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Saturday, 16 July 2005

The longer that I live in the in Africa, the less I seem to notice. It's not that any less is happening in my life, it's just that things become normal when you see them every day.

Then on certain days it is apparent that life is different here. Example; Over the last few days I've stood on a snake, massacred mosquitoes, and there were monkeys outside my house.

monkey (189k image)

I also just returned from a school trip. We went to Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge and Ngorogoro Conservation Area.

Olduvai gorge is where, in 1979, Mary and Louis Leakey found the 3,7-million year old footsteps of Australopithecus Afarensis, and where, in 1957, they found evidence of the 1,8-million year old Nutcracker Man. The significance of this was a tad lost on the kids. They were far more interested in the elephants, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, etc. that we saw in Ngorogoro and Tarangire.

elephants5 (310k image)

The soda lake in Ngorogoro crater looked particularly nice as it evaporated in the afternoon sunshine.

sodalake (152k image)

The drive around the crater rim is an experience. It really is a long way down.

seeformiles (318k image)

This picture shows just how big a crater Ngorogoro really is.

ngorogoro (45k image)

Friday, 8 April 2005

As yet another school holiday came onto the horizon I decided once again to see a little more of Tanzania.

Mwanza was my destination. Mwanza is a large town on the shores of Lake Victoria. I was going to take the bus as it looks quite reasonable to reach when you look at the map. However, maps and reality are two different things when African roads are taken into consideration. One and a half hours by plane or eighteen hours by bus. Easy maths.

I felt that the whole holiday would be enhanced by traveling with wine. Everyone along the way was impressed by my approach to traveling and luggage priorities. I travelled with James, a teacher from the school.

wine (219k image)

I stayed on a permanently moored boat in Mwanza which had been made into a hotel. Incidentaly the boat was the one used in ‘The African Queen' starring Humphrey Bogart.

(Pictured behind myself and the show stealing macca tree.)

treemacca (363k image)

I took a ferry to a place called Nansio on Ukerewe Island. No electricity, no flushing toilets, and warm beer led to a short two day visit.

nansio (149k image)

Back in Mwanza I stumped up the cash to stay at a lovely hotel on the beach. A very relaxing, wine soaked, few days were had. The sunset across the lake was marvelous.

victoriasunset (146k image)

Monday, 21 February 2005

Fate transpired to be both cruel and kind this weekend.

For the past year and a half, I have checked the Tanzanian television channels, both terrestrial and satellite, before every old firm game in the hope that the game may be televised. While going through this exercise last Friday I was ecstatic to find out that DSTV, the African version of Sky, were showing the Celtic, Rangers game live on Sunday. 3.30pm kick off, local time.

Not only that, but Monday was also a school holiday. How good can life be?

I managed to explain all I could to the regulars in Top Hill Bar on Saturday about ‘the big game' the following day. To little effect, everyone still is only interested in Arsenal and Man U.

Madaraka did wear a t-shirt closely resembling a Celtic jersey though.

madaraka (284k image)

Engrossed in the game.

watching_footy (193k image)

Celtic vs Rangers live in Arusha. Get in!

top_hill_telly (169k image)

…and then Celtic went and lost.

Monday, 3 January 2005

Happy New Year!

happynewyear (113k image)

As you can see, I had a lovely Hogamany. My festive season was spent in Malawi. In fact, the rest of the time there was pretty good too. I saw a lot of people who I haven't caught up with for a while. And a few bottle stores too.

Carlsberg, the widely available beer in Malawi, played a part.

On the flight home I was impressed with the view of Mount Meru from the aeroplane.



merufromplane (88k image)

Sunday, 12 December 2004

In keeping with my recent form, I had yet another free trip. This time I went on a school trip to the Lake Manyara National Park.

Lake Manyara is less than two hours drive from the school. It is not the largest national park, but it is packed with wildlife.

elephantmanyara (317k image)

However, possibly the most amusing point in the day was when we arrived at the park in the morning. I was prepared with my form which entitles school trips to free access. Unfortunately, the woman working at the gate didn't believe that I was a teacher. And while I did have my passport with residents visa stamp, it did not state my place of work. I felt that the busload of school children was proof enough.

We were eventually allowed in and the children had a great time. Much amusement. The only problem was trying to get the children to not shout out wildly when they saw an animal. I couldn't be too annoyed because it is just a natural reaction when kids are excited. It just means that you get a bit less time to look at the animals.

Runaway!

wilderbeastmanyara (137k image)

Sunday, 28 November 2004

Over the weekend I stayed at a luxury lodge near lake Manyara. I don't make a habit of going to two hundred dollar a night places, but I got it free.

I was there, along with others, to be in the hotel's brochure. Cheesy publicity snaps. The food was lovely, the rooms were nice, and all I had to do was look as if I was enjoying myself. The view from the pool was also rather pleasant.

freelodge (201k image)

I climbed up the escarpment on Sunday to see a waterfall. This was on the way.

waterfalldistance (341k image)

A big macca was, unfortunately, deemed unnacceptable fo the publication.

Thursday, 18 November 2004

Yesterday morning it was time for assembly, and the kids were a touch restless. The kids were just beginning to go into the hall. The children nearest the school office were the last to go in. While waiting, they had noticed a monkey sneaking in to one of the rooms opposite. As this was the room of the primary head and she was busy with assembly, I headed for the office. The monkey just looked around and legged it.

The large insect outside my door was not so shy.

dudu2 (204k image)

However, I imagine the gecko is rather pleased about the late evening snacks on offer.

gecko (78k image)