I have promised to some readers that I show some more photographs from our Tanzania trip in February 2016. I visited this marvelous East African Country together with our local Lutheran Church’s Trombone Choir on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the new Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) Frederick Shoo, to which our Choir was invited to participate. We spent a whole week in Moshi on the southern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Besides participating in the program during and around the inauguration ceremony we had the opportunity to tour Moshi and visit some church projects in the vicinity, before finishing off with a Safari in Arusha National Park (remember the movie “Hatari” with John Wayne, which was shot there?).
In this first blog post of a little Tanzania series I take you to the Banana market in the little town of Mwika in the Moshi Rural District. It is situated on the South Eastern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in Africa, rising approximately 4,900 m (16,000 ft) from its base to the highest summit at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. To find out more and see more images continue reading after the jump…
Mwika lies in the middle of banana plantations in the fertile (due to volcanic soil) vegetation belt on the lower slopes of the Kilimanjaro. The workers from the farms bring the (still green) bananas to the town center to a big market, where the bananas are collected and loaded onto trucks for further transportation. The people use various methods of bringing the bananas into town, mostly carts, motorcycles or by foot, carrying the loads on their heads.
It is fascinating to watch how the people carry the heavy plants on their heads, but also hard to imagine what it does to their bodies long term. Mwika is definitely off the beaten tourist tracks, we visited because the Lutheran Church operates a college in this region. So our group was an unusual sight, but the workers did not seem to mind, and most had a smile for me when I asked or signaled if I could take a photo.
The workers left the Bananas at the side of the road where they were collected to be eventually loaded on trucks, small flatbeds as well as larger ones.
Besides all the logistics around the bananas Mwika sports the typical hustle and bustle of a small African market town. Noisy, hectic, colorful, chaotic and full of interesting street scenes to be captured. A joy to move around and shoot. Easygoing people, many smiles and even a few jokes.
I hope you enjoyed this visit to an African Banana Market on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro.
For the first part of this Tanzania series (although published a while ago) see my post StoNur on the Road – African Primary School.
Stay tune for more Tanzania impressions to come.
Photos were mainly taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the m.Zuiko 14-150mmm f/4-5.6 travel zoom.