The Official Tour
You asked for it, so here it is: the official My New Life in Babati Tour. I realise it's not in video form (still working that one out, give me a few days) but here's hoping the picture version will suffice.
Let's start with town itself. This is the Queen Street of Babati. It's also the only tar-sealed road in the whole village (only because it's a main route for people going to and from the capital city, about five hours away)
Along "Queen Street" (I'm not sure the road even has a name so let's go with that) you're going to see a whole heap of "shops".. like this one. I feel as though anyone looking to open a shop here just saw what someone else was doing, saw that it was reasonably successful, so opened a replica. Therefore, Babati has more stationery shops, hardware stores and hairdressing salons than you could ever wish for.
If you're interested in a spot of shopping, go no further than this street (again, I don't think it actually has a name). My aim is to learn enough Swahili to be able to haggle here confidently. I'll keep you posted.
Then we come to the main market. It's always busy, though I don't think I've ever seen anyone actually buying anything. It's also a place where, should you pull out a camera, you're about to invite yelling along the lines of "take my photo, give me money". On the right is the local transport - the Bajij.
Welcome to Freetown, our local lunch bar. So far we've figured out how to order roasti kukuu (chicken), beef curry, barbecued fish or beans (MH's favourite.. weirdly). Everything comes with a MASSIVE plate of rice. I'm a non-rice eater, and the waitresses find it ridiculous that I would ask for them to leave the rice out. I've got used to the giggles as they walk away.
And this is the road to our house, and our closest "dairy". A little more rural than I'm used to.
And then there's our house. It's the first time MH and I have had our very own place (i.e. no flatmates)... and it's wonderful! It has warm water, a running shower AND a flushing toilet.. making it by far the flashest place in the area. The tough part is what looks like tin shacks behind us. We actually live in a compound run by a businessman, and those are the homes of his workers. They are one room to two people, with communal showers and toilets. It's a little hard to reconcile, to be honest, but that's life here in Babati, I guess.
Finally, the puppies! There are a heap of stray dogs around the compound, and about a week after moving in we found this litter of puppies behind our house. We feed them, but they are so skinny, and there are many more like them around the place (and no SPCA, obviously). It's sad that animals here just don't get cared for because families struggle to feed children, let alone pets. Here's me and MH with two of the litter.
So that's us. Here's hoping your internet isn't as painfully slow as mine!
On another note, I must mention Amy Shanks. Why? Because she's the winner of a sweet little comp we had running on Love in a Hot Climate's one and only Facebook Page! Come on over, check it out. I'm adding heaps of super-interesting, awesome stuff all the time, promise.