Friday, April 26, 2013

Union Day

Today is Union Day in Tanzania - a public holiday.

It is a commemoration of the unification of Zanzibar and Tanganyika into the United Republic of Tanzania, in 1964.

The union was one of the late President Julius Nyerere's most memorable achievements.

THE unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in April 1964 was the first political union between independent countries ever to take place on the African continent in the post-colonial era...
It was preceded by the Zanzibar revolution which took place on 12 January 1964. Three months later, the new nation of Tanzania was formed after the two former independent states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar surrendered their sovereignties to a supra-national entity which came to be officially known as the United Republic of Tanzania...
Godfrey Mwakikagile, The Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar: Product of The Cold War?

Scenes from the school house this week

 painting a large box to make a cubby house

 preparing some jars to grow bean seeds

 learning about celebrations in Swahili lessons

 craft in Paskalina's room

Oliver has been reading about Tutankhamen this week
our new photocopier - such a blessing

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Recently my daughter Maddie has been the font of all knowledge concerning the HDI (Human Development Indicators) - she has been looking at it at school.

Tanzania is number 152 today.

Interesting statistics. I love statistics!!

Here is a site you can read all about your country's ranking.

Hello from the other side of the world (to my Australian friends and family mostly)

We are in the middle of the long rains season in Tanzania.
This week we have hardly seen the sun at all!!
Rain, glorious rain.
Our water tanks are completely full!!! I have been rinsing our dinner plates in clean water before washing them. I've been washing my hair regularly (you'll be heartened by that fact!).
However there has not been any sunshine to power the Internet this week.
Today the kids, Stephanie and I are at TGT for lunch using their wifi and enjoying life (in my case, a salad).

Sunday, April 7, 2013


We stayed on Uroa Beach, across the island from Zanzibar Town.
These are a number of observations I made and things I learnt about Zanzibar this week.
* The island commonly known as Zanzibar is Unguja - Zanzibar consists of a number of small islands and 2 large ones, Unguja and Pemba. 
* The roads are wonderful compared to mainland Tanzania. Sealed and pothole free in the areas we travelled.
* The island is very flat. No hills to be seen.
* It is VERY humid. Jozani Forest is like a sauna.
* The number plates in Zanzibar are red. They are yellow on the mainland.
* Petrol was more expensive than the mainland.
* The island is 90% Muslim. Although there were some women dressed in the full black abaya/chador, most wore the colourful Swahili fabrics.

* Freddie Mercury was born and grew up in Zanzibar.

* There are many fascinating antique shops in Stone Town. And some great clothing ones too.

* Plastic bags are banned on Zanzibar. All the shops use paper bags, or wrap their produce in newspaper or old maps etc.

* The sand on the east side of Unguja is white and fine, just like powder.

* The tour guides and the boys on the beaches selling souvenirs speak many languages - Swahili, English, French, Italian, and German.

* A lot of tourists wear very inappropriate swimwear on the beach (refer back to it being a Muslim population). Thongs only really look good on a very small number of people too.

* Seaweed is farmed along the shoreline of Uroa.

* Like the mainland, dogs are not especially liked. However there weren't lots of hungry, sad looking dogs roaming the streets like there are in Arusha.

Below is a photo of 'Mary' (named Mother Mary by Stephanie) who adopted us while we were there because we talked to her, patted her and shared our breakfast with her.
She sat by the taxi while we left for the airport :(
We wanted to take her home with us.

Dar es Salaam from the air

Today we flew into Dar es Salaam on our flight back to Arusha.

Although it is not the capital of Tanzania, it is its economic centre and largest city with a population of around 4 million.

These are some photos I took from the plane as we flew over the city.



This is a clip I have seen many times this week whilst holidaying in Zanzibar thanks to the hotel's driver/car.

Chege Chigunda is a popular East African bongo flava artist.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Children (& crabs) on Uroa Beach

Each morning there are hundreds of tracks across the sand.
Evidence of all wildlife that skitters past in the early hours.


And there are hundreds of crab holes.

Today being Friday, in a predominately Muslim part of the world, there were many children on the beach enjoying their day off. They were catching crabs.

A stone is tied to a piece of string that is then attached to a stick. The stone is dropped into a crab hole; the crab eventually becomes entangled in the string an is caught.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Red colobus monkeys

Today we drove to the Jozani Forest to see the Red Colobus monkeys.
Hamisi, the hotel's manager and sometime driver
Beautiful mango trees lining the roads.

The Red Colobus Monkey is only found in Zanzibar. It was one of Africa's rarest monkeys, but efforts to protect it and its habitat has meant that the population has grown.

They were rather sweet with their old-man faces.

More scenes around Stone Town

During our girls shopping day (a necessity!), we stopped at the Africa House Hotel for a drink.


The view from the lounge/bar at the Serena Hotel - another drink stop.