― Alexander Pope
I spent the day in Mwanza, leaving at 7:00 A.M. and returning at 7:00 P.M. after a whole lot of driving and waiting. We had to put new tires on the car and get a new windscreen (windshield in the States) as well as buy a new hot water heater to replace the one that recently died after seven good years of service. I put the expectations quote above because I expected to spend about $1,000.00 on the tires and windscreen and about $100 on the hot water heater. Of course I was relying on prices from four years ago--whoops, bad idea. To replace the tires with ones just like the ones on the car and the windscreen would have cost $3,500. The hot water heater came in at $200. I got a cheaper brand of tire but still spent $1,700 on the car (including the new windscreen). Do prices ever go down? Is it only up and up and up? Our income has stayed the same since we got here but everything else is more expensive, and it is hardest on the poor. Sugar was twenty-five cents a kilo when we got here but is now $2.50 a kilo--ten times what it was. We expect things to stay the same but they don't. Kids grow up, parents age, the world changes and it frightens us all. But think how bad it would be if things never changed--like traffic lights for example. If they didn't change, no one could get anywhere. Some changes are terrific, some are scary, and some are embraced and become part of a new us. In 1990, no one knew about Google, but now, even here, almost everyone knows about it. We changed our tires and our windscreen and we are safer as a result. It's just that I expected it to be much cheaper, so I was disappointed Mr. Pope (see above quote).