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April 25th was Africa Malaria Day and good old George Dubbya did a dance with the Kankouran West African Dance Company. I am making no comparisons with the late Boris Yeltsin!


The picture is courtesy of Getty Images. It seems that corporations and countries worldwide are starting to work together to improve the treatment and prevention of Malaria.

Malaria is a real and everyday threat to people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prophylactic drugs are expensive – it cost me over £70 for just over three week’s worth of Malarone. The newly developed ACT‘s (Artemisinin-based combination Therapies) treatment is equally as expensive. The RollBackMalaria partnership is providing a global approach to fighting malaria. In Tanga there is a great deal of development within the hospital grounds funded by the Gates foundation for reasearch into Malaria.


I mentioned before, that I wished that I had taken some photos of the families washing by the rivers. Well fortunately for me Althea already had and she has sent me some of hers.


This is Mama Ade who was one of the health workers at Emau Hill (another photo I didn’t take!). She lived in the house next door to the Women’s Workshop.


They wear such beautiful and colourful clothes it is a real sight to see them all spread out on the rocks to dry near the river.

Welcome back to Clive, Alex, Kizzi and of course Steve and Pia. I’ve heard tales of malaria and earthquakes but will find out properly before writing anything. The staff at Tukae will be taking a holiday during the rainy season and everyone else has returned home. On my final day there, as well as sorting out bags for me to take, Kizzi came down to the Women’s workshop to pick up a couple of kangas. She very kindly offered to model them for me.


Kizzi was one of the two girls teaching English at the primary school in Amani.

All the clothes are of course hand washed. There is no electricity never mind any washing machines. We would often walk past streams and rivers and a family would be sitting there with all their brightly coloured wraps and dresses stretched out on flat rocks, drying in the sunshine. They were a spectacular sight but I felt that it would be an intrusion to take photos of them. I wish I had now but would probably feel the same if I was back there. Anyway once washed and dried clothes need to be ironed. As a keen and enthusiastic non-ironer I found the rigour of the ironing process astonishing, but as Pia explained to me, ironing acts as a safety measure. Apparently little beasties like to crawl into the fabric and either stay there or lay their eggs – ironing destroys all these. I always travel in a long skirt (cos it’s more comfortable!) and once Immaculata had it washed and ironed, it resembled a small block of wood, in fact I think I could have played cricket with it. Anyway, ironing and no electricity hmm? The answer is a charcoal iron – so not a good idea for delicate silks as it has two settings, hot and not.


Gelina dashing away with a smoothing iron – so fast that her hand is a blur. She must have thought I was mad – well how often have you taken a photo of someone ironing?


Gelina with a patient smile.

A short way down the hill from the main site is the Amani Women’s Craft Workshop. There they have three old Singer treddle machines, the type I remember my Mum having. With these they make some fantastic bags, aprons and dolls. Pia has worked really hard with them and the girls produce some super stuff. I’ll post some photos of their products in a few days time. So here are Maria who is in charge with Pia, both modelling aprons on the verandah of the workshop.


The other girls that work there ae Hadija – again modelling an apron.


Vero seen here in action on one of the sewing machines.


Maria again, this time doing a bit of hand sewing.mariastitcing.JPG

Little Baruti is Vero’s son. He is only 5 months old and a little corker and holding – yay a TechDis travel mug.


Finally, we all took turns to look after and entertain him – here Maria is doing a grand job.


Yes yes yes, I know, I’ve loads to do so I’m sitting her writing another post.  I think I’ve decided on the books I’m taking, I’ve got a Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, which I think was made into a movie a couple of years ago; Our Lady of the Forest by David Guterson, he wrote ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ which I thought was fantastic; and finally a Nadine Gordimer book that she got the Nobel prize for Literature call the Burger’s Daughter.   Gosh they all seem a bit worthy, so I’ll probably get some sort of trash from the Airport – well it’s compulsory really.  Ok ok ok, I’m going to do some packing now.

Don’t you just love this shop.  I bought handfuls of stuff this lunchtime and spent all of £32 and that included a coat! That’s it I think for the shopping.  Well apart from stocking up the fridge and freezer for daughter.  Good grief 2 days to go!

Susan’s comment on the previous post has sent me into a bit of a panic. I’ve still got loads of shopping to get. I’ve managed the biggest pot of marmite imaginable for Steve and some nice lightweight cotton trousers, but that’s about it and I’ll be on the train to Gatwick this time next week. I still need a new bag, some canvas shoes, a head torch (for reading) and other stuff. I do have to work next week and will be spending Tuesday and Wednesday in Glasgow so not much opportunity to actually get to the shops. I’ll probably end up in a mad rush next Saturday – situation normal for me.  In fact I may try texting Kev while I’m in Glasgow as a sort of ‘test run’ for while I’m away.

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