Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scenes from the school house this week

We have been using the projector the Campbells gave us in September to watch all sorts of things - I am so pleased I collected all the giveaways from a newspaper in Australia of IMAX and National Geographic DVDs.
 I found some Tanzanian tin whistles (filimbi) in town that Magdalena used in her music lesson yesterday.

  We are learning about sea creatures.
 Most of the lights now have shades on them (thanks Amanda).
Oliver has spent some of his breaks sitting watching the progress happening inside the water tank in the playground.
It is now being lined with cement.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last week I wrote to some of my friends and family about Moses. He is doing well and only had to spend 5 days in hospital.
This morning I was very privileged to have a cuddle. He is such a special little boy.

Arusha street scenes

Above: the Triple A night club (a popular place of an evening), and a 24hr LUKU shop (electricity vouchers)

 Above: lounges for sale along the Arusha-Moshi Road (and a few men lounging)

 Above: chemist on the corner of the Arusha-Moshi & Sanawari Roads

Above: Simeon Road lined with jacarandas



As with a lot of places in the world, the piracy of movies is a big business. Here in Arusha it is just the same. On little street stalls and down small alley ways between buildings there are DVDs for sale.
We are amazed at how many movies are offered in the same pack - each costing around 3000Tsh ($2).
But you do take a chance buying them. Some don't work. Others are obviously filmed by someone sitting in a movie with a handheld camera.

Yesterday Andrew borrow some of these DVDs from a friend, and we have been loving the English descriptions and instructions.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tengeru markets

Today the girls and I visited Tengeru and went shopping in the Saturday markets with a friend, Holly.
Tengeru is about 20 minutes drive east of Arusha town, and the markets there are known to be a lot cheaper than those in Arusha.
We spent quite a bit of time fossicking through the 500Tsh (35 cent) piles of clothes, and came out with some bargains.
Most of the clothes are shipped from the United States. Bales of clothing are bought by someone, who then divides it and sells it on to others - down the line the clothing ends up in locals markets and street stalls.
Maddie managed to buy a brand new pair of high top converse sneakers for 25,000Tsh (about $16). She was very pleased.
It was a great experience, and I'll definitely make shopping with Holly a regular event (maybe sans the girls who just didn't have the staying power, especially as they were objects of great interest to the local young men at times).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Desk makeover

Sitting out the back of our place was a very old desk that belonged to Mr D'Souza, our landlord. I could see that it had great potential despite the layers of dirt and some wasp nests that had grown underneath it.
After a good scrub I (and Danieli) gave it 3 coats of gloss red paint.

It now sits in our lounge room.
I love it (I am sitting at it right now as I type this). And the girls can sit here and do their homework rather than spreading all their junk books over the dining room table.

Scenes from the school house this week

One of the shelves we bought when a local cafe was closing - I loved it because of its black and white tingatinga art. It now holds pencils, textas etc.
We take our laptop up to the schoolhouse each day for the children to use. Yes, Tux Paint is a favourite even here!
 Lots of phonics work.
We illustrated our first story book this week from a story Magdalena told the class - an African version of the Little Red Hen.
The children made njuga during a music lesson. These are bells or rattles worn around the ankles.
In Tanzania, like in many parts of Africa, the making and playing of musical instruments is almost exclusively associated with men who sing, dance and play whereas women sing and dance but only become typically involved when the instruments used are associated with the dance movements, for instance with njuga (leg bells).
We began swimming lessons this week at a local lodge. As you can see Andrew also doubled as pool attendant.
The second large underground rainwater tank is still taking shape.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Moshi street scenes

Compared to Arusha, Moshi has wide streets with less frantic traffic.

Below: tingatinga art at The Coffee Shop

Above and below: street sellers

Below: poultry for sale

Mum & Dad, below is Marion and Stephen's street and St Margaret's Church.

Honey Badger Lodge

We spent two nights in Moshi at the Honey Badger Lodge. And it was just lovely!

The kids spent the majority of the time in the pool. The temperature in Moshi was much higher than in Arusha and the pool was a welcome relief.

There was an outdoor shower in the banana palms that the kids loved. And there were often monkeys sitting in there eating the bananas, but they scampered on the arrival of the squealing ones.

We ate outdoors...

... and the Gabbotts joined us for dinner on the Thursday night.

We stayed in two rooms next door to each other.

Outside our room was the vegetable garden.
The windows allowed the breeze to blow through (necessary as it was very warm, even throughout the night).

Come to Tanzania - there are so many reasonably priced places to stay!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Drive to Marangu, Kinukamori Falls and back again to Moshi

Yesterday we drove from Moshi to Marangu. Marangu village is the point at which you begin a steep drive up to the gates of the Kilimanjaro National Park.
 Kilimanjo National Park is in the green shaded area above.

After arriving at the gates to the national park (we weren't going in as it was too expensive!) we were rushed at by a group of men, all wanting to 'show us the falls'. We had been warned about this in the Rough Guide to Tanzania, and so were prepared for this onslaught.
In the end we ended up going with a gentleman by the name of Benedict, who guided us back down to Marangu village and then onto Kinukamori Falls for the princely sum of $20 USD.

It was a short steep walk down to the bottom of the falls from the car.

The water flowing from the falls and downstream was icy.

After the kids had enough of paddling in the water, we walked back to the top to look at some displays about the Chagga people.
The Chagga tribe occupy the southern and eastern slopes of Kilimanjaro and are among East Africa’s wealthiest and most highly educated people. Their wealth – and that of Moshi – stems from the fortunate conjunction of favourable climatic conditions with their own agricultural ingenuity.

At the top of the falls we saw the statue of the woman whom the falls are named after. Apparently she was running away from her village as she had become pregnant and was going to be killed. A leopard came up behind her and she jumped to her death. There is also a statue of the leopard a little further behind her in the forest.

The air on the slopes of the mountain was so much cooler and the country side was very green and fertile, and the road to and from Marangu is very pretty.

As the land levelled out again it became dustier and hotter.

All the soil around the region is rich in volcanic minerals but unfortunately erosion is a problem due to over grazing and the lack of trees, which unfortunately have mostly been cut down due to poor farming practices and the making of charcoal to sell.