Has it really been four months?! How time flies… It has been an interesting time. First of all the excitement of coming and arriving, followed by utter bewilderment and confusion. We are suddenly thrown into a strange country with a language we do not understand. The roads are alien and made of dirt with no signs or directions; there is no postman/woman! We can not find anything we need in the shops as they are all foreign to us, they seem to sell a mixture of odd things which do not make sense. Where to buy food? Where to buy paracetamol? What about clothes pegs and soap powder and shampoo and a dish drainer and chicken or fruit… Help! We are lost and confused! Slowly, slowly (polepole) the fog starts to clear, we find the things we need, it takes time and more time but we get there. As someone told us, he was happy when he managed to achieve a task per day, I can relate to that.
The next stage is anger and frustration. What the hell am I doing here? Why did we come here? Who are these people, they drive me mad! Nothing makes sense, it is hopeless, no work, no friends, no nice food to cook with, no communication… I feel desperate, alone, far from home and homesick. I want my friends, my home, my cats, my oven but not my job! What to do… I fall into an abyss of darkness where I hate everything and everywhere, there is nowhere to run. I am trapped here, in Moshi, in Africa, in this house! I cry and cry and go round in circles.
Until, one day I look outside and it is so beautiful. The garden is green and lush, there are hornbills, kingfishers, and so many other birds I do not know, butterflies, lizards, bugs and the mountains in the background. Sometimes Kili comes out and it is magnificent, some days it is covered in snow, some days the whole mountain is visible. I start to appreciate my surroundings, the market, the fresh food, the mamas who chat to me even though they overcharge me! Some words become understandable and the streets look more familiar.
Phew I think I am enjoying being here! Some everyday photos of bugs and views.
We make the odd day trip to surrounding areas and see some beautiful places. Mataruti waterfall at 150 metres high is pretty impressive. The walk itself is interesting going past smaller waterfalls and lots of waterways which are part of the irrigation system of the local farmers who grow coffee, bananas and many other fruits and vegetables. The waterfall when we see it is beautiful, tall and majestic. There is a small pool at the bottom and although the water is very cold, we swim and make it to the other side of the fall where there is a small cave where you can sit and look out onto the pool and the valley. There are rainbows around the pool and so many birds…
The village is located at a height of around 1300 m (4300 ft) above sea level is set within a dramatic landscape of high rises and deep valleys, all covered by tropical rain forest. The views are magnificent, you can see for miles and miles, savannah and mountains and the shimmering heat on the plains. We sip a cold drink as we sit in a local bar. They offer us banana wine which is disgusting and very strong. Geoff likes it and is very merry on the drive back home! I also try banana beer which is worse than the wine, it is banana juice mixed with fermented milled which floats in lumps in the beer. It looks like sick!
One thing we have done on a few occasions is to take part in the Hash. This is a circular walk of around 5 kms organised by local wazungus. One particular wak was incredibly beautiful, we climbed up pretty high and got the most breathtaking views. It is a good way to meet people although we seem to be slower than all the others and usually end up walking by ourselves. I tend to get distracted taking photos and talking to the local children to Geoff and the kids’s annoyance!
The next chapter is Christmas in Zanzibar followed by maybe another safari. We are planning on spending time in Dar Es Salaam, Stone Town and Jambiani beach. The holidays are nearly 4 weeks so plenty of exploring time! More to follow.