Finding Livingstone (again)

The truck didn’t arrive last night so today Rich and I are taking everyone to Ujiji, a city near here where Stanley finally found Livingstone and met for the first time. The girls had never been on a packed matatu, so Rich and I showed then the ropes re: riding one. First you must push and shove everyone out of your way to get on, including the little old African ladies, then hold on for dear life because these guys speed and are horrible drivers. We ended up in the middle of Ujiji twenty minutes later when we extracted ourselves from the sardine can which doubles as public transport. We walked around the whole city (concentrating on the market) and after being accosted by the town loon (crazy man) one of the locals befriended us and said he’s take us to the Livingstone memorial.

We walked through all the back alleys of the village until we came upon this little museum hidden way in the back of the village. Needless to say we would never have found it had we not met the dude. At the monument there were actual museum employees, and our man gave us the perfect textbook rendition of the historic meeting (in very broken English). David Livingstone was a Scottish missionary who had come down to Africa, and no one had heard from him in such a long time that everyone assumed he was dead. An American newspaper reporter by the name of Stanley left New York in search of Livingstone – determined to find him dead or alive. It was on the shores of Lake Tanganyika under a large mango tree that Stanley came across the Scotsman and uttered the infamous words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.” All that sits on that spot today is a huge marble monument, but when you’re there and the guide is telling the story in his broken English you really do feel like you’re standing someplace incredibly historical.

After another wander around Ujiji and down to the lakeside we jumped back into the matatu and returned to our hotel to sit down by the lake for the remainder of the afternoon. As darkness fell, curiously the lights never came on. After a few inquiries we learned that the power company had run out of fuel to run the generators so Kigoma had no power. On that note we decided to retire early instead of doing anything else.

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