Murphy's law exists even in the far reaches ofTanzania... J.C flew out yesterday, after a farewell night of cheer around the campfire where my efforts to learn Swahili continued. Last nights lesson included the slang term:
"Nakwenda kumpa kuku wangu maji"
" I'm going to give my chickens some water"
Heh heh I'll let you figure out how to use that one.
Anyway back to Murphy's, so J.C had flown out and with his charter the quarterly food rations had arrived, chicken, T bones, sausages among other essentials. In addition the guys had had a cow slaughtered and picked up some "local meat". This led to an overflowing freezer and the need to resort to a spare and using more power. It was during this time of need that the solar regulator decided to give up the ghost and leave us with only generator power. A fine start to my caretaking period. Anyway I did a bit of equipment rewiring with a less essential regulator so the crisis is over for now and we have power and frozen food.
It's a bit quiet here now without J.C his English was great and had a good knowledge of the wildlife here. He worked at a hunting and safari company before Mibango so had plenty of stories to tell. The security guys here are top fellas but struggle with English, as much as I struggle with Swahili which limits conversation a bit. Laurensia is good for a chat and a Mibango veteran so she has some good stories too but I think everyone feels J.C's leaving has left a bit of a hole. On the upside I can now work to my own schedule and start on some of the projects I had planned and maybe update this page a little more often.
I promised some good stories signing off last most of which came from our recent trek to the local village and school. It was a two to three hour stroll each way and involved wading through a river usually crossed with a tree bridge which had recently washed away. No crocodiles or anything like that, just leaches and piranhas. Nah, in reality though the current was decent, it was fairly tame but the photos look good. Having said that I'm 6'7 and the water didn't get too far above my waste but I did feel for Mr Mlaufu who was up to his neck for half the crossing.
Once we arrived at the village I had a ball with the kids who not only found it strange to see a "mzungu" travelling by foot alone but also would never have seen such a big w***. There were so many kids coming out of the farms it was like some strange African version of children of the corn. "Children of the maize" all very friendly though and everywhere I went I heard distant and excited wispers mzungu!.. mzungu!…. The kids loved photographs and I each time I bent down to show them the pictures two or three more had arrived once I stood up.
The school itself has three teachers and three classrooms, one had a concrete floor , the others without and it wasn't until I saw the masses of mole holes rendering half the dirt floors useless that I saw the importance of the concrete. We went over what the school required and put a list together of what I am doing next time I'm there. The demonstration garden is the big one but we also have some new paint for the black boards and some new balls and shoes to handout.
Just when I thought I'd had enough action for the day, on the way out of the village we came across a little girl who had, the week prior, had an accident on a bike and had a big open wound over most of her heal. Queue Mariah Carey's "Hero" and put it in slow motion. I had a first aid kit in my pack so as a crowd gathered I went to work cleaning and bandaging her up, jokes aside though, there's plenty of opportunity to help people in the village and I am looking forward to my next trip to the place. Well I'm slowing down now so I'll finish up this update Hope lifes good wherever you are!