Chaotic commuting

Twice a week I commute from the rural outskirts of Dar es Salaam to centre of the city to where I teach in a school.

My not-always-but-sometimes chaotic journey consists of three sections. First a car from Kisota in Kigamboni, along bumpy rural roads, where we sometimes get stuck behind a herd of cows and goats.

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Traffic Jam – Kigamboni style

The middle section is on the Kigamboni ferry, a passenger and car ferry, which is always packed to the gills. And there is always a lot of pushing and shoving as you pass through the gate to get on. But once on board, a moment of calm, with the Indian Ocean stretching out before you, as the ferry crosses the Kurasini Creek towards central Dar.

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Crossing Kurasini Creek heading for Central Dar.

More jostling past commuters with pressed shirts and iphones, dadas with buckets of fish, cyclists with baskets stuffed full of coconuts, piki-pikis, bajajs and cars, as you try to disembark from the ferry.

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Disembarking from the Kigamboni Ferry

The final part of the journey is either by school mini bus or a bajaj tuk tuk, and I am driven from the ferry port, past the hectic and on some days particularly wiffy Kivukoni Fish Market and through the grid-locked Dar traffic towards my destination, Genesis Schools in Oyster Bay.

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Pedestrian Traffic Outside the Kivokoni Fish Market.

And despite the chaotic nature of the journey, in my 20 years of work, it is one of the most enjoyable commutes I have ever had, and that is over and above other great journeys to work I’ve had, including London, Hong Kong, Damascus and Cairo.

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