27 – 30 March. Sunday - Wednesday Dar with Hanna: Graphic designer extraordinaire- Ndanda with Daktari Hazel

I woke at 4.30am and was on the bus at 5.30am leaving Dar at 6am for one of the wildest bus trips I have ever had!!
A large section of the Dar – Lindi road has been under construction for 10 Years!! A temporary road running parallel has evolved which winds its way first along one side then along the other and back and forth. Often it is impassable in the wet season however little rain had fallen recently, the road was open....., and so my experience unfolded!
We fit the rough corrugated dirt section at the same speed we had been travelling the previously sealed road and barely slowed down for the entire hour regardless of who we had to negotiate. We overtook every bus, truck, car and hardly altered pace on some, almost single lane stretches as we met similar traffic coming towards us! Several times the driver’s impatience to pass took us up on to the new road where he sped past the offending vehicle and managed to get us safely down the embankment ahead of the opponent!! He was actually a good driver but a fast one! The hour long adrenaline rush was relentless. At one stage I realised that both my hands had crushed the back of the seat in front of me in my efforts to stay secure. I thought momentarily that back home in Aus we would pay a lot of money to have an off road 4 WD experience through beautiful country like this....then realized that I was travelling in a Business class African Coach with very little suspension...but fortunately a secure seat belt!!!
Eily, I wished you had been with me because it was better than any adrenalin ride at The Melbourne Show!!! You too would have been able to enjoy it as I had...unfortunately most other passengers didn’t have the same enthusiasm!!
Our seemingly quick trip still took nearly 9 hours. During the final ½ hour the skies dumped heavy rain but cleared as I alighted in Ndanda to hazel’s warm welcome.
= Beautiful, green oasis; German style buildings; Abbey’s; hospital in which our VSO Vols work; a mill; bakery; butcher and other businesses sustaining many of the local livelihoods.
VSO Health is well represented: Daktari Hazel and David; Nurse Ruth; Physio Carmel...other expats working include Bernice and her family and Brigette, a German Doctor with whom I stayed.
Sharing time with Hazel and the others and getting to understand their busy challenging lives within the hospital and meeting their friends was rewarding. Just as rewarding were: the beautiful walks to the local swimming hole; the Cross high up on the escarpment giving views far north and west and across Ndanda itself; and meandering through the native part of the village in pursuit of the local Makonde carvers.

Hazel cooking up a storm....actually she is adding a mushroom to her yummy brew...Ndanda variety!
Ruth and Hazel on our way home from sundowners @ Subiaco...the Ndanda drinking spot!
The avenue to Hazel's compound.
Hazel's house.

The Bakery.
The German Abbey where we had a scumptious Tz lunch!
Kwa Heri Carmel.
Taking the goats through town to feed and milk
The well worn track to Subiaco...
Brigette's kitchen full of everything you could ever want...even a coffee percolator AND real Zanzibar coffee!
Brigette is an avid supporter of the local Mikonde carvers and keeps them working hard to meet her requests. Great work Brigette! 

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