Sunday, 26 June 2011

All quiet on the southern front

Greetings fellow earthlings, and apologies for the overlong radio silence. Please be assured we are all alive and well and not incarcerated in any buildings, goverment-related or other. It's just been a bit of a busy fortnight!

Mr B was taking part in a conference the week before last. It was, conveniently, here in Arusha. A friend of his from Dar es Salaam, and his wife, were also participating. One way or another, their two girls, aged 6 and 4, ended up spending lots of time with us during the week. They are delighful girls and got on wonderfully with our kids, but what with end of term activities and everything it was quite busy!

 We had a meal out with the whole family on the tuesday, invited them here for a meal on the wednsesday, ended up hosting them overnight on the thursday and the we all headed off to Tarangire National Park on the friday, after a Music Makers session and some catch-up work for Mr B. Just before leaving the house on friday I discovered that th three plant biologists (from the conference) we were meeting up with in Tarangire were coming back with us to spend the night on the saturday (and then on the saturday I discovered that they and Mr B would all be out at Arusha National Park all day Sunday and then staying another night). Lovely people. Nice to get to know them, but all in all rather busy (and obviously our marital communications systems were severely malunctioning). It's also interesting touring a National Park with three committed plant ecologists. Lions in the riverbed? Ahh, who needs to see them - lets go the other way to check out the grasses.... Fortunately we passed a cheetah en route (which they consented to stop for) and the camp was full of elephants on saturday morning, so the kids and I did get a bit of a wildlife fix.

this little one was very excited, running between the other, more sedate, groups of grazing elephants, with it's legs, tail and ears flapping wildly!

view from our tent
With three people in the car with a passion for fire experiments, it transpired that a visit to the current (planned and orchestrated by management) fire in the Park was neccessary. When I commented that the fire was heading towards us, fast, Mr B said gleefully that that was the precise reason for choosing that particular spot - this way we could get a really good look...

this seemed quite close enough to me...

At this point my slightly strangled tone of hysteria finally convince the men it was time to move on.

A wee, tree, coffee and gingerbread stop to recover. How many people can you fit in a Baobab?
Mobile jungle gym? One of a landrovers many uses. Opening beer bottles is another...
Last week Mr B was teaching a course on 'R'  - a statistical program useful, amongst other things, for analysing ecological data. Teaching all day, then revising plans for the next day in the evening, so another busy week. And the kids and I were doing 'animal' week - the first of our themed weeks for the holidays... We investigated the Art Gallery for pictures/sculptures of reptiles and invertebrates (there are LOTS of lions and leopards), touched baby crocodiles at the snake park (and rode camels), played with a friend's pet rabbits and chicks, checked out the tortoises of varying sizes at the German Boma and popped into the pet shop (yes - there is one and we found it!)

So, an eventful couple of weeks. What with us all being in the UK in April, then Mr B being away most of May, returning only to frantically write his course, then attend the conference, then run the course, he hasn't been responding to many emails, for which he apologises. He will be back at the desk tomorrow and for the next several weeks, so do try agan if you need to!

p.s. we've also just had a lovely lazy weekend to get to know each other again. I decided that the kids needed time to re-bond with their father, so I generously stayed in bed till 10.45 on saturday to allow them the time and space they required. Self-sacrificial - that's me alright.


  1. Hurray - you're back!! Love the post by the way. xxx

  2. Loved reading your recap and seeing your pics. You are SuperMum.