There's nothing like an outing to cheer up the Mwadui expat ladies. And what better way to do this than a shopping spree in the nearby African town of Shinyanga! Marieta - wife of the recently appointed Petra Diamonds general manager - arranged a vehicle and driver, loaded up us four ladies. From the minute we drove off it was chatter and laughter all the way!
Our first stop in town was at the kitchen shop, formally known as Amazing Grace, but colloquially called by the South Africans, the Paka* Shop. This is because for the past 22 months I've been feeding a little cat called Joy, which lives in the shop. (*Paka is cat in Swahili)
The proprietor was thrilled to have four Mzungu ladies in his shop at one time and after we'd all made our various purchases, he presented each one of us with a Bob Marley crochet skull cap in Tanzanian colors. We promptly donned the headgear and then of course we wanted a group photo!
Bob Marley sisters, from left: Louise, Amanda, Marieta and moi
(Photo by Edward the driver)
Then we headed into town to look for material to cover cushions for Marieta's garden seats. She didn't find what she wanted, but bought several kangas to take home to SA as gifts for friends. I also spotted lengths of green material with Christmas motives; I bought four pieces to use as tablecloths for our Christmas dinner next month.
Next we walked into "Tailors lane" This little dirt alley speaks for itself. All the tailors and dressmakers sit at their machines and create wonderful garments. While we watched a man measured a customer, drew the pattern required on material with dressmaker's chalk and cut it out.
A tailor cuts out the pattern while the customer watches
A tailor at his craft
The lady dressmakers smile for the camera (Photo Louise Prinsloo)
On the corner of the Tailors' Alley, we stopped at an Indian-owned haberdashery shop. Here Marieta found material with a chicken pattern - she bought a length for her smallish kitchen window.
Edward, our long-suffering driver waits patiently while we make purchases!
(Photo Louise Prinsloo)
It's not often that there's a photo of me because I'm normally behind the camera. But while I was taking photos of the surroundings, Louise took a photo of me!
Louise snaps me as I snap the tailors!
After this we were off to the local nursery where we would have bought the vendor out had we had more space in the Landcruiser!
The local nursery is a welcome shady area after wandering around the hot streets of Shinyanga
We wait in the vehicle as...
...poor Edward loads the many plants in an-already-full vehicle...
...while a cow wanders by!
We also stopped off at a boutique which sells beautiful ladies' and menswear at reasonable prices. I didn't buy anything here but Marieta managed to find three shirts for her husband!
By now it was almost 1pm and we'd been shopping for four hours and were ready for lunch. Earlier on I'd arranged to have snacks at Butiama Hotel which is owned by our friends, Minas and Ruby.
A tasty array of Indian bitings (snacks) produced by Mina's chef. (Marieta seems to have bitten into a very spicy pekora!)
Amanda and I make merry for the camera! (Photo Louise Prinsloo)
Eventually we had had our fill of shopping, visiting and lunching on the town, and headed for home - none the less garrulous, I might add!
The next day, Friday, it was business as usual, with the men going off to the mine while we ladies did our own thing(s) at home.
On Saturday night we all met up at the club again. Early on in the evening, we watched the rugby match between New Zealand and England. NZ won. *sob* Meanwhile, there had been talk of a Karaoke evening that night. I'd never taken part in this type of entertainment but as one of the young men, Brian, took the mic and started to sing South African songs, Marieta, Louise and I ran up behind him and began to "Shoop shoop - do-dah" in support of his performance!
Mwadui ladies' back-up singers!
Swing low sweet chariot! (The Afrikaans equivalent!)
Fynus delivered a fine rendition of a traditional Afrikaans folksong
while we LAAA- LAAAAH'd in the background
Many of my blogger-friends have seen this photo on Face Book.
I can't remember what we sang here but boy, did we have fun!
Being out in the bush, we don't have the lyrics on a screen yet. But with modern technology, the words were soon available on the GM's Smartphone while he, Johan (Caspian Plant Manager) and Grant (Caspian Project Manager) sang with gusto!
(All Karaoke photos by Wessel Prinsloo)
From then onwards the other men came forward and took the mic, delivering their own versions of a variety of songs.
A great night was had by all!
I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday which you can access by clicking here