Tag Archives: night

Night Life (Under a Net)

Each night before turning in we put it down. Each morning when we get up we put it up.

The mosquito net.   

 Living in Africa there is the ever present risk of contracting Malaria and so precautions are necessary. It’s a matter of routine. 

 We stopped taking anti-malarial drugs fairly early on – the risk to the body of long term use  is far greater than the risk of contracting the disease. With suitable precautions it should not be an issue. 

Malaria is a disease carried by the female of just one species of mosquito (Anopheles) and thee are many different species of mosquito. Furthermore you have to have been bitten by a mosquito which has recently bitten someone with Malaria. 

Here in town and working in a school this is highly unlikely that this will happen. With good health malaria is not nice, but it  is not a killer either. The use of repellant (DEET), a fan (mosquitoes like still air) and a net combine to reduce the risk at night.    

A mosquito net covers the bed. Our net is attached to a frame suspended from the ceiling. This is a bit of a pain as it is a little small for the bed – it is stretched a little bit works provided the bed is not moved. Our net is not walk-in nor does it surround the bed as some do. This means we need to put it up and down which can be a pain.     

  A better option we will consider soon is attaching a T-bone to either end of the bed (a T-shaped piece of wood at both ends) and suspending a net from this. If the arms of the “T” are long enough it should surround the bed more effectively.

For now our net keeps us safe each night. 


Mwanza at Night

Taken from the top of the roof at the teacher flats – and a roof top party on a long exposure.

A Rude Awakening

It was loud! Very loud! And it was coming from nearby on the compound. As I rapidly ascended from deep sleep to wakefulness I really couldn’t explain it. All I knew was that it was loud. Then as I gained consciousness I realised it was a roaring sound, like a jet. It was pitch black I could see nothing, but the roar persisted. It sounded like something rushing out of a pipe. Was it gas I feared? If so then an explosion might follow. Maybe it was steam or water? I followed the sound – it was definitely outside; not inside. Still sleepy I switched on the light and fumbled for shorts and a T-shirt. As I found my sandals, the sound suddenly stopped. Even so I was dressed now and wide awake so I left the house and followed the path to the centre of the compound. There outside a colleague’s house they were gathered. Other colleagues blearily staring through the gloom, gazing at the site, and the family displaced for the moment from their house. The house where it had happened. Around the outside of the Askaris gathered around the site which once was an external water heater – the heater had exploded in the night and the sound we had heard was a jet of water escaping from the damaged pipes.
After a few moments of chat we then returned to our beds – it was 4am.

As I walked back along the path I glanced up at the stars above – expecting to see new unfamiliar patterns, instead I glimpsed The Plough and Orion. Familiar constellations in a foreign land. I went back to sleep.It had been a rude awaking!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Night Time Moon

A submission to this weeks photo challenge on the theme of night time.

Here is my first offering- the Crescent Moon over Lake Victoria at Tunza Lodge near Mwanza, Tanzania just last month.



My second offerings are from Lyme Regis in Dorset, England – Taken in 2009. This time a Full Moon

01 Lyme Regis 105
01 Lyme Regis 106



Equinox Living!

T minus 158

Today is NOT the equinox! Even though the length of the day today ( from Sunrise to Sunset) is almost exactly 12 hours here in Milton Keynes. Continue reading