatively quaint, compared to Arusha's big yet crowded, hectic central bus station.

Moshi, which sits quite close to the base of Kilimanjaro, has an incredible view of this mountain when it's not concealed by a swarm of clouds. I got a quick glimpse of only the peak on the ride home, but beyond that, I might not have realized Africa's tallest point was anywhere near Moshi without prior knowledge. In Arusha, one might be able see Kilimanjaro on an unusually clear day from certain eastern parts of the city. I myself have never been able to see Kilimajaro from Arusha. Our more constant view in Arusha is Mt. Meru, not quite as tall as Kilimanjaro but still an impressive height and, as word on the street goes, a more difficult climb.

Daladala fare turned out to be equivalent to that of Arusha, and the small group of Arusha players hopped into one to get to Moshi's field. Though the driver and konda setup is the same, and the paint and sticker situation is the same, the daladalas themselves are a slightly different van make from those in Arusha. On the way to the field, I noticed more trees and flowers and general greenness than in Arusha, but not an overwhelming amount.

When we arrived at the field, I remarked that it was a lot more dusty and difficult to play on than that of Arusha. Despite this fact, Moshi's ultimate players are very talented. Though I had no clue what the score was for most of the game, they were surely beating us. I think Arusha's players had a great time, yet left motivated to improve and excited to host Moshi's team in Arusha in the future.

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