It's 5pm East African time and I've struggled since dawn to upload photos and get a post onto my blog! My Internet (USB modem) is so very, very slow when it works, which is not at all! I have had Internet connection for a total of about 15 minutes today. However, before it kicks out again, let me get on with my post!
As you know, we left the Highlands of Kenya and flew to Tanzania arriving on Friday last week. When flying from South Africa to Kenya or Ethiopia, the airlines always fly over the stunningly beautiful and awesomely huge Mt Kilimanjaro. I have taken photos of this monolith from the plane before but never ever have we been so close and managed to get such clear photos. Not only that, the visibility was so good that I also got a number of good shots of the lesser known, but as challenging, Mt Meru.
Until the end of 2009, I had a blogger friend, Lynda (we met up twice in South Africa) who lived on a farm in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. She could see the world famous mountain from her front veranda and Mt Meru from her back door. It was through Lynda that I first started blogging and also met many of you: Penny, (Canada) Lori, (USA) Catherine, (Holland/Ireland) Diane (France), Peggy (Ireland) Jackie (Egypt), Graham (Namibia) and many, many more.
Lynda, who lives in South Africa now, has had a very difficult year and has not restarted her blog. Nevertheless, I never fly over Kilimanjaro without thinking of this sweet, young lady. In fact when I arrived in Dar, I sent her a text message telling her where I was and we had a lovely long chat.
Mt Kilimanjaro is 5895m high, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding volcanic mountain in the world. Mt Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the fifth highest in Africa. Both are great tourist attractions in this country
We spent Wednesday night in Dar in a beautiful hotel overlooking the harbour
On Thursday evening we flew to Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania and spent the night in a hotel on the shores of Lake Victoria. Above is Grant and a new production manager, Marnitz whom we've known since his teens. He and his brother and sister lived on camp in Guinea, West Africa, next door to us with their parents. His father is the one who convinced Grant to move to Tanzania!
On Friday we were driven down to the mine site and camp. The roads (tarred) are fantastic so the two hour trip went without a hitch. A short gravel road leads towards the mine
The entrance to the diamond mines. I will be writing a great deal about this new venture and adventyure in our lives!
And finally, our home and garden on camp
The house is 60 years old and needs to be equipped for a woman's use! I am the first woman to live here in many years and at present the only woman on camp. I 'm fast making friends with the Tanzanian ladies who clean our homes and the guest house and cook our meals. My Swahili is getting good practice! The garden is full of birds and the first one I photographed is a resident Grey-headed Kingfisher.
So if my Internet would play ball, and stay on permanently, I could say: Another tough day in Africa. (PS that one's for you, Fred!)