Sunday, 23 September 2012

I finally paddle

Saturday September 22nd

Surprisingly, it’s taken me ten days since I first arrived in Tanzania to finally dip my toes in the Indian Ocean. My weekdays are pretty full as I have said and from breakfast at 6:45, through school, to arriving home, changing and eating, there is not a lot of opportunity before the night falls at 18:15.  This and too regular trips to Tanga have kept me on dry land for far too long.

Yesterday morning I finally wandered the fifty metres to the cliff edge and the other fifty metres down the path to the beach.  It is the quickest way to get to where Denis lives and I wanted to say hello to a couple of Cliff’s friends who were there.  So a gentle stroll to the sea, a couple of snaps of Nkoma Bay which is where we are and four hundred metres later I was climbing the steps and path leading to my destination.  I thought I was fit but the lungs were going at the top; must be the sun.

Mkoma Bay looking north.

After a refreshing cup of proper coffee I retraced my steps and spent the rest of the morning drawing scale plans of by bed!  Martha, one of Cliff’s friends, and I had a detailed discussion about the mosquito and how the clever little b****rs are still getting to me.  We decided my mosquito net is not long enough or heavy enough, so I have taken all the measurements of the bed and net supports so that I can have one made in Pangani.  Perhaps then I’ll stop scratching.

Mkoma bay looking south

Most of the rest of day was spent fighting the Internet, updating the school website etc.

I am gradually learning a little Swahili and now know 68 words and phrases.  Mind you the numbers 1-39 are included in these but I am slowly being able to communicate with non-English speakers (as long as they don’t make the mistake of replying, because then I am lost).

It doesn’t help that the locals, being so sociable, seem to have lots of ways of greeting each other with the accompanying replies and, if next to each other, handshakes.

A simple meeting could go

Me: habari gani – Hello – literally What’s the news?
Reply : nzuri – good
            shikamoo – greetings (used because I am an old and respected babu - grandfather)
Me: marahaba – thank you for your greetings.
Reply : mambo – how are things
Me: mambo poa – things are cool

Pause for laughter all round and that’s half my vocabulary gone and the day has only just started.

Seriously, I love it.  More soon.  I think I might just go for a complete immersion in the blue wet stuff this afternoon.

badai – later (see you later)

No comments:

Post a Comment