Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Enjoying the benefits of the tropics...

Grocery shopping this morning – out the back of a house where a neighbour with a farm on Kilimanjaro sells her wares each Tuesday and Friday. This is definitely one of the advantages of Tanzania, mangos (although not yet in season in Arusha when all the gardens have so many they can't give them away) from the coast are about 35p each, an aubergine and a courgette were too little to price up alone, so with a large handful of spinach thrown in too they all came to 25p. 50p for a big bunch of the small sugar bananas. And the passionfruit, again not yet in season up here, were 8p each. You could end up doing something rather nasty to your insides if you take enjoying the local fruits too much to heart... Kitty and the Mancub were appreciating them at lunch time too, so she really can be persuaded to try something different every now and again (I even got her to admit to enjoying the pizza the other evening – wow!).

So although we've not yet made the most of the wildlife and countryside yet, we are enjoying some of the genuine benefits of the tropics. And the car really looks like it might be ours soon too – I spent the afternoon sending a fundi (mechanic/engineer/handy person who fixes things) to get shiny new tyres and a new radiator fitted. I also confirmed with the bank that the money is on the way out of our account. So with luck and if the bank is efficient at this end the car could be ours by the weekend – and we might be able to whizz off somewhere to enjoy some of the wildlife too. Should it be a day trip up to Arusha NP, or will it still be worth a bigger trip down to Tarangiri now we've had rain for a couple of nights in a row (the animals there disperse into the countryside very quickly once the rains come properly but the concentrations at the end of this drought have apparently been absolutely phenomenal)? Probably we shouldn't start any serious planning until we know if we've actually properly bought the car, but we're just itching to get out and see some beasties!

Now, however, it's an evening in the dark again – the regular Tuesday evening power cut in this area. The drought means there's not been enough water to provide continuous power (Tanzania runs mainly on hydro-electric – very green), so we're officially scheduled in this region for no power between 6pm and 11pm on Tuesday and Saturday evenings, and between 8am and 6pm on Thursday. Let's hope it keeps raining! In addition to the erratic power cuts that is... Which of course means I can't post this until tomorrow. I suspect the cheap fruit and veg don't quite make up for the erratic power situation and other hassles yet, but hopefully once we are mobile things will more than compensate!

1 comment:

  1. Hi folks,
    I'm really enjoying reading these blogs. This entry reminds me of Lebanon, with the power cuts and very cheap seeming vegetables (apart from the mangoes).
    Keep them coming