Mtwara: March 26
Update Update I am going to have a house of my own Maybe this coming week!
But there is much to report from Phillip�s house. The frogs are in � yes in the bathroom but not in the toilet! And they seem to have a bit of an identity crisis! Oh dear.
They are intent on climbing the walls like their distant cousins the geckos, whose responsibility it is to rid the house of mosquitoes. And these indoor frogs have extraordinary markings � really quite beautiful. The other night at dinner in a really posh establishment, the gentlemen, after a few Safari Bia, got into a lengthy, in-depth conversation about the need to preserve these frogs, which the Kenyan environmentalist in the crowd insists is actually a toad, because they are an almost extinct species of breast-feeding toads! Who knew! Now in the morning we take them very gently outside to join their singing brethren in the field.
And now Phillip has a hired an �askari� ie a personal house guard. Before Joseph could begin to work, Phillip had to supply a bed and a bow and arrow. So now Joseph, the Askari, is hard at work outside on the porch listening to the radio but still has no second arrow for his bow. Maybe this week! In part it is because Phillip has received his motorbike, his piki-piki, that the Askari is now necessary. However, due to security concerns for said piki-piki, Phillip has been told that he must keep it parked in the living room for safe-keeping. Quite an addition to the interior d�cor!
Meanwhile, Mr. Joseph has taken on the lawn care as his task. He has his �panga�, a kind of machete thing with a right-angled turn at the bottom, with which he slices through the endless growth of tall grasses. The neighbours are beginning to be a little uneasy because apparently, the tall grasses harbour snakes! I�ve never seen one and neither has Joseph here.
And on to my house! It is a very small 2-bedroom establishment; Government issue Teacher�s House in the Teachers� College Compound � House Numba Moja (Number 1) which means that everyone else in the compound has to pass by my front door. In a horticultural move to enhance the environment, all the bushes (my privacy barrier) have been cut right down to their trunks. I am assured they grow very quickly and much fuller. Meanwhile, I think I will make curtains.
On first viewing, I thought that I could never live there. It was dark and dingy and not very clean. In rode the �White Hats� from VSO Dar es Salaam and Presto� The mosquito nets on the windows have been replaced and ALL the walls have been painted white. A little like a hospital you say?�
I prefer to think of my new home as a canvass for a work in progress. I bought wonderful fabric at the Market to cover all the cushions, the foam slabs that will be my sofa, my chairs and my bed. Fabrics are not quite as accessible here. They�re spread through many different shops rather than all hung out in the open as they were in Mozambique. I WILL find them.
Meanwhile, Phillip continues to be most gracious. Maybe it helps that he is not feeling very well, sleeps a little more, and therefore doesn�t see me as being in his space as much. He resents having a cold in a climate where the temp. never drops below 25C and the humidity today is 90%.
Soooooo � this is my shopping week! I will buy a fridge, a stove thing called a Baby Belling which is an oven with 2 electric burners on top � and of course dishes and cutlery and buckets and a broom and sheets and towels and pots and Toilet Paper and J-cloths and an electric kettle and a T-Fal frying pan and tea towels and laundry soap (doubles for washing dishes when you have them)� and. And -I�ll let you know when I get (a) home.
Cheers to all. Soon Love K