Saturday, April 21, 2012
It's pretty hot today which means heavy rains are coming. I'm beginning to understand and feel the rhythm of the weather here. The sun comes up at almost the same time every morning and sets exactly twelve hours later. People here count the time the way they did in Jesus' day, seven am is one o'clock or the first hour of the day. If someone says that church starts at four, they mean the fourth hour or ten am. After dark, they add the word for nighttime, so seven at night is moja usiku or one at night. It has caused quite a few miscommunications early on, but we've gotten used to it now. However, there is also Tanzanian time which is kind of "ish". One man said that Tanzania was like the "mañana" culture but without that urgency. We are truly laid back here. One of the more common sayings is "hakuna haraka" or no hurry here. They also say "haraka, haraka, hyena baraka" or if you go too fast you will lose all your blessings. If we are supposed to be somewhere at a certain time, we ask if that is Tanzanian or British time. British time is much closer to the mark while Tanzanian is always give or take an hour or two. This is an event driven culture as opposed to a time driven culture. What is important here is if you did a thing, not what time you did it. So, church begins at nine thirty but everyone isn't there until around eleven which is why the collection and sermon always come very late in the service. It is almost impossible to be late to church here unless you're the one who is leading the service. All in all, a very non-stressful pace to which it is easy to adjust. At least for me.