February 2024
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Calling from Dar es Salaam

Alice and Louise arrived safely the night before last. The flights were all fine but there was a huge delay at Charles de Gaulle airport where they were driven around for 30 minutes on a grand tour of the reconstruction work only to find themselves deposited at another terminal to wait for another bus to take them back to the correct gate. All this wasted a full hour and since they only had an hour between flights they thought they had missed the plane. However once at the correct security check point it became clear that many people were in the same boat and all of them were also afraid their planes had taken off without them. None of the airport staff explained why there was such a big queue or that their flight were being kept back for them. They eventually got through and were allowed on the plane and had to brave the dirty looks from the other passengers who must have been waiting a full hour in a hot plane for the latecomers. This meant we were two hours late arriving in Nairobi so went straight from one plane to the next and managed to arrive in Dar on time.

Buying a visa at the airport was reasonably straightforward and they were met by two friends Dadi and Leonard who carried their cases to the taxi and escorted them to the Safari Inn. They had forgotten what a noisy place Dar is, but despite this noise of the fan, the roar of the generator, the call to prayers from 5.00 -5.30 am and the stifling heat were soon asleep.

Next day they took a taxi to visit Ngoza and meet her new baby girl, Emmanuella who is tiny, as she was born premature, but very beautiful. Their friend Paulina arrived with her little girl Sarafina and they all had a delicious lunch of grilled fish , rice and coconut peas. Dadi left to buy the bus tickets for Songea so they will all set off by taxi at 5.00 tomorrow morning for the bus station, then  travel the 14 hour bus trip with only the occasional stop for ‘picking herbs’ and a  fifteen minute stop for lunch.

Later today after sending this post they will meet with Rosemary Nyerere for lunch and then once it is cooler after 4,00 o’clock we will take a taxi to somewhere near the sea where the ycan have a nice walk and perhaps buy some goods for resale when they get back home.

 There has just been a shut down of the computers because of a power cut and so the computers are now working off a generator and it was with some relief that Louise discovered that this post has been auto saved in full. The next post will be from Songea Allah willing.

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