Home for the month is a wooden bungalow with a wide verandah and two guard dogs, Rafiki and Sasha. Around the house is a big garden with Mango, Lemon, Tangerine, Avocado trees (to name but a few) and pungent and colourful flowers of many varieties, attracting the most colourful birds. Black Kites are abundant and swoop to the ground all around you, they're so common that after a while they cease to draw your gaze upwards. Which is a good thing too because you need your wits about you on the roads where pedestrians are second class citizens and make way for the cars, trucks and motorbikes.
I sometimes wonder if the hidden purpose of a long journey by plane or by train is not to get you to where you’re going but to give you some solid, unbroken thinking and reading time. Moments before leaving for Mwanza I chose a couple of books at random from the bookshelf and found myself so sucked in to one of them that I forgot to be afraid at take-off. The book was ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a classic.
Two. It's a funny word. If you say it often enough it's one of those that loses all meaning. I recently spent some time with my grandson who is learning Welsh. He kept saying 'Die, Die, Die!' to me while simultaneously attacking me with a couple of Paw Patrol figures. I thought it a bit harsh considering I was doing my best to entertain him, but now I realise that 'Dau' is the word for two in Welsh and it sounds exactly like... you get it.
I've packed a lot of brightly coloured things, so I don't stand out in Africa by being beige. Currency obtained (dollars of course), two phones, chargers, small stuffed furry animal and various bits of ironmongery poked into the corners of my suitcase. Sounds dodgy eh, that stuffed animal? Hoping they'll allow it in the hold. I'm trying to get out on the Tiger one last time before leaving, perhaps I'll be able to borrow a small 250cc from Claire once in Mwanza and run up and down some dusty roads scaring chickens. Or maybe there are no chickens in the road? Perhaps they've all crossed over? If so, why?
I don't think that pictures of my packing are actually that interesting, likewise of me eating or sleeping, so instead here's an photo of a slow worm, taken at the weekend in Wales. Apparently neither worm nor snake, it's a lizard. I expect I'll be seeing many more lizards where I'm going..
For now just a short update, I look forward to filling you in on the situation in Mwanza regarding the Pikilily project from the ground on the next blog. Exciting times :-)
My first haul, planes, F clamps, a drill, spare plane blades.
All together this bundle weighs 16 kg. with a few bits of linen I can get them into a suitcase and use one of my 23kg Air Kenya baggage allowances. I guess I'll just have to travel light - my glittery thongs and hairdryer (plus hot brush), several different types of foundation and my Airfix Spitfire model kit for spare evenings will just have to be left off the packing list this time.
There is a serious side to this of course, just go look in your garage. Now, go do it, don't give me any of your excuses, now is all we have. Find a rusty screwdriver an old multimeter or hammer and get in touch with Tool Aid or Tools for Self Reliance if you're in the UK. If you're international, just google 'refurbished tools' for Africa and I'm sure you'll find something similar. It really is a whole lot better than throwing money their way.