We are at the coast after a long (8 hour!) but fascinating drive yesterday. We had everything from beautiful new road to incredibly rough, unfinished and very bumpy long sections, all in blazing sun and heat. True desert with red, red earth. The colours are startling. Amazing that people live and work here; there is much work being done on the stretch between Moshi and Tanga on the coast and men wielding pick axes were digging away in the blazing noonday sun… no shade or coverage of any kind in sight and dust, endless dust everywhere. I kept having visions of Dante’s Inferno. What impossibly hard work and for not much more than $8,000 tsh ($6 / day), according to our driver, Emanuel. At one point Emanuel, detoured off the blocked highway right through the heart of a market, twisting and turning through the narrow pedestrian streets… much to the consternation of the many locals. I was just aiming the camera out the window and firing off photos as blindly and quickly as possible; we’ll see what results. Hopefully some interesting snapshots of life unfolding. And always the traffic “police” laying in wait along the highway, a vivid, ubiquitous illustration of the problems of corruption endemic to Tanzania; one we got to experience first-hand too many times during our travels.







But now we are here; we boarded the ferry around 4:30 pm yesterday near Pangani to cross the river, along with many fully veiled women and lots of children – boys and girls – coming home from school. It is much more Muslim here, although apparently not generally fundamentalist as illustrated by the girls coming home from school and the girl Steph chatted to on the ferry who wants to be a doctor.. After the 15 minute crossing, we drove another 30 minutes or so to this remote tropical paradise at Emanyani. A quick dive into the irresistible Indian Ocean and Kili-time. Needless to say, it wasn’t long after a lovely fish curry dinner that we all crashed to the sound of the surf and the rustling palms.

Our last couple of days at Kilema were full as always; Dolly and Fi spent time in hospital, the CTC during TB day, “gynie” day which saw 40+ women screened, and doing an education session after morning reporti (Fi).







The kids (along with me, Steph, and Karia and Rory (the two young men from Victoria) delivered computers and helped teach some Word skills at Efati Vocational School, where we were warmly received and served ugali for lunch. On Wednesday we taught at the kindergarten; as it turned out, it was the first day for the 80 kindys and it was all a bit chaotic but lots of fun. Sista split them into two groups of 40 and we took one group while three German girls who didn’t speak a word of Swahili took the other group. Lockie and the girls were great!






! In the afternoon, Steph and I headed down to the small village of Marangu to bank the remainder of the school fees for students and have a meeting with Anna Nyaki, a doctor formerly at the CTC now working for CACHA, who is trying to get a home visit program up and running. Over a beer and egg and chips at the Kibo, we discussed the practicalities of the program; interestingly a large number of the very elderly home-bound had passed away last year, which underscored the need for some palliative services, although not as much HIV palliative as was expected. As with any program, there are many hugely expensive, challenging logistics – not least, funding in general, the cost of a car if the CACHA vehicle can’t be fixed (it was in an accident and is in the shop), staff if someone is sick or leaves… the list goes on and on. The car is critical; villages where people are home-bound are remote and access is so difficult. Roads are indescribably twisty, bumpy, potholed and seemingly impassable (although people do!); it can take 45+ minutes to travel 10 km. So we’ll see. Steph has the proposal and we will tweak it enough so they can take it out into the local community and see what kind of response they get.






Thursday morning Lauren, Lockie and Solana attended Standard 7 (our .grade 7 equivalent) at nearby Kitchalioni School while we packed up and said our goodbyes. We hired a cab to take us all to Moshi, with a quick stop in Himo at the CACHA office… would you believe he might be the most careful, slowest taxi driver in Tanzania? He travelled the whole way at or below the speed limit, wouldn’t pass and wouldn’t talk on the phone while driving. Go figure! It took almost an hour to Moshi from Himo (and this is a crazy fast paved road where drivers are insane – two lanes that morph into three when someone decides to pass at 120 km/hr. We never thought we’d see it, but it is possible to be too careful! 🙂








We spent our last day on the coast snorkeling out at a marine reserve (such as they are here as people still fish illegally both with nets and dynamite) on a tiny island called Maziwe. It is a breeding ground for green turtles; a species that returns to the place they were born to lay eggs. It was once forested but since it was literally razed between 1978-81, it is a totally sandy spot and it now gets completely covered by water at high tide. This has the effect of killing all the turtle eggs so it has significantly impacted the population. Our snorkeling guide. Kirsten, a German ex-pat, helped start up a project that partners with locals from the village who do much of the work ( They literally move the clutches of eggs (up to 150 in a group) to a place just down the beach from Emayani where they have had an 80% success rate in hatching and making their way the 100 yards or so to the sea. Only about 1 in 1000 actually survive their juvenile state – predators abound – but those that do return in about 10 years although the females don’t begin laying eggs until they are between 20 – 30. All fascinating and, as with everything here, endlessly complex! How does one negotiate the short-term gain with long term preservation. A question that exists in many different contexts everywhere, not just Tanzania.





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