Monthly Archives: January 2015

Pineapple Progress

In just a few days our Pineapple has rooted.

Sadly the Avocado seems unchanged – We may have to try with other stones.



Bra Alley and Beyond!

Bra Alley is the colloquial name used by expats to describe the alleyway leading to and from the market. On Sunday’s this whole area becomes the fruit and veg market but on Saturdays the area is transformed into the clothes market and the alleyway festooned with bras for sale – hence the name.










Zanzibar Retrospective: Reef Walk

One of the first things we did in Zanzibar was to take a walk out to the Coral Reef discovering numerous sea creatures hidden in the low tide rocks and pools. You can find out more here the gallery below includes camera photos to add to the phone pics first time around.

Hot Runnings

I must be mad and though I’m not a dog I’m definitely English, furthermore although it wasn’t the midday sun, here on the equator it was strong enough. So why did I go running?
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Language Learner

Learning a new languages was always going to be a challenge. Three months on I have worked through the greetings, introductions, numbers and times. I have been introduced to the various noun classes (Ki-Vi, Ji -Ma, M-Mi and N class) which are used to indicate singular and plural and the various tenses (present, present irregular, present regular, relevant past, irrelevant past, sooner than expected, expected), negatives, Mahali class 1 and 2 (all about placement of objects), there’s a lot to learn.

The lessons are good but retention is hard especially with so many beginnings and endings to the verbs and nouns. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get there.

Basic sentence structure consists of a subject prefix based on the noun class a tense marker and a verb, all very different to English.

Personal pronouns are indicated by a prefix ahead of the verb.

There is a logic to it all and unlike English all letters have a consistent meaning, of course teaching in a n English environment does not help. Even so it is right to get some understanding of Kiswahili and attempt to make some conversation with Tanzanians and understand something of their culture.

Most recently I have been looking at Mahali class which is all is out placement of objects (inside, on or in the vicinity of another object given a suffix of -ni)

So if you wanted to know where the cup was specifically (e.g in a cupboard) you might say

Kikombe kimo kabatini (the cup is in the cupboard)

alternatively you might say

Kabatini mna kikombe (the cupboard is where the cup is)

The mo / mna indicating inside

The plural (cups) would be

Vikombe vimo kabatini (Cups are are in the cupboard)


Kabatini mna vikombe (the Cupboard is where the cups are)

If you wanted a more general location e.g. The cup is somewhere in the house (indicated by ko / kuna)

Kikombe kiko nyumbani

or the house has a cup in it somewhere

Nyumbani kuna Kikombe

In plural

Vikombe viko nyumbani

Nyumbani kuna vikombe

If the cup where specifically on the table (indicated by po / pana)

Kikombe kipo mezani

Or the table is specifically where the cup is

Mezani pana kikombe


Vikombe vipo mezani

Mezani pana vikombe

The negative is indicated by the prefix ha-
Kabatini hamna vikombe
Nyumbani hakuna vikombe
Mezani hapana vikombe

mna become hamna

kuna becomes hakuna

pana becomes hapana

This phraseology is how you end up with the phrase Hakuna Matata (no worries – think Lion King). In other words in general there are no problems

It is also the origin of two words used for no in Swahili – hapana and hamna.

Hamna is considered polite e.g. Hamna pesa meaning “I have no money inside (my wallet /bag /pocket etc)”.

Hapana pesa would be very rude meaning something like “look here I have no money”

It’s all very interesting

Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot

As we reach the dog end of January – one thing is clear – the temperature is on the rise! Here in Mwanza the thermometer has risen from a pleasant 25-26°C to 30°-32°C which might not seem much but is making a difference. It is less cloudy too and a lot less rainy. Apparently it will continue until the Long Rains in March – April.

I do like the heat and appreciate it’s a lot hotter than those of you in the “cold north”, even so I was getting used to the mid-20s so I am wilting under the extra heat in long trousers day after day.
In honour of the new temperatures some of my Heat related iTunes – all on my iPod (honestly!)

Level 42 – Hot Water

Power Station – Some Like It Hot

Billy Idol – Hot In The City

The Cure – Hot! Hot! Hot!

Glen Frey – The Heat Is On

Style Council – Long Hot Summer

Katy Perry – Hot ‘n’ Cold

DJ Fresh ft Rita Ora – Hot Right Now

Arrow – Hot Hot Hot

Tanzania:More or Less!

Since moving out to Africa we have more of some things less of others.



  • Heat
  • Sunshine
  • Showers
  • Walks
  • Holidays
  • Free Time
  • Social Life
  • Meals Out
  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Sodas
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Swimming
  • Power Cuts
  • Loud Music
  • Lesson Cover
  • Exam Invigilation
  • Insect Bites
  • Wildlife
  • Bank Holidays
  • Thunder Storms
  • Shorts
  • Monkeys
  • Pot Holes
  • Litter
  • Poverty
  • Bureaucracy
  • Friendly Greetings
  • Marking
  • TV
  • Meat
  • Illness
  • Children
  • Unco-operative Children
  • Housework
  • Cooking
  • Running
  • Internet Connectivity
  • Baths
  • Long Trousers
  • Seagulls
  • Tarmac
  • Hygiene
  • Commodities
  • Quality Goods
  • Recycling
  • Post
  • Health and Safety
  • Chocolate