Having a January Birthday in the Northern Hemisphere has always been a cold affair. One of the challenges being to find something to do which was exciting and interesting when life outside was cold and wet. Over the years we have enjoyed visits to the National Space Centre in Leicester, Rainham Marshes, Greenwich and Prague as well as visits to family.
2005 National Space Centre – Leicester
2010 Birthday in the Snow
2006 Prague – Astronomical Clock
2008 Lord of The Rings on Stage
2009 Rainham Marshes
This year is different. My first ever birthday in the warm. Here in the Southern Hemisphere close to the equator it is warm and offers a different opportunity. Today is a Bank Holiday in Tanzania in honour of Zanzibar’s independence. This will always be the case whilst we are living here – so my birthday will always be a holiday. 😉
However, today unfortunately for me was a scheduled Mock Exams in ICT which meant that I had to invigilate for 5 hours. This as not the best start to the day but I was out by 2pm. This is a one off – not to be repeated.
After I escaped school, I travelled out of town to Tunza Lodge a beach resort on the lake. The weather this morning had been wet and stormy but the afternoon was warm and bright with a little sunshine.
Arriving home I opened presents from family including coffee beans from Bex, a lightweight dressing gown from Matt and some tea lights from my Sister-in-Law. Anita’s present is still to come!
New Dressing Gown
We had a meal and invited a bunch of colleagues and ex-pats and had a great time at the Lakeside. Tunza is a really nice spot by the lake to spend a few hours and it was a great time to socialise.
To end the day some Skyping with Mum and with my brother. A good chat and a good day!
It’s a night-time ritual here. The compound guard dogs taking on the street dogs in a battle of bark!
Mwanza has many street dogs – by day they rest up – under cars or in the shade. The raid the rubbish tips in search of food. These scrawny yellow-brown hounds many with swollen teats a vestige of the pups they have no doubt recently borne.
By night they roam the streets, another reason for not walking out at night. As the roam they inevitably wander past the compounds where the wealthy and the expatriate live. Our compounds behind locked gates and high fences are guarded by Askari (Security Guards) assisted by guard dogs.
So when the street dogs wander past the guard dogs react from all the different compounds along the way – as each guard dog barks, as do the neighbouring guard dogs, as do the street hounds resulting in a cacophony of howls, woofs, yaps and yelps as the neighbourhood barks away. This can go on for a long time – for instance the barking has only just subsided (it started before I started typing this piece).
We have three dogs on the compound. Macy who is the actual guard dog. She is getting on a bit but barks well at anything walking past – she is a big dog, but friendly to all who live here. She has recently been joined by two puppies Kili and Nala who are still young and a bit of a handful. I am hoping they will calm down under Macy’s tutelage but for now they steal shoes left outside and break down bushes etc.in the garden as they run. I fear they have probably gnawed through / ran through the wires on our solar lights too so that they are broken. I hope they will make good guard dogs in time but not yet.
So as the barking restarts it’s time for bed – you can get used to the sound and it does at least prove the guard dogs are doing their jobs.