Sunday, April 20, 2014

And again!

Hi Bozo, Lindy and mum's blog followers. This is Ambrose with my Sunday post. 

Mum's been ill again. She had a lerapse. I wonder what's a lerapse

Oh what do you say, Unca Shadow? Oh, do you say RELAPSE? And it means she went backwards in her health and got sick again!

She just lay on the bed and she said that Regina was her malaika /angel. I think this is because Regina just keeps caring for her, and  kept the house going AND fed us;  and she does this quietly. I heard her thank Regina for the root ginger (not dad Ginger!) which she had made it into a tea for mum. She drank this and says she feels much better! (She's up today and taking it slow, and says she will be on blogger again soon!)

Meanwhile we kitties just kept our mum company and when she needed space, we slept with Mama Chui/Tiger on our day bed on the veranda. 
 I like to cuddle up to Mama Chui! 

We all have our places on the day bed! Mama Chui even cuddles Teddy!

And oh, she's painting a tray (in her room) with ALL our pictures on it. She kept calling Unca Shadow because he is different to me and Dad Ginger; he has spots and mum had to paint them carefully! 
For more cute pet posts, please click here

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birding therapy

While I was ill last week, Grant took me out several times for a breath of fresh air. Of course, I always had my camera and binos ready! 
 Little Grebe (Dabchick)
 Speckled Mousebird

d'Arnaud's Barbet
The very shy and difficult to capture Slat-coloured Boubou! 

Spotted Palm Thrush
Woodland Kingfisher

I'm linking my post today to Wild Bird Wednesday, kindly hosted by Stewart Monckton. 

I hope you're all having a wonderful week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mwadui Pottery

A bowl  which I made earlier this year

Over the past month, I seemed to be the only lady at pottery. Amanda and Tilla were out on leave and Linda only arrived one day: the day we were in Mwanza! 

I went every Tuesday and Thursday and rolled out an item or three. I made quite a large tea tray onto which I want to paint my three cats' pictures. I also made a large bowl with scalloped edges (this one is going to be painted with a black Siamese cat; I intend to take it out to SA for my friend, Mart in Knysna). I made a meat platter and a large round bowl with quite a high edge. Not sure what I'm going to paint on these two items. I made a smallish scalloped bowl, which while I was using wire-wool on it to neaten the edges, a WDL chef saw as he walked past. He asked how much I would charge him for the bowl once it was painted and fired. I said I would give it to him as a zawadi/gift. He was thrilled and asked if I would paint a rose on it, which I will do!  I made a large "Africa" which, once I've painted the borders and the 55 countries' names on it, I will hang in my lounge here in Mwadui. A few times I was joined by young Wessie whom I also helped to shape his "Africa" and a "Swartwitpens"/ Sable buck. 

As I posted last week, I bisqued these and many other items just before we had the 18-hour power outage, so the products came out of the oven looking good. Now Tilla has returned from SA but as she will be unpacking today, I will have to work on my own again. That is, unless Wessie and Linda arrive. I hope to paint some of my work, but being sick, I don't think I will take anything home on 25th April. 

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday which you can visit by clicking here

Monday, April 14, 2014

A serious seriel killer

Africa at its best!

Sunset over East Africa with a bird (in this case a Marabou Stork) flying across the sinking sun. What could be more beautiful?

I love Africa and feel blessed to be living in beautiful Tanzania for most of the year. The weather is perfect, the people are friendly and helpful and the birds and wildlife make our hobby of wandering through the bush at regular intervals, most enjoyable!

Yet, this summer there has been a dark and sinister lurking and striking out at people right across the board!

Over the past two weeks people in our company have contracted malaria at a rate of knots! First it was Edward Askari's wife; next it was chef Constantine from WDL (not our company, but the Client, yet still close to home). On Friday last week Nestor, a mechanical technician from the Philippines was diagnosed with malaria and had to be hospitalized. That same morning, I 'd seen Dr Leonard and he put me on a course of injections against the disease! 

Meanwhile Johan, the maintenance manager, put himself to bed in the cottage behind our house. By Sunday Grant convinced him to have tests; he did and was diagnosed positive with malaria and put on a course of injections; he went back to work while have this treatment. 

Every day at 12 noon I reported to the hospital for my injections. On Sunday Grant asked me to pop in and see how Nestor was doing. I did and found him pale and weak but being cared for very well by the hospital staff. He was on a glucose drip to combat the nausea that he was experiencing and a drip which contained quinine. I inquired whether he needed any food or drink but he pointed to the mixed juice and several bottles of water on the bedside cabinet. He also said that he had had a small amount of rice (Filipinos love rice)  the night before so he was OK. After chatting with him for a few minutes, I told him I would pop in again the next day. Grant arranged with Chef Paulo to make up a bowl of sliced watermelon and whole small bananas, cover it with cling film and take it up to Nestor in the hospital. I visited Nestor on Monday again and by Tuesday he had been discharged with a clean bill of health. 

No sooner had this expat returned to camp, when Johan woke with terrible nausea and drove himself to the hospital. He was admitted and placed on a drip of glucose and quinine. While Grant had his lunch in the Guest House dining room, I dished a plate of roast meat, rice, vegetables and gravy for Johan. Grant suggested I make up a dessert bowl of fruit salad and ice-cream as well. After lunch we drove up to the hospital to drop off Johan's meal and also see how he was. 

While there, a little lad was crying piteously in a bed up the ward. Once we'd we'd said goodbye to Johan, we walked back up the ward. I stopped beside the bed where the little boy was crying. I asked the bewildered-looking man standing next to the bed,  what the matter was with the boy. He said he'd had an operation and pointed to his right hip. He looked about 12 years old so I surmised he'd had an appendix operation. Nevertheless, the little guy was crying loudly now and throwing his head from side to side. I gently rubbed his arm and spoke quietly to him in Swahili. He stopped long enough to open his eyes, then turned away and started to cry again. I told the man (whom I thought might be his father) to speak to the child quietly, touch him softly and say his name often. He said he would.

When I got outside the ward, Grant was standing in the corridor talking to Dr Leonard and the WDL safety officer, Sixtus . We all chatted a while longer and Grant and I left. Johan was discharged from hospital the next day and by Saturday he was his old self again. 

As you all heard from Ambrose yesterday, I had a relapse (on Wednesday afternoon) and ended up at the doctor again on Saturday. After several tests which proved negative, Dr Leonard said I still had a slight viral infection and needed to rest and take in fluids until I felt better. 

On Sunday I awoke feeling a little groggy but for the first time in ten days,  not at all feverish. I showered, blow-dried my hair, made up, got dressed and waited for Grant. He collected me for a spot of Sunday morning birding.   While we'd stopped for me to photograph a Little Bee-eater, his phone rang. It was Touro, acting Production Manager while Thys was on leave. I heard him tell Touro, "That's fine, Touro, as long as you have everything in order, please take the time to go off." When he finished the conversation I asked where Touro was going. (I always ask questions!) He said Touro's church minister's little son had died of malaria and Touro was off to the funeral. Then Grant told me that the little boy I had spoken to in the hospital had also died! Obviously even before the child had had the operation, he'd felt ill but everyone thought it was due to the appendicitis. Meanwhile he also had malaria which ultimately killed him. A third child also died this week in hospital.

So, sadly, here in Tanzania, East Africa, at present,  malaria seems to be a far worse enemy than HIV. 

I have only just heard that it's Easter Weekend coming up. (there is no commercial hype here in the backwoods, so I was totally unaware that it's almost Easter) For those of you traveling at this time, please do take care on the roads and be safe.

I  wish you all a wonderful week ahead.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Man and Machine

While we were out in the bush, the plant maintenance manager, Johan stopped alongside for a chat. His sunglasses reflected Grant and the vehicle!

For more Weekend Reflections please click here

Hedges Kitty Update

Hi Bozo, Lindy and all mum's friends. This is Ambrose with the news. 

Although mum seemed a bit better in the week, she still didn't get up and move around much. Dad Ginger loves to sleep on mum's feet on her bed! Yesterday our yoomen dad took mum to the hostipal again! She came back after a L O N G time and went to  bed again! I heard our yoomen dad tell Unca Johan that although the lamaria is over, she still has a rivus. 

What's that Unca Shadow? Oh, not a rivus but a virus!

Mum says she'll carry on resting and drink lots of water. Oooh, we kitties have bowls of water all over the house. We like our water, but we will share with mum if she likes!

What's that Unca Shadow? Oh! Mum has her own glass for water. 
This is me, Ambrose cuddling up to Mama Tiger on our day bed on the veranda

Unca Shadow rests on a chair under the dining room table

Dad Ginger rests on the sofa

Mum says hi to everyone. She says she'll be better soon and visit you all on Boggler

Meanwhile we three Tanzanian cats are being very good so that mum can get well again.  

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Friday, April 11, 2014