Day three at Amani and I’m feeling pretty settled and comfortable here.
The house is lovely, 100 years old or so and a typical sort of colonial style,
windows all around, and a massive terraced garden complete with Avocado trees,
flowering bananas and flame trees. The view down the valley is stunning
although it has been a bit hazy in the distance for the last couple of days.
I tend to wake at about 6.15 as the sun rises over the moutain straight
in front of my window. It is nice and cool at that time, about 24 degress
celsius. Note – It is currently 9.15 am and 28.5 and rising. The house
has electricity though this does fail every so often so there is a good supply
of hurricane lamps by the back door. I have discovered the delights of a
‘bush shower’. This consists of standing in a tub with a large bucket of
warm water in front of you and holding a tin mug. Take the mug, dip it in
the water, pour over the head. Believe me it is blissful! However, my hair,
well what can I say – it doesn’t do Africa! Think Charlie Dimmock with her
finger in the electrical socket – and you may be some way to getting the
idea.

The other night Steve pulled me up for going outside to sit on the step without
a torch. ‘The steps retain the heat and therefore are very inviting to snakes’
– gulp. Then on Thursday evening we were sitting in the garden and I noticed
a rustle in a distant tree – a huge yellow baboon. What a splendid chap
he was and we must have watched him for about an hour. Again Steve, pulled
me up – ‘if they come into the garden you must bring the dogs in’. ‘Why
will they frighten the baboons?’ I asked, ‘ No teh baboons will kill the
dogs, they have two and a half inch canines’ – again – gulp.

Emau Hill where the Tukae project is based is about 7 Km up a very very bumpy
track from here. We’ve been up in the 4 x 4 for the last couple of days
but as Steve has gone back down into Tanga today, Pia and I are going to
walk it – well I hope so. Pia does it all the time, but I’m not sure how
I’ll handle it – it is steep, rocky and will be very hot. Yesterday, we
went down to the river near the project to see African Violets growing wild
– yep this is where they come from. Steve kept picking leaves of various
trees,crushing them and then asking me to smell them and identify. I managed
cinnamon and cloves but failed on immature black peppercorns. In fact I
gathered a bunch of clove leaves and am currently drying them on the step
in an attempt to make some sort of pot pourri. There’s loads I could write
about the project but I think I’ll leave that till I’ve got good old broadband
at home and the luxury of my own laptop.

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