Monthly Archives: August 2015

T + 365 (A year in Mwanza)

A year has come and gone since we left the UK. We flew out on the 22nd August 2014.

It really does not seem like a year. In many ways it seem like a lot less – the fact that we have been able to FaceTime /Skype family and keep in touch with friends via social media means that distant as we are geographically we have felt close. The world has truly got smaller in the last few years.

In other ways it seems like we have been in Tanzania for ever. Life is so different here. It’s not just the weather – an eternal summer – whether dry (as it is most of the time) or wet (as it is occasionally). Generally a more relaxed lifestyle a more outdoor life and a more sociable life. Eating out is cheap and much more part of life here. Wages are low but housing comes with the job so money goes farther. It has enabled us to travel: Serengeti, Zanzibar, Rubondo, Uganda earlier in the year and our recent journey south through Tanzania,Malawi, Zambia and Botswana have given us great adventures and amazing experiences.

In fact you don’t have to travel far to get amazing views in Mwanza – Wag Hill, Malaika and Tunza are but a few miles from here.

Teaching here has had  it’s share of frustrations (what job doesn’t) but I don’t regret a moment. The work-life balance is so much better than the UK, the students polite, respectful and hardworking in the main and I work with a great bunch of colleagues.

As we reach this milestone – it is a time of transition here – new colleagues are arriving this weekend – just as we did a year ago. Many old colleagues return this week, but others have left for other jobs across the globe, so school will change. I wonder what colleagues were thinking a year ago as we and a bunch of others arrived!

Power cuts, low water pressure, poor roads, a lack of reasonably priced quality chocolate, cheese and bacon are major negatives but actually day to day life is fairly normal and you can get quite a lot here if you look. We are lucky compared to some that we get relatively few power cuts.

The wildlife is amazing here- not just in the Game Parkscolourful birds and  lizards in the garden, monkeys at school.

We love our house and the compound garden.

No one can predict the future and certainly the sliding Shilling and upcoming elections cause concern in some of the local ex-pat community. For us the lack of a job for Anita, following a chance to do some maternity cover this past six months, makes it difficult to imagine as much travel in the year ahead. We will just have to see.

Looking back it’s been a great year and I am confident whatever happens year 2 will be just as amazing – even if it’s different.

Malaika Sundowner

One of the great things about living in Mwanza is that you’re never too far from the Lake and the spectacular views you get. 

If you follow me on FB apologies  but this blog also posts there too – repeat pics I’m afraid.

Even on a day like today where in truth it has been quite mundane and in a week when we’ve all been getting over coughs and colds we were still able to get out this evening to Malaika Beach Resort for a sundowner (a beer watching the sunset).

Although it’s 4000TzS entry you immediately get it back in the cost of a drink or a contribution towards it. The beach front gives a great view of the sun and tonight’s was awesome.  

    
  
      
    
    
 The sky was cloudless so the golden sun appeared to sink straight into the lake. As we watched a dow cut right across the setting orb and then the thin crescent moon appeared above the rainbow sky.   

   
    
    
   

   
    
   

Butterflies and Bougainvillea

Since our return to Mwanza there seem to be a lot more Butterflies around of various types flitting about amongst the rejuvenated Bougainvillea plants. These thorny bushes not only deter unwelcome visitors but they look attractive with their brightly coloured leaves surrounding the true flowers of this vine.

Quote

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy Spider

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”

Taken just over two years ago in Viet Nam. This spider was hanging outside the toilet at our stop on trek in the Yok Don.

Planted Avocado

just before we went on holiday we planted out our two Avocado saplings – 5 weeks on they are growing well – it will be a while before they become trees let along produce fruit but it’s a start 

   

World Elephant Day

Today is World Elephant Day. So in honour I have decided to post pictures of these fabulous beasts from our recent safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana. Elephants are plentiful here and we were able to get a close up view of the herds.

The Pits

Day by day we produce a lot of waste – sadly there is no recycling here other than for glass bottles which are taken back to the shop/ bar for a returned deposit.

Plastics, metals and paper packaging are just thrown away. It doesn’t matter how much we might look after our rubbish – in the end it’s going to be dumped by someone or burned. Quite hard when we came from one of the recycling pioneers, Milton Keynes.

One way we do recycle our waste is in the Pit. We had one dig out by the Askaris just after we arrived and it takes all our organic refuse.

We have just filled our old pit and so today we have had another one dug. Over the year all the vegetable matter, bones, egg shells, tea bags etc will go in. We have just covered over our old pit with some soil so over the next few months it should all mulch down to a compost.


 The soil here is quite poor in terms of nutrients so hopefully this will help in time to come.

The new pit, like the old will attract the animals, the compound dogs, our cat, mongooses and various birds will go in there from time to time.

22 Compound Life (22) Compound (9)

Mwanza Dust!

The first thing we have noticed on our return here to Mwanza is the dust and the heat.

It was particularly noticeable after the cool and lush weather of Moshi earlier in the week.   

  

 It obviously hasn’t rained here for many weeks it seems. 

   
Different too to the humidity and heat of Dar Es Salaam and the dry of Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. There is no cool bite to the morning weather and no autumnal feel up here so close to the equator. No bare branched trees, no gold, russet and red leafed bushes. 

    
    
    
   
I like the heat here and the birdsong which seems more intense here than anywhere else in our journey – even Lake Malawi/Nyassa.

Unwelcome here is the complete lack of water pressure which had put a hold on showers and frustrated attempts to plough through a mound of much needed washing.

It’s quiet here on the compound. Just us and one other colleague now. Our neighbours moved out to Uganda yesterday. Other houses await new tenants or the return of their occupants after travels abroad.

It’s strange not to be moving on from place to place. Nice to be doing nothing.

I loved the journey through Africa but now we are very much in Mwanza and very much home!

Our African Journey

Wehave just returned from our epic journey across Africa – if you did not catch it you van read about it by clicking on any links below.

This is an update to the original as our plans changed throughout the course of our journey.

Map

An epic journey – on public transport throughout – we survived and you can read about it here.

TANZANIA

Day 1 – Mwanza to Dar Es Salaam

Day 2 – Dar Es Salaam to Songea

Day 3 – Songea to Mbamba Bay

Day 4 – Mbamba Bay

Day 5 – Mbamba Bay  and Night Crossing  to Likoma Island

MALAWI

Day 6 – Likoma Island

Day 7 – Likoma Island

Day 8 – Likoma Island to Nkhotakota (Ilala Ferry)

Day 9 – Nkhotakota to Monkey Bay (Ilala Ferry)

Day 10 – Monkey Bay

Day 11 – Monkey Bay to Zomba

Day 12 – Zomba (Chilimba Village)

Day 13 – Zomba (Plateau)

Day 14 – Zomba to Liwonde to Dedza

Day 15 – Dedza to Lilongwe

Day 16 – Lilongwe to Lusaka

ZAMBIA

Day 17 – Lusaka to Livingstone

Day 18 – Livingstone (Victoria Falls)

Day 19 – Livingstone to Chobe National Park (Botswana)

Day 20 – Livingstone

Day 21 – Livingstone to Lusaka

Day 22 – Lusaka to Kapiri Mposhi

Day 23 – Kapiri Mposhi to Mbeya (Tazara Train)

TANZANIA

Day 24 – Mbeya to Dar Es Salaam (Tazara Train)

Day 25 – Dar Es Salaam (Kipopea Beach Resort)

Day 26 – Dar Es Salaam (Kipopea Beach Resort) to Moshi

Day 27 – Moshi

Day 28 – Moshi (Coffee Plantation)

Day 29 – Moshi to Mwanza