11 June 2012
A weary Suletta in Kigamboni
I am sitting around the corner of the house in the shady part, cool breeze blowing through the palm trees. The electricity went off about an hour ago, a record Monday, as we normally only have electricity until about 10 am, except for Fridays and Sundays – Fridays I guess to keep the mosques cool for prayers, and Sundays to allow the Christians to cook a meal. Other than that, it is off by 10 latest and resumes only between 7 and 8 at night.
I can hear the dynamite explosions on the reefs from here, something we discovered yesterday. Whilst lazing on the most beautiful beach, clean and lovely clear water, we continuously heard small explosions, not knowing where they came from, until we realized that the spray some short distance from a small dhow, was a dynamite explosion. Apparently if bursts the fish’ livers, and they then float to the surface, which makes for easy picking, confirmed by the birds circling above. So sad to think the fishermen have to resort to such wipe-out tactics, and then feed their families food contaminated by dynamite.
I have just given my daughter, Belinda, a Skype tour of the garden. Large, palm trees everywhere, even through the roof of the flat on the side of the house – apparently a tree planted by the owner’s grandfather hence it is preserved. The washing machine is covered in a bright red Christmas vinyl table cloth I packed for Christmas with my family – it stands outside, as do most washing machines at houses we went to look at. Kobus put up some string for me in the gazebo., so I can dry my washing there. Not that it has rained yet – only one day – and the rainy season ends end of June. I can hear the young kids from the inhabitants around us playing in the fields, a small goat bleating incessantly in the field behind our house, people talking loudly closer to the beach, but thankfully not the doef-doef music we heard from Saturday 6 pm till Sunday 8 pm – non-stop. Every time we woke in the early morning hours, it seems the doef-doef was going through our eardrums, into your brain and reverberating there until you wanted you go outside and scream at the night hoping the perpetrator would hear and turn it down.
My dogs are sick – Whiskey is the prime target for the ticks, and it proves that a European dog (he is a Scottish terrier), simply does not belong in Africa. Jackie, on the other hand, my optel brak from Ledig outside Pilansberg in South Africa, has not been affected, with her thick skin and sleek coat, the ticks seem to give her a miss. Bonjo is also not well today, so they have had some Disprin and Bob Martins, and we need to nurse them carefully as we certainly do not want our dogs to succumb to some disease now that they have been uprooted and moved to Tanzania.
Time drags here, and I understand that the Africans are so used to it, hence their slow way of life. For me, who has always been on the move, it is proving a bit tiresome at times – excuse the contradiction, but true. I cook one meal a day, read a bit, Skype a lot, write a bit and for now that is it. Thank goodness it is temporary. I still hope to get more busy once I settle in Zanzibar.
Audette’s mosquito and tick repellant range has been a life saver here, and I hope to start importing some once I am in Zanzibar. I have just moved inside as this time of the afternoon, the bugs are also done with their siesta which lasts during the heat of the day, and they then come out to play and prey.
Kobus seems quite impressed with life at the office today – he has been allocated his own office, sent me some lines to translate, and is on his way home.
The beach we went to yesterday was discovered quite by accident with Kobus and I just taking to the road on Saturday, wanting to get out of the house, and also for me to get behind a wheel again. I must say, I quickly learnt to use my horn, and it works! We have a wide, big vehicle, and it seems the other road users do not want an encounter where they could come off second best. So far so good. So, the signboards leading us to this beach said Kim’s beach camp site. To get there, we passed a few of the small five, being donkeys, goats, cows and chicken. And we also passed a pretty little house, with the family all gathered outside in the garden under the shady trees, relaxing. And I noticed the property has no wall around it, but it does have a moerse big red gate to the walkway to the front door. Classic!
The area hosts the Islamic club, and we got greeted very friendly when we got lost en route. Once we hit the right spot, we were greeted by a few huts, well ventilated, plaited palm tree leaves making up the dense roofs and walls, clean white sand inside, and a prompt delivery of a huge bucket with jug, filled with clean water perfected the picture. The clean water of course to wash the sea water off when you want to come and rest a while. We were offered a mat, and it all cost us the princely sum of just R7-50 for the three of us (less than one dollar). We may go back this coming weekend, take our newly acquired mozzie nets, and go sleep over. And hopefully get some lobster, prawns and fish to braai, but hopefully not from the dynamite reef.
On the way back on Saturday, we stopped to buy what seems like oranges and naartjies, which Naimesh from the office told Kobus is delicious. First chap asked 2000 tanzanian shillings for an orange, with Kobus sending him and his oranges to the moon. Next stop we got 10 for the same price, and although it is an orange, it is not like what we are used to in South Africa. The skin is super thin, and one has to peel it carefully, and the skin around the little slices very tough, so you rather just suck out the fleshy bits and juice. Some of the stall owners peel loads for the buyers in advance, and cut them in half for easy eating on the go.