Monday, January 30, 2017

First 10 Days in Moshi

Kilimanjaro (Kibo) from Machame
Our ten days in Moshi have been eventful in large part because it has been quite hot.  The drought has been fierce and every day we worry that water will just stop.  The mountain has lost even more glacier; the Short Rains never came so there was no harvest.  The people are worried.

They are worried also because the President has issued more and more restrictions that just seem crazy.  His acts are homophobic and sometimes irrational.  He loves western money, but does not seem to like western people, and his “Acts” are decimating the ex-patriot population who teach, farm, and are part of the health care community.  On the other hand, he is quite adamant about corruption and we have heard that his offices are busy where they once were lax.  He fires people, but of course their salaries continue because there have been no official charges brought and tried in a court of law.  We can most certainly identify with the anxiety of the Tanzanians who feel that they have no opportunity for opposition, and the every day Tanzanian who cannot get work as he pares down jobs in every sector.  We see and hear the same issues from the US, though even more draconian.

So, that is my sadness.  My joy is being back in this country that I love.  I am still working through the health issue that was my IT band, but it is nearly healed completely.  I swim every morning between 7am and 8am.  I love my instructor and friends who swim at the same time.  The only problems I am now having are a. getting up at 5:30 am to drag myself to the pool, and b. that I’m not showering off enough with soap and have a bad chlorine rash.  Have to be more careful.

Imagine all over my imperfect body

The other leg...not showing arms-too horrible
So I have focused just a few pictures on things that I love.  Birds, Flame trees and Kilimanjaro.

 Most of these birds are fly catchers, warblers or sun birds.  Would have to have Bob our Jackie Brice Bennett to tell me.  The warbler (which I think is the brown one) has a song nearly the same as a cardinal.)  Sun birds sound a bit like hummers.  Not much.  The fly catchers are very curious birds esp. where people are concerned.
The flame trees of Moshi are still out (our Christmas trees) I think of "The Flame Trees of Thika"  Ours are just as beautiful.

Yesterday, John and I had quite an adventure.  We were to go to the Kili View Lodge for our biweekly hash, and all was well when we started (remember we have a Rav4, the first model that had only front wheel drive) but the farther up the mountain the more difficult the road became.  Lots of potholes and the road narrowed considerably.  It started raining just as the drive became steeper.  As we started down a very steep section pieces of the road had dropped over the precipice and we were close indeed to that very same precipice.  John at this point could not control the car because there was so much mud on the tires.  We just swished this way and that.  It was terrifying.  As we approached the next steep climb, there were three trucks gathering water.  All the men were motioning us forward but John just said, I cannot control the car now, and if we finally got to Kili View, we would never get home.  No pictures.  I was sure we would not be able to even turn around.  But, we did and slowly slowly drove back to the tarmacked road.  I have never been so happy to see Rau before and then our house.  I put my feet up, read, and drank a Kilimanjaro beer at the same time everyone else would have had they been at the hash.  Home and here is this morning’s mountain.
Have a kili?