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Monthly Archives: January 2013

IMG_6056…And we’re off to a “Swiss Alp feeling in an African setting”. I have a major backlog of blog ideas but night-long power cuts and a wonky wifi have gotten in the way recently, so bear with me. I’ll be back next week with plenty of pictures of the lush Usambara mountains in tow… worth the wait, I promise.

Have a good one, wherever you are.

-K&B

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This little lady follows us to work every morning. We call her Twix.

This little lady follows us to work every morning. We call her Twix.

Life has found a new(-ish) groove here in Moshi with a move to our very own slice of suburban heaven, walking distance from Amani, in a slightly rough-around-the-edges-but-still-friendly area called Soweto (yes, that’s the same name as the notorious Johannesburg township). We’re sharing it with two of the other Amani volunteers, Jay and Annmaree (last featured in this wedding post) and finally have an en-suite bathroom (yay!), real windows (double yay!), proper water pressure (ah, how I missed you), and yes, the ultimate ‘piece the resistance’ in a tropical country: air conditioning.

We’re also now back to cooking and cleaning for ourselves (normal life, I know), and it’s actually so refreshing to be in control of our of environment again, and to be able to move around without calling a driver (a slice of the non-normal life that you can actually afford here) and to go to and leave work as we please, usually with our new doggy friend in tow. Walking to work we must end up saying ‘Mambo’, ‘Habari?’ or ‘Shikamoo’ (the three key greetings, used depending on the age of the person at the receiving end of it) at least 20-30 times. We get just as many stares – or even outright wonder – when kids scream out ‘mzungu’ (white person!) and run to us to say hello/bye/good evening. Though people here are shy and rather reserved, they’re also unfailingly warm and welcoming. They take the time to acknowledge each other (as Kristy said over dinner tonight), to make that connection – even if it’s with a stranger and even if it’s only for a fleeting second…

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Day 2: waterfall hike on the foothills of Mount K, Day 3: beers by the pool...

Day 2: waterfall hike on the foothills of Mount K, Day 3: beers by the pool…

After a couple of relaxed Moshi days with ol’pops, a refreshingly low-key New Years with friends, a fun but exhausting day at Amani (we both have an entirely new level of appreciation for teachers’ need to have long summer breaks after this experience), we’re getting ready for another journey, this time to the muddy plains of Serengeti and the majestic Ngorongoro crater.

As we pack up to leave our beloved B&B (we’re moving into a house-share for the remaining two+ months) and I try my very best not to stress too much about packing our messy little life up, that strange concoction of excitement, anticipation and jitters sets in our travel-bound bellies. We have four nights in open-to-the-wild campsites ahead of us, long drives on shitty roads, a hot air balloon ride, plenty of questionable experiences in poorly maintained and over-used national park toilets, and hopefully an encounter or two with the magnificent beasts of the East African plains. I’m hoping for a few leopards and a rhino sighting. B’s looking forward to coming car-to-face with the famed Serengeti lions. I think we’re all just hoping to avoid the brunt of the later-than-usual seasonal rains and have the safari of a lifetime…

On that note, we wish you all a wonderful, mindful start to the new year. Fill it with happy moments, big plans and everything good and gorgeous in between.

(Whoop-whoop! This is the 40th post on our wee little blog, by the way. Thanks for reading, caring and sharing, folks.)

-K&B