Earlier this week I'd asked Grant for a driver to take me to Shinyanga. I wanted to look for a traditional Tanzanian outfit. Not a traditional, traditional outfit though (I think they're very hot) but a flowing outfit which I'd feel comfortable wearing even in the Western World. Fred took me to a row of shops on the outskirts of town and within ten minutes I'd spotted the outfit I liked. A very bright yellow kaftan with huge floral designs down the front. There was also a matching shawl which you wear folded lengthwise over one shoulder.
Most things you buy in the stalls are "free size" . So the next day, I took my outfit to the local fundi tailor, Mr Cheddy our who is a master at creating and altering garments. I didn't like the idea of wearing an oversized, square-shaped kaftan so once I'd fitted it, Mr Cheddy took measurements, marked the outline in chalk and set to work. The result was a perfectly fitted kaftan with a flowing look. I loved it!
I knew exactly what shoes I would wear with this outfit: my gold high-heels that the shop-owner, Kariem's wife brought me from India a few months ago. As I didn't have a matching purse, I sent a message to Louise who was in Shinyanga that day. I also sent her a photo of my shoes and asked her to look for a bag to match them. Although she and Marita told me later that they visited umpteen stalls and shops before they returned home with the perfect bag!
On Friday morning I arranged my eats on trays, dressed up in my finery; Fred collected me and took me to the Client camp. When I arrived, I saw that Louise had also decided to wear a traditional kaftan. Marita who'd had a special outfit made by the local lady dressmaker, was going to change later.
Together the three of us set out serviettes, cups, plates, glasses and placed African pots with pebble stones, pods and candles on the tables.
Yours Truly bedecked in all the bling and bright colors she could possibly find! I didn't relish wearing headgear, which my house-lady, Regina tells me is called a delia, so I threaded a yellow bandanna through my hair
Soon the ladies began to arrive and the party could begin.
Tilla arrived and greets two ladies already seated
Ladies seated and waiting for proceedings to begin
Company Procurement Manager, Anna, left introduces Marita to one of the ladies
Not only did we socialize together over cups of tea and delicious cakes, but Marita addressed the ladies about projects in the pipeline for the Mwadui community. The first one to be launched in the new year, is a play park for the children. Marita and Anna took a poster depicting the ideas of swings, slides, tyres and sandpits, with a creativity wall and showed it to the ladies. All these items would be created by using recycled goods: tyres; large wooden spools on which electric cable had arrived; tins; wooden boxes; all painted bright colors.
Although it took a little while for the ladies to warm to the proposal, they were soon caught up in the excitement of it all. When Marita told them she'd welcome any ideas from them, several said they'd love to become healthy and fit. I suggested a weekly Line Dancing class, Marita said she'd ask management to repair the existing court in town, and Louise could coach a netball team.
Honorata, seated on Marita's right is the General Manager's secretary
Louise in traditional dress, with Tilla who came as Proudly South African!
Tilla, Jo, Marita and Louise (photo: Louise' Facebook page)
I hope you're all having a good weekend.