Saturday, July 28, 2012

Maji Moto springs

Today we spent exploring some of the country side outside of Arusha. We had heard of Maji Moto (literally 'hot water') springs and set about finding them. 

You can click on the map for a clearer view.

The drive took about an hour and a half from Arusha, out past the Kilimanjaro Airport, and into the middle of nowhere.

After we turned off the main road and had been driving for about 20 minutes we were worried that we were lost. We pulled up beside a man on a motorbike who offered to show us the way.

The road was really rough, and we wouldn't be able to do it in the wet season in our van.
After some worry that the guy on the bike was actually taking us to the right place, we arrived in a little oasis.
The trees were testament to how many people had been swimming there in the past.

The spring water was clear and warmish.

Oliver loved the rope that swung out over the swimming hole.

By late afternoon, on our way home, we had some great views of Mt Kilimanjaro.

It was a fun day out, and the kids are keen to go back again and again despite the long drive.

Scraping, scrubbing and brushing

We spent Friday beginning to clean up the school house.

I scraped paint, left behind by some previous dodgy painters, off the kitchen and bathroom tiles with a razor blade. It was slow going.

Stephanie scrubbed floors and then began polishing them with wax. Tanzanians are in love with red colouring in their concrete floors, and there is a red wax that is sold to give them a nice shine.

Andrew spent the day brushing the rust and flaky paint off the front gates, ready for a new coat of paint.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

School house update

We chose a happy citrus green for the internal doors and door frames, and most of the security grills have been painted a gloss black. It is looking very smart.

Plaster House

Today the kids were given the task to sort through lots of lovely gifts given through the Rotary Club (UK) to distribute to children in Tanzania. It was a task they did with great enthusiasm.

And then this afternoon we had the great privilege of giving the gifts to the children staying at Plaster House. Plaster House provides long-term care for children, whose conditions do not allow immediate return to their homes, after having surgery at the Selian Lutheran Hospital (where AB works).

I found it heartening to see the blessing these gifts provided to the children, as I have seen my own family prepare these shoe boxes to send overseas in the past.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A trip to hospital

Oliver had a bad fall this afternoon whilst playing soccer with Danieli. He landed on the tip of his left elbow, and he was quite distressed for a long time.
AB came home and took him back to his hospital for an x-ray.

The x-ray showed that there wasn't a break, but he had a bandage put on to support it... and to garner sympathy from his sisters.

I was very pleased to be able to see where AB works.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Gabbotts

This post is specifically for my mum and dad.

Marion and Stephen dropped in for morning tea on their way to Tarangire.
It was so lovely to see them.

Marion and Stephen are pastors of a church in Moshi, and were living and working in Tanzania when my parents were.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Arusha street scenes

Today we drove into town by ourselves (ie. minus Stephanie) for the first time. Andrew has an amazing knack of remembering streets and directions... I do not.

The following are photos taken along Sokoine Road, where the big fruit and vegetable markets are located on one side, and the Shoprite shopping complex on the other.

Further up the street there are fabric shops, electrical goods, hardware stores, and just about everything else!
The kids have renamed this part of town "pink street".


Yesterday Oliver bought himself a slingshot at the markets. He is so pleased with it.
Of course the rules have been set out about where he can use it.
He has been out this morning practising.

Now he says he wants to buy a spear and machete. I think not.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


This is Batman.
He lives next door with his sidekick Robin.
They look identical, except Batman has a black nose, and Robin a white one.
Batman took a liking to Maddie this afternoon and spent a great deal of time following her around our house.

He eventually ended up on the end of my bed while I was trying to have a Sunday afternoon nap.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Meserani Snake Park and shopping for plants

Today, whilst Andrew watched a rugby game at a local bar with satellite TV, AB took the kids to the Snake Park.

Oliver was brave enough to hold one of the creatures... the girls were not.

The park had a Maasai cultural museum as well, which judging from the talk at the dinner table tonight, the kids really enjoyed.

They also enjoyed a camel ride.

There were a couple of school groups there as well (yes, school on a Saturday!). I loved this photo of Christopher with some of the school children.

Meanwhile, Stephanie and I spent the day buying plants for the school playground.

We made two trips, the van full of vegetation.

Richard B would certainly love the plant nurseries here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Local well & confusing time

This is our local well, about 100m from our gate. At certain times of the day many women gather around the well to collect water - they seem to know when to come. Apparently at given times during the day water is released from the mountain (Meru) streams, and each person has an allowance.

And this was a surprise to me. Telling the time.
If you are a Swahili speaker, time is measured differently to the Western world. For example, 7am my time is 1 o'clock African time. This can cause great confusion when organising times to meet tradesmen etc.
It is also causing great confusion in my brain.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Local snacks

If you are looking for a snack in Tanzania, these are two things you will find for sale on the side of the road.

The first is roasted peanuts, usually rolled in a piece of paper as shown below.

The second is umbuyu (sometimes mabuyu or mbuyu). It is the fruit pulp from the baobab tree that has been dyed hot pink, and often coated in sugar. The kids and I have been eating it each night after dinner. It is a little tart (hence the sugar added) and is full of vitamin C.

When I was a child I remember eating it in its pure form, as seen below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

School house update

Oliver worked hard today, transporting plants up the school grounds using a wheelbarrow.

Lauren and Christopher played on all the building equipment.

In Arusha there are lots of plant nurseries along the side of the roads, with thousands of plants to choose from. You can buy seedlings, right up to fully grown trees. The plants are all in recycled plastic shopping bags or bags that have been used for sand or cement.

The climbing equipment has been finished.

Stephanie and I decided where to plant what, and then set out the plants ready to be dug in.

We chose to paint the door and window frames black - it is looking very smart.

I love the painter's ladder.

Look at the dust caked on the foliage of the plants down the street. I thought it was going to rain today and got a bit excited but it didn't come to anything. Just a couple of drops to make the dust on the windscreen stick further.

We went shopping for some more books for the school today as well. There was a family selling a whole lot of children's books that were really cheap.
There are always people coming and going in Arusha, and therefore a lot of stuff being sold before they move on.