Immaculata is the lady that ‘does’ for Pia and Steve. She had only been working for them for about 2 weeks when I got there. She was lovely and made a fantastic rice and beans (both kidney and mung). She was very keen for Pia and I to visit her house so one afternoon we all set off down the hill to her house. We had to go past the school so our progress caused much discussion and some alarm as we had the dogs with us. As we made our way down the thin track we gathered a small clan of children in our wake. The houses are all built by the families themselves with mud bricks and then sort of rendered with a sort of thinner mud slip. The house was very neat and tidy with various newspaper pages with political stories pasted up on the wall. One wall had a sofa with delicately crocheted and embroidered mats on both the seat and the back. As you can see our entourage didn’t leave once we were inside!

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By the way – this was a good hair day, on other days it was at least four times bigger! Immaculata had left some soda cooling in water so we sat and drank Fanta. Her youngest son came in and showed us what he had been doing at school. Immaculata and her husband, whose name I’ve forgotten, had two older girls who were both at secondary school. This is quite a commitment as you have to pay for secondary education. One was in Tanga and stayed there during term time. The other was at a secondary school up the hill. We all stood outside for photos – the children are Francis and Veronica (pronounced Veronique-a)

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It was while we were there that Pia was offered the chicken – still alive. I think my face was one of abject horror and it was decided that the chicken would appear on Friday for my last meal.

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