Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rainy season has begun

After a long dry spell of weather, the rainy season in Tanzania has started. While the local farmers and people like me with new gardens, are thrilled, the mining world is less than enthralled with the slippery road condition in the pits. Grant seems to be in the pit - and when home - on the phone, more than normal, checking that his production managers, supervisors and machine operators are staying safe yet managing to produce the work expected of them!

This is a photo at the rear of our large, outer garden taken yesterday morning as the heavens opened on Mwadui!

On Wednesdays I always go to the market. William, my driver collects me at 8am but yesterday morning Grant phoned me to say that William had not arrived at work and he was not answering his phone. I have a standing arrangement for him to take me to Shinyanga so I was stumped for a while. Then I had a brainwave:  I sent my friend, Nsia a message and asked if I could ask her husband Rob for a big favor. She said to go ahead. Rob works from home in between traveling the length and breadth of Tanzania for business. Fortunately he was not busy and when I asked him to take me to Shinyanga he said he'd be at my house within five minutes.

Of course, with downpours of rain for the past five days, the market was a quagmire! Not the tidiest or most hygienic of places in dry conditions, yesterday I slipped and slid my way through the stalls making my purchases. I explained to each vendor that as my driver was not with me, could they deliver the vegetables to the car which I pointed out to them in the street. .The ladies who sell me cabbages, green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, chillies, eggplants, fresh fish, etc all carried the produce to the vehicle where Rob was waiting. 

For the purchasing of [20kg] potatoes, two large pumpkins,   four watermelons, four paw-paws (papayas), a dozen oranges, a dozen apples, two pineapples, five bunches of small bananas, (for the Indians who say they cannot stomach the large variety) and a bunch of large bananas for the South Africans who don't eat the small bananas (!) and two kilograms of dried red beans, I seconded a gentleman to help me get it all to the car  (Once again, I pointed out the vehicle to him and he carried each large bag out while I continued with my shopping. I told him where I'd be next and within minutes he'd be standing beside me waiting for the next packets)
 A rather slippery manner of buying your fruit and vegetables!

Within forty minutes I had completed my market shopping and was back in the car with Rob. He then took me to a small supermarket where I buy Magando (curd/plain yoghurt) which the Indian expats eat with their meals and fresh brown bread for yours truly.  (BTW I've been told by my friends that I spoil the men with all these different special foodstuffs!) 

Next we stopped off at the kitchen appliance shop where I've been supplying food for the owner's cat. This little feline has turned into an excellent mouser and keeps his shop rodent-free.  I have, over the months, convinced him that the cat - being locked in the shop permanently - needs a supplementary diet of tinned cat food, dry kibbles, small dried fish and water. I supply all the food and it seems as though he and his staff are feeding little Joy in my absence. While I'm out on leave, I leave food with Amanda and she and hubby, Andre go once a week to check on Joy!
 The owner's wife, Condeliza poses with Joy the cat! 

Our last port of call was to buy the weekly groceries at Serina SupermarketRob's friend, Kariem owns this small, but well- stocked shop and if I ask him for an item not found on the shelves, he goes all out to import it for me. 

By 11.20 am we drove into the Guest House driveway where Askari Edward and Madu the gardener unloaded the produce and groceries and carried them into the stores. Chef Paul and Regina ensured it was all unpacked into fridges, freezers and onto the shelves.  

Last night at the club, Grant thanked Rob profusely for helping me out. Rob, in turn, said to Grant that he was amazed how I just breezed through the market without being nervous, managing to get good prices and to top it all, with people assisting me to carry the produce to the car. All in a day's work I say! LOL! 

Grant told me that William phoned him after lunch yesterday to say that he'd had domestic problems and would not be at work! All I can say, thank goodness for Rob's help.  I managed to get my Wednesday work done as today, Thursday I'm doing pottery with Amanda and Tilla .   

I hope you're all safe and well after the Hurricane Sandy.  


  1. I enjoyed this post. Your first outdoor photo looks a lot like here. We've had a mudslide about an hour up the freeway and a few houses slide into the mud. I understand we will be getting more rain. Earlier on the weekend and again the other day the far north coast had significant earthquakes whilst the east coast is getting hit hard by Sandy. So much devastation so I'm grateful to hear all of you are safe and I am safe, and I pray for those affected. Love and hugs. xx

  2. And I thought shopping at WalMart was tough. You've got it down. Nice to get all that help. Enjoy the rains.

  3. No stopping you, Mrs Organiser. Well done under difficult conditions. I doubt I could shop for a load of miners even from a supermarket with car park. Tropical downpours are inhibiting.

  4. JO, you are so organized. I am amazed at how much shopping you have to do for the men at the mine. I am sure they all appreciate what your do for them. Great post! Have a lovely day!

  5. I'm afraid to say, Jo, rain has come to Spain as well! Sheets of it!
    Well done on your very quick and fruit-fill/ed shopping expedition.
    love and hugs your longing sister, Rose xoxox

  6. Wow! Sounds like hard work Jo!
    Hope William sorts out his problems!

  7. I agree with Rob and even more ! I imagine you wear boots to do this shopping for an army ! I only thought while reading that they all brought your supplies to the wrong car, lol !
    Looking at your garden picture, I feel home !

  8. It seems to me Jo, that your way of getting things done works so well, because you obviously heed a few old proverbs, like 'as you call into the forest, so it echoes back' and 'one hand washes the other'.

    I'm slowly getting better but a steady diet of pain killers is certainly not to be recommended.

    Hugs and Blessings to you my friend.

  9. Jo, you have the gifts of perseverance, overcoming and organization! That rain and mud was quite an obstacle to get through. Bravo for your persistence!


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