Tag Archives: UK

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth (Below)

A final submission to this week’s photo challenge: Earth. If possible I like to get some snaps of the earth from the plane whenever I go flying – these were taken at various points on the journey from Qatar to London in 2013 at the end of my trip to Vietnam  and Cambodia (the first half of the journey having taken place overnight). Pictures here from Qatar, Iraq, Turkey, Central Europe and UK (London)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Millennial Future

Another submission to this week’s photo challenge.

Each New Year we towards the Future with hope and anticipation. No New Year was more anticipated than that of the new millennium which as far as we were concerned was Dec 31st 1999/Jan 1st 2000 (I know there is debate about whether it really should have been a year later!).

We travelled with the family to Penzance in Cornwall for a family celebration. This was early in the days of the Internet, before Social Media and Smartphones (we had one mobile phone between us and it was a Nokia 8210, on which the most advanced technology was texting!). We still used film in our cameras and played music on the newly invented CD or old fashioned tape/vinyl.

Looking to the future in 1999 we thought hopefully on the future – the Cold War was over and we had not imagined the horrors of 9/11 or 7/7 etc.

We were a family of three and lived in the UK – little did we anticipate that we would be living and working in Africa  with two teenage children less than 15 years on.

Who know  what the future holds – it is an  unknown factor over which we have only a little control.

Sizing Things Up

Maps of the world give a distorted view of things. The countries nearer the poles are enlarged relative to those nearer the equator and so if you look at a map of the earth Tanzania looks much smaller than it is in reality and the UK and USA look much larger than they really are.

UK SizeThere is an interesting website that attempts to rectify this error and I have used it in this blog to show how big Africa and in particular Tanzania are. The website called

http://thetruesize.com/

superimposes a scale sized map of one country onto another.

The maps below were created using this site.

Here is a map of the UK  for reference


UK (Mwanza Kigoma)Having spent 14 hours on the road yesterday traveling from Kigoma to Mwanza it is worth looking at how far it would mean in Britain – the map has been rotated to fit the journey.

On this scale a journey from Mwanza to Kigoma is like traveling from Lincoln to St Austell (in Cornwall) via Brighton.


UK (Mwanza Dar)A trip from Mwanza to Dar Es Salam is equivalent to a journey from from John O’ Groats in the North of Scotland to Thanet in Kent.

Luckily we can fly to Dar  at a reasonable cost.


US (Mwanza Mbale)

Our travels from Mwanza to Mbale and Jinja via Bukoba and Kampala at Easter (including  Murchison Falls in the North) were all taken by bus.

This would be the equivalent of a journey from London to Middlesborough via Bristol, Liverpoool and Manchester with a hop across to Northern Ireland.

Notice that Lake Victoria fills most of Southern and Central England.


UK (Mwanza Moshi)A trip to Moshi where we will meet the Mums at Christmas is like a journey from Edinburgh to Southend via Ayr and Blackpool.

We will fly this December but we went the opposite way by bus in the summer.


For our epic journey of Eastern and Southern Africa – a map of Britain won’t do so instead a map of the USA

USA

We traveled from Mwanza to Zomba then to Livingstone (Victoria Falls) and back again.US East Africa

This was the equivalent of a journey from the North of Ohio via Washingston DC to Southern Alabama and on into Texas.


This shows how vast Africa really is and perhaps how much smaller the USA and UK are really.US Africa

If you want to see how big your country is compared to any other part of the world check out the site for yourself

http://thetruesize.com/

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate Carvings

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

The intricate carving of the stone in this Mediaeval Church in Launceston Cornwall. Taken on our trip last May.

The next best thing!

Here in Tanzania there are many things we have to go without entirely – cinema for example (although rumour has it the new shopping mall will have one). Other things have needed to be substituted.

Anita and I used to enjoy a ‘coffee’ at Costa while in the UK, but the nearest Costa is thousands of miles away.
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There are some good coffee shops in Uganda – notably in Jinja and Mbale, but what about Mwanza. Here at home the next best option is the Coffee Shop in the Gold Crest Hotel. Here you can get a Mocha Shake and Iced Spiced Macchiato, Cappuccino etc.

   It’s not Costa but it’s the next best thing.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird on a Frosty Morning

A submission to this week’s photo challenge: Early Bird

Taken on a frosty January morning in 2014, these shots from Waddeston, Oxfordshire,  on the way to work but caught in traffic as I waited to cross the junction, the sun rose and caught in its amber light the hoar-frost coating the trees turned orange.

 

I managed to snap these on the phone as I waited in the traffic jam – a different life in a different world!