18 February. A stormy Friday.....

I am sitting on the back porch in the semi dark on the top of Kehawa’s kennel, delighting in an amazing weather performance. It is balmy; the wind is getting angry as a storm moves closer.
The sky is illuminated by a huge orange full moon. To the left of the moon the sky is totally clear as the stars twinkle happily. To the right of the moon the nimbo-cumulus cloud mass is so close it feels as though I could reach out and touch it!! Having no electricity to light this region, the contrasts are visually intense.

The exciting vision is the wild lightening show occurring through these clouds! There is no rain near us in Kihonda but it looks like the Uluguru Mountains are coping the brunt of the storm. I worry about all the families I know living up there, hoping they are secure and safe in their humble, often fragile homes.
Kehawa is frantically running....then trying to sit calmly at my feet...then he panics again as the distant thunder growls and he leaps up onto his kennel with me!
The huge full moon continues to stare down at us. Its vision free from being obscured by the softly curved edge of the rain filled cloud blanket alongside it.
The air is cooling and becoming fresh. The frogs near and far are going wild. Their calls are deafening. I can feel Dad sitting right beside Kehawa and I. I know he is loving its beauty too!

“The rain is coming!!”
Big, fat, splats hit my tin roof....slowly at first then more and more.  We are only getting the very edge of the rain.
One hour passes almost unnoticed in suspended animation as soft drops of rain reach us intermittently. Are we actually going to get wet? The edge of the huge, black, foreboding cloud tries to slowly swallow our bright, happy moon..... but the moon is not surrendering easily!
Gradually it seems to lose the battle. The resulting scene is beautiful. The thinner, fluffy edges of the massive cloud are glowing bright yellow as its dark, heavy body tries to digest this natural beauty....

....but wait....

VICTORIOUS!!! The moon laughingly, regains its place in the clear skies as the angry mass of rain cloud is blown closer to the mountains.
Kehawa is peacefully asleep at my feet as I bask in the beauty of this moonlit night. 

I reflect back on the sad start to my day when we had witnessed a fatal accident on our journey to SEGA!
I pray for the family of the young man who had ridden past me only 15 minutes before as I had stood waiting for the bus to collect me. He waved and shouted “Mambo?” as many Tanzanians do to the only white person they pass each morning! I also pray in thanks for being given such beauty today to help me move on from this challenging memory.

Lala salama. 


  1. What a beautiful piece of writing, Fran - an absolute joy to read! I am so glad you had something amazing and wonderful to end your day with, in spite of its sad beginning.

    Thank you so much - as ever! - for sharing!




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