Monday, 17 September 2007

Life on the wild side

Thus far I have deprived you of those typical African wildlife shots, so I thought it was about time I uploaded a couple of animal portraits! Having not been on safari, I hope you are impressed by such nice close-ups. There is one National Park that you have to drive through on the way down from Dar es Salaam to Iringa/Mbeya, therefore you are able to enjoy some free wildlife viewing.

A visit to the shamba

Shamba? A shamba is like plot of land, a small farm. Recently I accompanied Mama Zaina to visit her shamba. After walking some distance, crossing the river and continuing along the other side, we arrived at her shamba - full of maize plants, green leafy vegetables (such as we are holding in the picture), tomatoes, beans etc. The maize and bean harvest has recently been taken in (on previous visits to her home we helped winnow the beans and strip dried maize off the cob, to later be ground into flour to make ugali).


I continue to enjoy my walks and runs in the surrounding countryside, the sunsets are fantastic. But only two weeks left in this peaceful (except for the squawking of guinea fowl, the 'singing' of the crickets and the croaking of the frogs) home (well, tent). At the end of the month it's time to move down to Mbeya and get stuck into my new job.

Having fun in the kitchen

Cooking! Well, preparing to cook. The other week our class took on a different form as we learned how to prepare some typical Tanzanian dishes. This included killing some chickens. I refrained from doing the dirty deed, but proceeded to pluck, gut and cut one up (as can you can see)! Other food included stew (made with cooking bananas rather than potatoes), cocunut rice (ie. rice cooked in coconut milk), coconut beans, chapatis... all delicious. Took us all morning - you can't just open up a can of beans - no, first you have to sort through the dry beans for bad ones, grit and bugs, then wash them, then boil them for a couple of hours. And that was just for one dish!