Almost a year ago we were packing up and getting ready to board our 8600km flight from Heathrow to Mwanza and now we have moved again! This time it is a little shorter in distance – in the housing reshuffle that happens each academic year with various staff movements we decided that despite the lovely balcony and roof terrace, friends in other flats and Ed that we would request a move to the other housing compound the school owns. Anyone interested in looking on google earth/maps the coordinates are 2°30’51.10″S, 32°54’30.71″E . You can just copy and paste into the search bar and it will take you straight there.
The main reasons for moving were that we now have our own little garden (where we have already constructed a veggie patch), it is much cooler than the 3rd floor flat (can vouch that hot air (not heat Naomi states) rises), hopefully quieter with no local nightclub and no large church nearby, and something you wouldn’t think about in the West: it is on a much better power line meaning there will hopefully be less power cuts! I did manage to catch a nice portrait of one of the Black Kites that would use our roof/balcony as a viewing spot before we left.
It was a little dark and dated when we got the keys – a funny yellow colour on the walls and the curtains were a bit manky so we decided to give a new lick of paint and Naomi took on the task of making us some curtains. We did discover through this that (as expected) the quality of Tanzanian paint is not quite up to western standards (despite the Goldstar name) and 2 of the walls took 3 coats and 2 others 4 coats, due to this we went through about 30 litres of paint for our living room/kitchen. As far as curtains go we were able to borrow a sewing machine to make them (we both had a go but my lines were a little more wonky than Naomi’s). We reckon the combination of the white walls and the new colourful curtains really make a big difference in making the room look both warm and homely – for some reason after completing the painting the white walls drew me in to stare at them in awe…!
As far as material goes we had great fun choosing this – there are so many different shops in town to peruse and we discovered a few new back alleys filled with material, photo frames, remote control cars and probably lots more! We went with a couple of materials that may be 60/70s throwbacks in the UK but seem to work here, and there is always the possibility that you may actually see someone walking along the street dressed in your curtains!
We also got our seats covered so that they match the curtains but left this to the pros to make. I will have to refrain from releasing photos of our place yet however as it is still rather messy with bags and cases unpacked from the move and the veggie patch needs a wheelbarrow of cow manure to become productive.
The new place also comes with a selection of pets – 2 dogs ,3 cats and a few tortoises. The cats and dogs definitely don’t get on and try to avoid each other although we have already had an incident where one of the cats had to scarper up a cupboard (via a tray of paint…) to avoid being eaten! Our new dogs are Macey (mother of Ed) and Zambezi.
Finally, things are a bit crazy here today with Eid-ul-Fitr (عيد الفطر) to celebrate the end of fasting in Ramadhan. I think there are 3 days of celebrations and feasts which may mean there are public holidays Monday and Tuesday but no-one seems to actually know!