Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Final Edition of the Pangani Daily Times

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for all the feedback on this blog/emails etc. We appreciate them :) comments are good too!

Anyways the mood has brightened since our last post and nothing major has gone wrong since! The ferry that was "broken" down on Zanzibar was of course not broken down so with some judicious payment methods we made it to dar es salaam as planned. We stayed at the dar YWCA which was okay and did nothing much of note for 3 days. Dar is nicer than we first realised and has the odd western aspect to it - meaning of course that it has pizza which is great for recovering from gastro...

One incident of amusement that will be exaggerated for years to come was my exchange with a pickpocket. A big scary one too(i.e maybe 50 kilos of scrawny local man). The story is that we were walking past the bus stand and some nice chap aggressively yanks on my shirt and accuses me of standing on his foot. Kate and I begin apologising like mad. All of a sudden I feel a slimy hand dart into my pocket and go for my wallet. With astounding speed i clamp my left hand onto his and shove/perform some crazy ninja move with my right hand. The lout falls down and the people around yell at him. We scurry away before there is any violence etc etc. Wallet saved!!

So after Dar we head to Arusha in the north. This is the town/city where all the westerners visit to go safari/climb kili etc. We were picturing maybe a Queenstown type adventure destination. While I won't deride Arusha it wasn't quite to this level. We saw the UNICTR - tribunal for rwanda which is obviously important. You can tell this in Africa by the quality of the 4WD's they have. This tribunal had white Merc's...

The purpose of this visit to Arusha was to meet with our charity to determine the future of our time here in Tanzania. Kate has been having troubles with her medical registration and despite having done everything we were meant to do we now know it'll take 3+ months, money and effort to fix. I have also been having troubles with my business volunteering in terms of the amount of work actually needed (very little) and the ethically "sub-rigorous" way in which they operate. We took this information to our charity and after some debate agreed that it would be best if we all shook hands and went our separate ways. This is a disappointing blow for our humanitarian intentions here in Tanzania but too bad.

We are now trying to decide how to spend the rest of our time and efforts here in Africa. We are currently planning a bit of travel and then we'll reassess. This travel plan is rather fluid and may involve heading to Malawi, Botswana, Vic Falls and down through Namibia to Capetown. The first step was to head home to good old Pangani and catch up with our friends. We are now doing washing like crazy (except that someone stole our pegs from our washing line) and eating our last Pangani Orange's (best in Tanzania) We'll shortly pack up our gear - except for the Wesley Snipes DVD which we have donated to the local library to file under the section "Quality American Literature," and head to Dar es Salaam again. From there we'll make a proper plan and hopefully execute it like the hard outs we are. After all, we still have zip-off pants and thus must travel!

Kate has taken over!! The blog is falling...

Just wondering if anyone knows of any companies who have money for charity lying around and would like to support an HIV based charity. TAWAHAESS (The team for assisting in the war against HIV AIDS and elimination of social stigma in Pangani) have just lost their German benefactor. They provide home based care, food and nutrition to very poor people with HIV, assist with transport to the hospital for people in the villages to get their antiretrovirals and give counseling to anyone who wants an HIV test. They also do a fair bit of community education. Their running costs are about $500 usd per month. I don't really know where to start looking but if anyone has any ideas that would be great. Unfortunately it costs $$ to set up a website so they don't have one to look at (nor do they have a computer). Cheers.

Righto, take care everyone down under. Talk again soon!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff and Kate...don't give up on your African mission....somewhere, some group of people will be delighted to have your willingness and many more adventures ahead of you and hopefully many more stories to share on your blog!

Am printing your emails and sending them to Grandma and Grandad....he is enjoying your literary skills Jeff! He had his left knee replacement surgery last week and is remarkably well in his recovery....walking round the house and down the street!
Tis late at night...or early inthe morning...and have been clearing away after Tracey's 18th birthday party.....the party goers are tucked up in their beds and now I am enjoying some quiet time after clearing away the mess of party popper and balloons....and what seems like hundreds of RTD bottles!!

Pouring with rain here at present...perfect for the new lawn Tim and I sowed a couple of days ago.
The school holidays are drawing to a close...:-(....
On the national front three peace protesters managed to enter the spy base at waihopai near Blenheim and slashed the big white dome that covers one of the spy embarrassing for the defence, so annoying for Helen and looks like the unlucky three will be heading to prison!
Jayne and Amy are back at Uni, Amy has Law mid-sessionals this week. Jayne is off to Auckland on 12 May for another interview with personnel from the National Bank of Australia for their Graduate programme in investment banking where, if successful, she will spend a year in Sydney or Melbourne learning all the different aspects of investment banking. A far cry from the Chem Honours work she is doing at present .....let's see what happens next as her supervisor wants her to do her PhD! Watch this space!
Good luck you two on where ever your travels take you, our thoughts are with you
Love from us all

Anonymous said...

Hey kids - sorry to hear it didn't work out with Mondo...what a shame! But, sure there's more exciting times ahead and knowing you both you'll be devising a fabulous plan!!! Sent you a newsy email Mullin (hope you get thru it) and also sending you both big hugs. Keep working on your Ninja moves Harper ;) xxx Lox xxx