Sauti de Busara and TFFT workshop. 8/2 - 17/2

Polly had given Jessie, Lydia and I time off to experience the eagerly awaited Sauti de Busara on Zanzi….and we were certainly not disappointed.
I travelled to Dar to meet and do dinner at the The Red Onion with some of the new intake of VSO vols and stayed with Liesbeth who had stayed in Moro with me several nights earlier…

Liesbeth’s Facebook status on that day :“Somehow they managed to loose my bag on the Abood bus yesterday, but oh sorry it wasn't lost it was just moved inside By then I had already given my presentation to the Publishing Association on flip-flops! Well anyway, glad 2 have not lost it after all.....Thanks Fran Bruty 4 all the back-up support!!”…reflected the challenge she encountered. She believed that her bag had been stolen as we she could not locate it anywhere when she had arrived in Dar so …..this resulted in me spending a whole, but fortunately fruitful, 6 hours …back and forth between the police station and Msamvu, the bus depot… playing detective Fran! (it’s also helpful to have friends in the CID!)

Going to Zanzibar is like going home for me! I have so many familiar friends and memories there. Having shared magical times with both Gem and Evie on Zanzi, visiting is inevitably uplifting as I can still feel them there with me!
I had a wonderful time. I stayed with Wendy…. 

....wandered the maze of streets….still got lost (you would think I would know my way after many visits and wanderings of Stonetown!!)…. and found wonderful little duka’s to explore. Judy and I finally did the tour of the Museum which I mistakenly thought was the House of Wonders (which I have been going to visit since my very first stay in Stonetown!)…so we did both and learned about the sordid history of the slave trade and Z’s history.
Evenings and nights were filled with the fun of Sauti…friends, eating, quenching our thirst and dancing into the night to the sounds of live African bands and artists.

My Facebook status :
loving Sauti! Learned how to play African drums and how to move dem hips like da Africans do. :-)
Wendy, Tom, Christine and I …..The new African musicians!

When this pic was taken I was right into the rhythm and loving the ease of creating beautiful music on this typical African drum!
Babu, Wendy and Tom

Tom, Christine and I.
Trying out a different set of drums. These ones were used by Tom to give us some rhythm during our dance lesson.
Swing dem hips dada!!!
 African Kangas which come in many, many bright colors... are always used in traditional dance so they were part of our lesson too!
An hour of pure fun!

During my journey to Dar, Polly had invited me to represent SEGA at TFFT’s strategic planning workshop in Arusha from Mon 13/2 – Wed 15/2. Plans to travel to Morogoro on Monday became…”How can I get to Arusha for the Monday workshop without missing the earmarked Saturday night Sauti highlight?”
 Flights: checked but too expensive ….. Sunday pm Ferry – Early bus departing Dar Monday am _ arrive in Arusha for last few hours of workshop: TICK…..and so it was that I slept over in Dar and set out on the easy, scenic 10 hour bus journey ….arrived…threw my gear into the guest house and continued on the join my dear friends from the TFFT team and many interesting people from their partner organizations.

Meaghan was 23 when she founded TFFT( ) in 2006, an inspiring NGO now supporting 73 Orphans and vulnerable children. SEGA has received two of their girls and consequently are sister organizations. TFFT, Melissa and I work together providing teacher training for SEGA staff.
Meaghan words from the US and visits frequently. This visit incorporated the workshop and her participation in the Kilimanjaro Marathon, a major fundraising event for TFFT.
During my week I was fortunate to visit USA River Academy which many TFFT children attend and Seeway Tanzania ( ) , an orphanage founded 8 years ago by two easy going, dedicated women Rebecca (US) and Wendy (UK)… who is a wiz with maintenance and has a financially viable kuku business happening on sight!

I stayed in Arusha and extra day to work with Melissa in preparation for SEGA’s workshop 2 – 5 April. Of course we did pizza and red wine for lunch in the gardens of the Blue Heron (an Arusha …must do!!) and did dinner with Peter and Barbara VSO Vols (Health).

I left Arusha in the dark and travelled towards Moshi as the sun rose to greet me in a splendid burst of beauty. Her stunning golden rays of light gently touched hundreds of people moving slowly to the quietness of the new day. As we moved out into the country the morning light gently kissed the dry open spaces until suddenly I was blessed with a vision that will stay with me forever!!
I texted my family in Aus and updated my Facebook status with news of my excitement…..

 cant believe i am passing Mt Kilimanjaro in the glorious sun filled wee hours of the morning and her WHOLE beautiful self, snow capped top & all her splendour, is in full view! She is always shrouded in cloud!”

Unfortunately I had to deal with my frustration (also captured in my Facebook response):
“oh pole no pics! Windows were dirty.. I was the ONLY mzungu... all Tz people were sleeping. . camera was in bag too far away..AND I was on the wrong side of the bus to get a good shot anyway! BUT the experience has been committee to memory for ever!”

(PS: the following weekend we were back in Moshi for the Kili Marathon and basked in her beauty again... albeit through a moist, humid air!!. but I don't think I will ever again encounter the vision and the emotion the initial sighting evoked in me!)

The 10 hour....sometimes longer ... journey from Arusha to Morogoro is enjoyable and the scenery ever changing from: Kili past the Pare Mountains then alongside the Lushoto Mountain range….through flat dry plains; many productive sisal plantations; lush green fields being prepared for crops; past the hydro electricity station where many accidents occur but the scenery is breath taking….through the hectic junction at Chalinze and finally to the last, one hour stretch into Morogoro!

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