9 - 10 April. DODO Vols in Moro to farewell Mae!

8 April: Laser surgery.....So now I can see!

As my family back in Australia all prepared and enjoyed partying together for my niece, Jane's 21st....I sat nervously, all alone, waiting to have my right eye operated on!!! OH HOW I WISHED I was in Aus and not sitting in the waiting room of CCBRT disability Hospital, Dar es Salaam!!! It was one of those memorable times when I really knew I was a long way from home and facing a big challenge on my own! BUT....I knew everyone was thinking of me and praying for a successful outcome.....ASANTE SANA RAFIKI ZANGU!! Thanks heaps my dear friends because I have come through the laser op and my reading vision has been restored. My eye is healthy but I will get it checked out by the Opthamologist after Easter to make sure! THe BEST bit is......NOT having to reach for my glasses EVERY time I needed to see something up close! .....This was the main reason I actually went through Intra Ocular Lense Replacement a couple of years ago!
It is very reassuring to know that we have excellent specialist here in Dar! The CCBRT was referred to me by 3 different Doctors. Having met the Dr I felt confident as he was very thorough in his examination and his explanations as he proceeded through each step.
It was nice to have Hanna's house not far away to rest and recuperate during the afternoon. It was even better to share the evening with both Hanna and Claire (she had to relocate to Hanna's due to a giant rat taking over her little house! Pole Claire!)

5 - 8 April Dar - Zanzibar...with Mae and Zanzi VOLS

4 April THE bus trip back to Dar!

Monday morning 5.30 am I stood on the road in the dark to learn that my Bajaj driver had slept in! “I am coming! I am coming....5 minutes....” We all know how long 5 minutes can be here in Tz....At 6.05am I hitched a ride with a neighbour! ....but the 6.30am departure left at 7.30am....for a very different journey from my trip down! The slow, slippery, slushy slog to Dar took nearly 12 hours....BUT atleast we didn’t get stuck! My pics are courtesy of Hazel as she returned to Ndanda 4 days after my trip. I was not on a window seat so didn’t have the opportunity to capture the reality! Asante sana Hazel...I know my family will have a much better understanding of our life here as a result!

March 31 – April 4. Mtwara.. Mtwara: Caroline and Adrian...and The Beach house!

Arriving in Mtwara, Caroline and Adrian met me on their bikes. I had a Tz lunch then we had to find the Beach house (A place where the Nuns and Priests of Ndanda take retreat right on the Indian Ocean...It is rented out to friends for a minimal cost); secure a key from Father at the local Presbytery; chilled out and completed the day with sundowners and a seafood dinner at The Southern Cross Bar (Msemo). Caroline and Adrian enjoy this setting at the end of every day!....I totally understand why they love living in Mtwara!
I had the Beach house to myself Thursday night and all day Friday.....so ate Breakfast at The Southern Cross...wandered the beach, read, slept swam, read, sheltered from downpours...then met for sundowners and dinner. Brigette, Christiana and family had arrived from Ndanda when I returned to the Beachhouse and so the numbers swelled. Saturday Caroline and I did a girls’ breakfast then walked to their house near the Teachers’college where Adrian is working. We took the daladala 10 kms north to the historical Port town of Mikindani. It rained heavily the whole journey, the bus was overcrowded and steamy as the windows were tightly shut....we were very lucky to miss being the recipients of a poor little girls’ lost lunch!!
Seafood lunch and drinks around the pool at The Old Boma. It is and old German balconied, double storey homestead, restored and run by an NGO ‘Trade Aid’. Volunteer, Suzanna had been there for 4 months trying to train the hospitality staff = Challenging!! The Old Boma provides local employment and sustainable ecotourism. Mikindani boasts carved Zanzibar doors and the residence of Livingstone where he stayed before he set off on his last fatal expedition.
Wearily I headed back to the Beach House to be greeted by darkness! I didn’t have the key....fortunately an Ndanda priest was inside and had locked the door. The system was that whoever arrives first is responsible for the key (me) however we had all agreed to leave one door open....This priest hadn’t arrived when this decision was made and had locked up and gone to bed!!
Sunday morning Mass was celebrated at their local church during which the skies opened and the noise on the tin roof competed with the beautiful gospel singing and service.
Carefully making our way through the muddy tracks we finally took a bajaj to another favourite Tz eating place for more seafood...(The benefits of being beside the sea!)...then we went back to the Teachers’College where Adrian’s Diploma Students’ Graduation ceremony was unfolding. We were treated like royalty with food, fun and dancing. The respect they had for Adrian was evident.
My last evening was celebrated....yes you guessed....at The southern Cross with sundowners and lots of discussion about what Adrian and Caroline’s plans are and what is happening throughout Tz with VSO Vols.
Again I arrived at The Beachhouse to find darkness and NOBODY around! We had to get Father to come from the other side of town to unlock! We couldn’t find the askari who supposedly had the key!! Little challenges in Tz!!

Standing at the front of The Beach House.
Walking to The Southern Cross for sundowners.
Adrian & Caroline in their usual spot!
...enjoying sundowners and seafood ....overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Tide out!
...a storm approaching behind me!
Mtwara Vols @ home!
Livingstone's last abode before his fatal expedition.

So clos to Mozambique...but didn't quite get there!
Chilling around the pool @ The Old German Boma. Mikandandi.

Overlooking the Indian Ocean from the roof top.

The old port town is almost as it was back in the old days! Very little has been restored and is used as it was created years ago!
Evidence of Zanzibar influence.
Can you find 4 snails Kubwah?
Kubwah sana!!....VERY BIG!
Another seafood lunch...actually I was the only one who got prawns...the others had to settle for Kuku and chipsie..(chicken and chips) because there is no refridgeration and they only keep what they think they will use! Pole guys!
I was very happy....
Grad Dip Celebrations....not quite the Head table...but almost!
Pascal, Adrian, Caroline.
Nominated to share keke!
mmmmm...I was nominated too....but I didn't get to eat it!
Fun, song and happiness for all the Graduates.
Adrian and Caroline's home on the Tertiary College Campus.