Weekly Photo Challenge: Streetlife

In Dar es Salaam Tanzania and on Zanzibar the streets become a place for informal shopping, transport and social gatherings.


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Kanga en Kitenge shop


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Walking Update 18: Progress

Tuesday afternoon and time for our weekly walking date.

The starting point with beautiful antelope peacefully eating



Since my previous update, we progressed to taking the longer route of 3.6km. Still not very far, you might think.  However as this route circles up a hill, down through a wooded area, uphill again then down a very steep incline over rocks and through ditches it is not  an easy stroll. We set out armed with walking sticks to help us over the rocky patches. After all we are not so young anymore!



We saw this fungus growing on a tree stump deep in the wooded area.




The route took us about an hour to complete. I ended up wanting to join this zebra who was having his afternoon siesta on the green lawn near the restaurant

If It Can Be Thought It Can Be Done

If it can be thought it can be done. 

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This quote by E.A. Bucchianeri from the book Brushstroke of a Gadfly, came to mind when I visited the Shanga workshop in Arusha on my recent visit to Tanzania.This workshop for adults with disabilities grew from a small start in 2007 when Saskia Rechsteiner made necklaces for  a Christmas fair in Arusha.  http://shanga.org

The workshop is situated on the Burka Coffee Estate in Arusha Tanzania. Here one can have coffee in the beautiful garden at the River House  and visit the shop selling various items made by the special people in the workshop.


All the products are made from recycled materials and sold  through Shanga Shangaa Ltd., a for profit company which serves to empower the disabled adults  who work in the workshops.

I found the glass workshop most fascinating. Five young adults all with hearing loss and no speech, worked in harmony with one another to produce wine glasses and other products from recycled glass. Each knew their role exactly and communicating with gestures they worked fast and accurately with this difficult medium. We were able to observe them making wine glasses of which they can make up to 200 per day.
I took these photos with their permission  and trust that anyone looking at them will be in awe of the amazing human spirit and power to overcome obstacles if only the  opportunity is created.

We left Shanga with full shopping bags and hearts filled with inspiration by what we saw. Never again will I think I cannot achieve a goal for if it can be  thought it can be done!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Life often causes dust clouds to gather around us filling our lungs and lives with unpleasantness.

How do we cope with it?

I saw these three donkeys standing beside the road shrouded in a cloud of dust from passing vehicles in rural Tanzania, waiting patiently for the dust to pass.  Maybe I can learn from them to wait patiently for the unpleasantness that life deals me to pass before moving on to greener pastures.

What do you think?


The Lady Behind the Veil

She plays coyly with the eager visitor, hiding her majesty and beauty behind a cloud cover for most of the day. She rewards only those who are prepared to get out of bed early enough to see her peeking out from her veil of clouds, or if you are lucky, in the late afternoon just before sunset. Her name is Mount Kilimandjaro also known as mountain of caravans,  roof of Africa, white or snow mountain and shining mountain. She lives three degrees south of the equator on the plains of East Africa where she towers like a lone sentinel over the town of Moshi.

Where is she?

There she is !
IMG_0958 The sight of a single freestanding snow capped mountain was first reported by the missionary John Rebmann in the year 1848. It stands alone in the 756-square-kilometer Kilimanjaro National Park and is the highest mountain in Africa, rising 5,895 m from base to summit. Mount Kilimandjaro is a dormant volcano and forms part of the East African Rift Valley. Kilimandjaro has three distinct volvanic cones of which Kibo is the highest and most wellknown.

There are many legends surrounding this mysterious mountain. It is said  that  Queen Victoria that gave the mountain to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany  as a birthday present, causing  the border between Tanzania and Kenya to be  redrawn to include Kilimandjaro in Tanzanian terrritory. In fact the border was decided upon by negotiations between the two empires resulting in Mombasa being in the British empire and Kilimandjaro in the German.

The chaga people who live in the region saw this glorious mountain to a be the seat of God  and therefore a place not to be approached.They named it the white mountain or shining mountain.The name mountain of caravans is derived from the early Arab traders who use the mountain as a beacon on their travels through the vast interior of the African continent.


It has been my wish to see Kilimandjaro or Kili as she is affectionately known by Tanzanian residents for as long as I can remember. Childhood memories include my dad telling us about the amazing mountain with its snowcapped peaks standing in the middle of the vast African plains and dreaming about one day seeing her for myself.

She was the reason for our visit to the small town of Moshi which nestles at the foot of Mount Kilimandjaro.Moshi grew out of a military camp established by Germany in 1893. The name Moshi means smoke in Kiswahili, referring to the fact that the town is at the base of a volcano or to the clouds that gather around Kilimandjaro.

We arrived at the Kilimandjaro Lodge situated just outside Moshi on a coffee plantation after a slow roadtrip of nine hours due to the many little villages, other traffic and road works we encountered along the way. The lodge is beautiful and possibly the best spot from which to view the veiled lady if and when she reveals herself.  On arrival she was hiding behind her veil of clouds and I could almost not believe that the majestic mountain is just there.

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However when she did make her appearance in the last light of the setting sun, it was a breathtaking and unforgettable sight.

We had supper outside with  Kili providing the perfect back ground.


A beautiful sunrise over the surrounding foothills of Kilimandjaro.

We returned to Dar es Salaam refreshed and rested after a weekend spent walking in the beautiful countryside and visiting the nearby town of Arusha.