Just spent the best part of the day at the Arusha IT Exhibition, which turned out a little more interesting than I thought. Came away with some ideas for articles, and met a lot of people. Many of them recognised my name if not my photo, which cheered me up, since I was beginning to wonder if anyone read my articles. So I will be interviewing a few people. Arusha Node Marie is going to start distributing Linux, hopefully breaking the local addiction for pirated microsoft stuff. KK Security are trying to sell an internet based CCTV system, they are VERY excited about that, and their SMS control system. They were using SMS to turn a light on and off. Very nice. Was probably more interesting to someone who has been feeling lost in the sticks for a while than to most people, but who knows.
After I left the hotel where this was taking place, I heard a commotion up by the Natural History Museum. Kids were rapping from a truck. There was some sort of basketball tournament going on. I walked through the crowds, having decided to get some food at Via Via. Via Via also had an open mike stage going. Some good local talent, though I think they emulate US rappers a bit much. At least it is in Swahili, but the posturing is the same. Spoke to the manager. Seems that their competitor got wind that they had an open mike night planned, organised their own, and set it up RIGHT outside of via via’s entrance, blocking it. I hadn’t realised the cafe business was so cut throat. Lovely. Seems that the Arusha IT Exhibition had fuelled a little jealousy. The organiser (who runs one of the computer shops in town) hadn’t invited the competition, and they weren’t too pleased. He said he should have done, but of course, they think it is deliberate. Man, this town is petty!