https://dfid.blog.gov.uk/2008/10/21/cycling-proficiency/

Cycling proficiency

Me cycling to work, and thats the Indian Ocean in the background
Me cycling to work, and that's the Indian Ocean in the background

One of the things I miss about living in London is cycling to work. So once I realised that it would only take around 20 minutes to cycle to my new office in Dar Es Salaam, I was keen to get back in the saddle.

There are a lot of similarities between cycling in London and cycling in Dar. The traffic is equally crazy in both, making cycling a faster way of getting to work. In Dar, the drivers are slightly more…er… unpredictable shall I say, but much of the way I can ride on a path which is parallel to the road and functions as a pavement and cycle lane (although no official red tarmac here of course).

All your eggs in one basket?
All your eggs in one basket?

There are many differences though; other cyclists in London don’t tend to carry their daily wares on the back of their bikes for example. People here carry fruit, fish, and most impressively great stacks of (full) egg boxes. Although I have always enjoyed the views of the Thames, it is a pleasant change to swap them for the Indian Ocean. Plus - as I am a bit of a fair weather cyclist- the constant sunshine (at this time of year) is wonderful.

And no that is not me, but yes that is a 3 piece suite on the back of a bike!
And no that is not me, but yes that is a 3 piece suite on the back of a bike!

When I first started cycling in London I found it was a great way to see the city in a new way, as you take short cuts through previously unknown areas, and you get closer to people, out in the fresh (ish) air. From this first go at cycling here I have found the same to be true. Tanzanians are incredibly friendly people, everywhere you go people greet you and ask you how you are, and this seems to happen even more when you are on your bike. Children shouting ‘good morning’, and people smiling and greeting you in Swahili as you pass makes the journey more interesting and fun, although to start with it is slightly off putting for someone who is used to total anonymity in London, where the only reason anyone would talk to you would be to tell you to ‘get out of the way’!

3 comments

  1. bev

    its nice to see that you are finding your feet ( and wheels lol ) after your "freshers week" experience and I hope that you do get the chance to visit all the places recommended to you, and have a great time doing so.
    well done you i am sooo envious of you getting out there to see and live another side of life must be so kwl.
    I think its nice that you are learning the lingo and you are finding it friendly out there. Wish is was more like that here, but then with such a busy life London just hasn't got the time to stop n wave.
    Hope you continue to enjoy and keep happy

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  2. Simon Berry

    Hi Emily

    I thought you'd be interested in this:
    http://www.colalife.org/2008/10/25/coca-cola-invites-colalife-to-dar-es-salaam/

    and all the other info around it.

    I don't know where you're based but it would be great to meet up if at all possible. I will be on intensive information gathering using all media . . .

    I used to work on the British aid Programme myself when DfID was ODM!!

    Regards

    Simon

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