Monday, February 29, 2016

Back in Moshi Again

View of Kilimanjaro from the Marathon Stadium
  Ten Days in Moshi

I had every intention of posting a short blog every few days of being in Moshi, but alas, it just didn’t work out.  I seemed to have time, but I wound up not having time.  A big part of the problem had to do with being attacked by a stomach virus, which slowed me down considerably (in every way but the loo).  But, there was no dirth of excitement in Moshi, most of it having to do with the Kilimanjaro Marathon.

I think the biggest shock of arriving and seeing the mountain for the first time was how quickly the glaciers are receding.  I was stunned that so little is left.  What a magnificient mountain and what a tragedy to see the snow disappear.

Hazy evening on Kilimanjaro, but oh the lack of snow!
Shortly, after we arrived in Moshi, a tortoise appeared in a neighbor’s yard, and came over to our house to visit.  This tortoise is big and who knows what kind it is, but it is big.  It is not as big as those that are on Zanzibar Island, but nevertheless is bigger than those we have roaming around in the US.  I was very worried that this poor tortoise’s life would be very short if it remained in Moshi, so I arranged to have him go to live in Machame with our friends out there.  As soon as he arrived in Machame, he took off down the steps and headed out to my friend Sylvie’s garden and there, hopefully, he resides incognito with water and lots of food all around him.

Tortoise planning his escape from A-5
We have experienced a huge swing in weather, high winds, one or two downpours, power outages, but in general it has been extremely hot.  Since we just came from a cold North Carolina, the change is dramatic for us.  Honestly, even beastly hot, I prefer this heat to the cold of NC.  And, of course I really love the fact that the sun comes up and goes down at the same time each day!  On Friday, a huge wind came up, and I heard a crack….so here is the old Flame Tree branch right next to our little car.

Our little Rav4 and the big Flame Tree Branch
Life goes on and getting ready for the marathon took a great deal of time. We registered an amazing number of people for the marathon.  Our collaboration Community Advisory Board (the Moshi CAB) had 48 sign ups for the race, and at the Wednesday meeting talked in depth about timing and meeting places.  Kudos to the CAB for giving up their bites at their monthly meeting in order to save as much as possible to pay for their own registrations.  We came close!  Thanks as always to my dear husband and Ema Msuya for helping with the registrations, and for the handing out of transportation money on Saturday.

3 of my favorite people Benward, our CAB Chair Edna, and of course Ema

Prisca looking like a model at the YMCA
We survived the marathon and we survived the after party, and managed to get a few hours sleep despite a 20 hour power outage that wound our batteries down and kept us tossing and turning in the heat.

View of 5K participants

5K Start

The International School's elephants to demonstrate anti-poaching

School students spent countless hours designing these huge floats

At the finish...5K's shouldn't be this easy (and they usually aren't)

Happy to be at the end

Happy ladies of the Community Advisory Board

Fabulous CAB...about 1/2 of this great group
Mowo our Vice Chair looking stern

KCMC Executive Director Dr. Massenge--nothing about him is elitist!
John eyeing the finish

Finally, John across the line

Bob K, Jan O, John and I....survived the Marathon

Happy Couple
Bob, Greg, John and Simon enjoy the after party

Kids gobble at the after party

Beatrice and Matt....hmmmm a beer drinker

The week begins again and we are looking forward to more business, more heat, and hopefully more power.