This needs to be said in an Karen Blixen/Merryl Streep sort of way as she does at the beginning of the film Out of Africa. I did spend a silly amount of time looking for an audio clip of this but gave up with boredom after a while. So, yes I’m going to Africa to visit my brother. I’m not going to do anything terribly adventurous like canoeing down the Zambezi or walking barefoot through the Rift Valley but I am going to see what he does in the East Usambara mountains in Tanzania. He is the Operations Director of a charity there called Tukae, which means ‘Lets be together’ in Kasaamba, the language of the local people.As for the name of this blog – I was telling my favourite cattle rustler, Kevin Hickey ( check out the entry for January 8th) what I’d been buying and said ‘Cotton knickers for Africa’ which he thought sounded like a charity in itself. Well it isn’t, but it did seem like a great name for this blog. I’d been nagging my brother for months to start a blog as a means of raising awareness of what he does and kept posting him links to and . So while not expecting anything like the results these guys get – Hugh at gaping void was the one responsible for starting all the Threshers madness just before Christmas – I’m hoping to raise awareness and lets be honest about this, money for Tukae. So I’ll start by adding my details to the Tukae site and set up a payment for £20 a month, which is actually not a lot but if loads of other people did that, it would mean a significant difference to the work that they are doing there.

I’m only going for a fortnight, so it isn’t going to be a significant trip but hopefully it will be interesting and informative. I intend to rattle on here about preparations and stuff and thanks to James in Southport who gave me loads of ideas of using Google maps or something to indicate where I’m going. While I’m there I won’t be able to post as, there is frequently no electricity and certainly no internet access. I will text back some messages to Kevin, mentioned above and hopefully he can post here. I’m taking my PDA out with me and intend to do some audio recording, writing stuff up for future posts and generally using it to get a feel for the place.