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One year in: things I love

Today we have been in Tanzania for a year. There are many things to love about living here and some that we still find tricky. I thought I’d share some of them with you.

Things I love about living in Tanzania:

  • The fruit! Mangos, avocadoes and pineapples! Especially at this time of year, but almost all year round. The fruit is stronger in flavour and sweeter than in Australia, and of course, cheaper!
  • The climate! It’s no surprise that I prefer sun and warmth to rain and cold, but I’ve loved the consistency of the weather. There are no 40 degree days and the only time you need a cardi is in the early morning for a few months of the year.
  • The fashion! Aside from the Tanzanian love of frills and puffed sleeves, I enjoy having clothes made specifically for me. I also like that I don’t have to feel self-conscious about the ‘wobbly bits’. Tanzanian women happily wear clothes of tight fit on ample bottoms, expose their flabby arms and let their tummies hang out.
  • Elliot’s relationship with Mama Velo. She is so patient with him underfoot and he adores her. She is like a grandmother to him and it’s beautiful to watch them together.
  • Friendliness. Tanzanians love a chat, not just with wazungu, though we do get an extra dose of attention.
  • Learning Swahili. I love languages and discovering their idiosyncrasies and beauty. The more Swahili I learn, the more I see of this.
  • No ambiguity about greetings. You know that awkward moment when you’re not sure if this person/situation requires a kiss on the cheek/ handshake/ nod/ hug? That doesn’t exist in Tanzania. It’s basically just a handshake all the time. If the relationship is close, a hug is over one shoulder first, then the other one, and it starts with arms open wide so you always know it’s coming. No kissing!

Next up I’ll share the things that are still tricky about living in Tanzania.

Categories: Tanzania Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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