Today was a Bank Holiday here, so courtesy of a colleague we headed out of Mwanza this afternoon for our furthest trip yet into the wilds of North Western Tanzania. We headed an hour up the road to a restaurant on the Lake called Papa’s. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere this Lakeside eatery has a fantastic view of Victoria and serves locally sources and ethically produced food.
There was a choice of Set Menu or A La Carte I opted for the former the rest the latter. Of the three courses only the dessert disappointed (rather dry coffee cake which barely registered coffee). The starter of Spiced Pork and main of Pork fillet with mango glaze, roast butternut squash and sautéed greens was delicious and had to be the best meal I have had in Tanzania. The others had the A La Carte which was more varied, some liked it (Chicken and Chips, Steak and Chips) others didn’t (Marguerita Pizza, Steak and Chips!). Personally I would recommend the Set Menu even with the cake element.
Boat at Papa’s
Today is a Bank Holiday in Tanzania. Unusually for us Britons it’s a Tuesday. So we were in for Monday and will be back in for the rest of the week. However, today is a chance to relax a little.
Who was Nyerere after whom this day is named?
The day commemorates the founding father of Tanzania – Julius Nyerere, the first President of The country after it gained independence from Britain in 1964. He had also been a Prime Minister pre- independence. From 1964 until 1985 he was elected unopposed at every election in a One a Party State. Nyerere had argued the One Party system was vital for stability and even today, years on from his death Tanzania remains a stable country. Nyerere was the man who built the United Republic of Tanzania from the former colonies of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. He was regarded as a Nation Builder – the first leader of an independent African state.
Image of Tanzania from a School Wall in Igombe
However, he seems to have left a mixed legacy with improvements to health and education alongside national poverty. A former teacher, he went to university in Edinburgh where he encountered socialism. He returned to Africa and entered politics as Tanzania was moving towards independence from Britain. He followed a Socialist approach to African politics and made some controversial decisions . His main idea was to introduce collective farming into the country. This was an anathema to many farmers some of whom were forced into collectives. Ultimately the policy failed, something he accepted as fact. Other policies like universal free education were more successful, but Tanzania remained a poor country.
In his time in office he supported independence and freedom movements in nearby states (South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) intervened to defeat the regime of Idi Amin in Uganda. Some criticised a focus on foreign affairs at the expense of National politics. Nonetheless, his greatest legacy seems to have been beyond Tanzania where he provided moral leadership (unlike contemporaries he did not amass a great fortune in office). He died from Leukaemia on October 14th 1999.
(Information here contained taken from a variety of online sources of differing stances – including The Guardian, Britannica, BBC, Marxists.org but is not intended to be a detailed Biography – simply an overview – apologies in advance for any factual errors or assertions)
T Minus 88
With awe I have just realised that this is our last Bank Holiday Monday in the UK. Another milestone! The next one will be three days after we leave on August 25th 😮
In general I’m not (like most people I think) a great fan of Monday’s. It’s not that I don’t like work per se although the first Monday back after a holiday can be a pain. I don’t get thoroughly depressed, work has it’s own interests too (and in teaching no two lessons are ever the same – even with the same classes week by week). For me it’s the return to structure and formality (in my case a defined timetable) after the freedom of a weekend which can feel burdensome. Bank Holiday Mondays are an exception, a day of possibilities. Today we are spending time with Anita’s family – a good chance to catch up with all, play silly games, go for a walk if the weather holds out.
Mondays often feature, often negatively in songs. On my iPod I have several Monday tunes – here they are (YouTube versions) for your listening pleasure.
New Order – Blue a Monday
Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Mondays
Bangles – Manic Mondays
Duran Duran – New Moon on Monday
Flunk – Blue Monday (cover)
Finally and because it’s a Bank Holiday
Blur – Bank Holiday
Have a great Monday wherever you are.
T Minus 91
It’s difficult to believe that today is the end of my penultimate term. Like grains of sand rushing through the narrow neck of an hour glass, time is rushing by at an ever increasing rate.
Suddenly we find ourselves nearing the end of May. In three months time depending on how you measure it, we will will either be spending our last day in England (Friday) or our first day in Tanzania (23rd).
I think that part of the issue has been the business of work and also the plethora of Bank Holidays concentrated into April and May, another Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and will allow us to meet up with Family. The rest of the week will possibly involve a trip to Lincoln to drop off some stuff for storage and some further house clearance. We aim to of some trial packing to see how much it all weighs. We are also looking at some options for our equity and considering the possibility of investing in a smaller property.
It will be a busy week – probably our last week off before we move. We hope to make the most of it.