Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A good arm

Sunday November 25th

Cliff’s stay, although very welcome, was short, so after a YMCA breakfast he and Karim were ready to set off soon after 10 am.  I realised that Taxi was another page in my ‘I Spy’ book and decided to get a lift into town when they went.  This only leaves the page with ‘Back of a lorry’ on so I live in hope.  I pointed out the height of the school way above us as we went past the junction, and then we entered Pangani.   At least I would be able to get some of the jobs done that my canine companion had prevented me doing yesterday.

Me, Cliff and Karim

As we rounded the corner that lead to the ferry we were met by a policeman walking in front of a parade of Muslims surrounding a car with loudspeakers mounted on the roof and spread completely across the road, as they approached us.  The policeman said that it was a demonstration and we took a quick detour down a side street to the river.  I asked my students the following day and they informed me that it was in fact a procession to mark some historical date relating to Mohammed and the policeman’s information had obviously lost something in translation.

I got out of the car, as Cliff went to buy the tickets they needed for the river crossing, and thankfully checked my pockets before I left them to find that I had rushed out without my wallet.  I blanched at the thought of how my bruised feet would have coped with another walk home if I hadn’t realised my omission, and ‘borrowed’  a 10 000 shillingi note from Cliff.

I needed to buy a new phone, which was now no longer in the frame, but at least I would be able to get my hair cut so that it would have some chance of recovery before I saw Chez in a fortnight.  I limped up to the stationers and sat on the, now familiar, niche in his wall for a breather and then finally entered the market square. 

A hair cut for Tsh 2 000 and I had plenty left for a bottle of water and, thankfully a Daladala home.  Incidentally I have found out from my colleague at school, Mr Ndetele, the origin of the name given to these minibuses.  There is a Tsh 50 coin in circulation that, in size, looks like our old 3d bit but has the curved heptagon shape of the 50p piece.  This, I am told, was nicknamed a ‘dala’ and in Dar es Salaam used to be the standard fare for a journey on one of these buses.  The conductor, as the bus stopped to pick up passengers, would call out ‘dala dala’, implying that if you’ve got the money, on you get. “Not many people know that.”

As I arrived home I finally get to the reason for the title of today’s offering.  In the grounds of the YMCA we have quite a few mango trees.  In the picture below you can possibly make out some fruits hanging just above the spike of the smaller sapling.

If we can keep the monkeys off them, which Deo achieves with a catapult  (‘manati’) and a supply of pebbles, these are an excellent addition at the end of either breakfast or dinner.  A large one had just fallen so Eva collected this to wash and prepare for my dessert and then saw another, still hanging, that was obviously large enough to be quite ripe.  With no more ado, she bent, picked up a small rock and, from about 10m away, brought  the fruit down with one throw.  She can be in my rounders’ team any day. An excellent shot!

Having joined Cliff and Karim the previous evening in what I was told was an excellent meal of freshly caught fish, tonight was my night for ‘kuku’ which certainly went down well with juicy mango for afters.


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