Monday, March 31, 2014

House finishing and decoration

One of my favourite shops/signs.

Thanks Martha for capturing it for me.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Andrew's birthday

Last night we stayed at Dashir Lodge (owned by some friends Darryl and Shirley) for Andrew's birthday.
The Boye family and Katie joined us for an afternoon of swimming and chatting, and then a delicious dinner. Shirley and Darryl cooked an amazing feast and we were virtually comatose afterwards.

Andrew received a couple of great shirts, including this one - he keeps threatening to wear it when we fly back to Sydney.

From the lodge there are views of Mt Meru and Kilimanjaro.
The grounds are looking so green after all the rain.
Darryl was showing us photos of the land when they first began to build - it was brown and desolate. Through bore hole and the careful recycling of any water, trees, grass and gardens are becoming established.

 playing volleyball

Micah at the top of the water tower

a photo Darryl & Shirley recently posted on Facebook

inside our chalet

This morning we took a short walk with Darryl and looked at some of the features of their land.

 the vegetable garden


mchicha, a local green, going to seed

 looking back at the lodge from the vegetable garden

 thorn tree blossoms

I was delighted at the number of small wildflowers growing in the bush on their land. Little treasures hidden at ground level.

And there are some great splashes of colour planted by Darryl and his workers.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Scenes from the school house this week

 a birthday

 playground duty

 attempting to use chopsticks 

 Katie running a first aid training for the staff

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Melinda's Tea Garden

Last Saturday, on our Moshi, we stopped at Melinda's Tea Garden for lunch.

I believe Melinda is a pastry chef. 
She opens her garden every Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and cooks a delicious menu.

There is a pool and and playground, picnic rugs and tables, and even a hammock to enjoy.

I loved the white bougainvillea lining the driveway.

Just lovely.

Mt Meru

The mountain has a dusting of snow due to the rainfall this afternoon.

And here are some gentlemen who wanted me to take their photo too. One of them has opened a drinks shop next to the salon, and I think they were busy consuming all the product.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Absolutely exhausted but happy...

or (another title), I just ran the Kilimanjaro half marathon.

It is the first time I have ever run a half marathon!!
Katie and I began training (from scratch) last July, slowly building up the endurance.

checking out the stadium the afternoon beforehand

We had an early start, getting up at 5am to get ready and find a good parking spot near the stadium (we were a bit nervous about leaving all our bags in the car).
Thanks Alexis for all the driving - to Moshi and around the town.

 posing inside the stadium with Kilimanjaro in the background 

the Simonsons - a couple we regularly saw running on the TGT track in the months leading up to today - getting ready for the full marathon

waiting for the half marathon to begin

The course was tough. The first half of the run was uphill the whole way.

Half Marathon - starts 0700, out of the college gate, and turns north, towards the mountain. Uphill, about 250 altitude gain in 8 km. At about 8 km, the route follows a dirt road for about 2 km, though some farms and schools, before joining Lema Road, and the long downhill back to the stadium.

At about the 7.5km mark the first men in the full marathon, who had begun 30 minutes before us to run an initial 21kms, began to pass by. They were magnificent. Machines. Martha described them as antelopes later on. 

the hill just kept going, although it was very picturesque

 Martha coming in way before Katie and I :)

Alex (from the gym at TGT), me, Alexis, Katie & Martha

I was very pleased I qualified (in the first 2200) for a medal and t-shirt. 

This afternoon I fell asleep about 4.30pm and woke up to find it was dark and everyone else was getting ready for bed. 

I think the sorest part of me are my knees and the soles of my feet, although the rest of me is pretty stiff and sore too.

It was a fantastic experience, and I would definitely do it again.