Sunday, 11 November 2012

Another Tick

Saturday 10th September

There was no rush this morning.  Obviously no school, but also, as I am slowly learning, no need to even think about going to Pangani until well after ten, to allow for cleaning, extra diligence and then ‘pole pole’.  With time on my hands I offered to do a little bit about the place and as there was an area of shade where leaves were being swept, I picked up a rake to help.  No the action is not just staged for the benefit of the camera, that was Vicky’s idea, but at least six of those piles are down to my fair hands and I have the ant bites on my feet to prove it.  It doesn’t take much of a detective to work out that the standard teacher garb doesn’t usually include shorts.  The only time my legs get an airing is late afternoon when my patio is thankfully already in the shade.

Anyway I finished my ‘chores’, donned some jeans and just approaching 11:00 I strode down the track to the road realising that as the sun was nearly straight overhead, shade would be hard to find whilst I waited, with my ‘I Spy’ book in my hand, for my transport.  You can imagine my delight when after only about one minute a vehicle arrived.  Not only a vehicle, but a car, with a beckoning passenger seat next to the driver, and to cap it all the driver was Thabit, Cliff’s friend and Denis’ boss.  He and Martha, who you might remember took pity and fed me some weeks ago, had come to Mkoma Bay for the weekend so I not only got a lift in a proper car, I got an invite for coffee and food tomorrow lunchtime.  What a result and I’d finally got that elusive tick on the page headed 4X4. Thabit was heading over the ferry to the other side of the Pangani River so I jumped out, as he turned left to the ferry and I turned, right, with a short walk to the stationers. 

Pity a day that started so well should so quickly deteriorate.  Yes there was electricity, yes the printer worked, which he illustrated after I had been their 30 minutes waiting for him to finish typing a form for a another customer. The problem was that I, for some reason, had forgotten that MS Word 2010 has yet to reach Pangani and had failed to save my file of pasted pictures in a compatible mode for his machine. A top class lift wasted; gutted.  All I could do was head back to the market, drown my sorrows in some cold water and wait for the next Daladala home.  I did manage a couple of photos of the market and the Daladala stands before I felt too conspicuous, so here they are-

The second-hand clothes stalls 
The Daladala stands

I did find a man in the market place selling chapattis so of course I stopped to buy one, but when he said the price was Tsh 300 I must admit I balked a little.  I explained that they were only Tsh 200 in the canteen at Boza to which I think he replied, “In which case you’d better start walking up THE HILL and buy one of theirs then hadn’t you!”, although to be honest I might be wrong because I missed a few of his words.   Anyway I relented, reluctantly spent the 12p, and waited for the next Daladala out.

Electricity and Internet both working back at Mkoma Bay, so I spent the afternoon catching up with some of the tasks that I had to do.  Interesting for me, but pretty boring to relate so I’d better take another look at Cliff’s, and now Caroline’s, questions.  Yesterday I looked at what I will leave behind although to be honest it needs a lot more though than I was able to give it last night and I might well return to it.  Today, another one Cliff suggested –

What would I be glad to leave behind?
Not a lot really.  I suppose number one must be THE HILL, which I know I keep on going on about and I hope you will bear with me, but it is murder.  I saw the sign at the bottom today and at the junction it says Boza Secondary School 1km so now at least I know the length of my nemesis.  The next thing I need is the height of Boza above sea level and with a bit of maths I can really bore the pants off you.  I hope you have got the inflection correct as you read it, as the capital letters imply the sort of voice over that you would associate with a Vincent Price classic Hammer movie.  Mosquitos and flies must go on the list but apart from that I’m hard pressed to think of anything else.  Everything else, Daladalas, Ubungo Bus Station, leaking basi,, in their way added to the experience and it wouldn’t have been the same without them.  When Cliff first told me that he and Jane were leaving Tanzania, he suggested that I take over his car for my time here, which could then be sold when I had finished my stint. I’ll admit that I was disappointed when he later announced that he had found a buyer and it had already gone, but in retrospect, with my own transport, I would have missed out on a tremendous number of experiences.  My only regret is that, with the only public transport being to Tanga, I have been a bit restricted with what I was able to do at weekends, when it would have been good to be able to broaden my view of the country, but the memories of the long bus journeys, the Daladalas, pikapikas et al will remain with me for years.  So the final answer to the question is, very little.  Oh sorry I forgot, one more thing, fish and rice.  Yes I’m afraid my palette is still uneducated and will most likely remain that way for the rest of my life.  Give me a good kuku any day!


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