We all talk about the people and the hope and the spirit. In addition to the amazing people of Arusha, I have been facinated with how American pop culture is alive and well throughout the town. So many bars with American names (The Hollywood Bar, Moonlight Bar, Las Vegas Bar). Then there’s the Dalla Dalla’s – kind of like American buses, I guess. They are about the size of a minivan, but usually have about 15-20 people riding at one time. My friend, Lesikar, explained that there is a lot of competition for business, so each owner tries to make his Dalla Dalla “flashy” so people will choose his over another. Brightly painted in wild colors, they also have some very interesting names:

White Snow, Love Situation, Baby Girl, First Justice and Then Peace, Unique Sister (there are lots of these – this owner is quite the entrepeneur!), Marco Polo, Heart Light, Tony Montana, Ruff Ryder, Spider, KK one, Bone, Mr. Johnson, With God All Things are Possible, Max, Injection Pipe, Golden Eagle, Hot Stepper, Red Devil, Life is Life, I love this Game, Led Zepplin, B52, Absolute Power, Sea Never Dry, Tortoise (don’t think I would take this one if I was in a hurry!), Gecko, Def Jam, I Believe in God, Liverpool, Jerusalem, Bulldog, Respect, Poison, Responsibility, Hard Rock, Pappilon, Chameleon, Horse Race, Bad Card, Makiavelli (their spelling, not mine!), God’s Lucky, Superman, Passion of Christ, Scorpion, Jesus Will Answer, Star Wars, Air Jessica, Lord is My Fort, Baby Boy, Bam Bam and finally, Sean Puffy Combs.

One day we saw Tsunami, and tried to chase it down for a picture, as that’s the name of Gyongyver’s swim team in San Marino. These kids sent letters and a donation with Gyongyver for the orphanage we visited, so we really wanted to get a picture of their Dalla Dalla. He was too fast for us. Then one day while some of the team was out in the town, they finally spotted Tsunami again — Lesikar, step on it!!! After a chase, Jim snapped a picture for Gyongyver to bring back to her team.

My favorite was the Dalla Dalla called Tracy Chapman. I asked Lesikar if he knew who Tracy Chapman was, and he hadn’t heard of her (his favorite music is Country Western and his favorite artist, Dolly Parton!). With the magic of Susie’s IPod, Lesikar was able to put a voice with this Dalla Dalla namesake.