In other words...
Life's tough in Africa!
On Monday Marita and Tilla collected me in their company car and with driver Edward at the helm, we were off to Shinyanga for the morning. We wanted to do a spot of shopping. We needed nothing specific; we just wanted to feel what it's like to get off camp, out of town and to the bustling village town 34kms from here.
First, we visited shop called 3M Bazaar. There we bought clothes pegs, brillo pads (to scour pots and pans); I found two "Alice Bands" for Regina's little girls. Marita found some bling bindi-type stickers for her hair!
We drove to Shirima's Supermarket where, the previous week, I 'd seen real yoghurt for sale. Marita and Tilla bought the entire stock - a case of 12 cartons.While they were paying for their purchases, I popped to the shop next door which was owned by Mr Shirima's sister-in-law. I bought a 5litre can of liquid soap for the pottery studio. It was considerably cheaper than in Mwadui. While the lady wrote out a receipt for my books (I'm the pottery financial manager!), Marita and Tilla joined me. They saw several packets of flour called Atta Wheat Flour and asked me to ask the proprietress - who speaks no English - if it was brown meal. It was and they each bought a packet.
Once again Edward drove us down the main street and parked outside the Vodacom building. From there we walked across the road to a haberdashery shop where, last year, we'd bought tablecloths for Christmas. Tilla wanted to buy a kanga/kitenge (Tanzanian designed wrap bordered with Swahili love messages) for Linda's birthday on Wednesday. Marita and I spotted a pile gold-beige cloth with zebras and other African wildlife motifs. When we asked the proprietor the price, he - spotting a good sale here - said one piece costs Tsh5000/US$3 but if we bought five pieces they would cost us Tsh4500 each! We bought them, divided them between us and I used mine for Linda's birthday party at my home on Wednesday.
Diagonally opposite this business, we'd heard of a stationery shop. Once inside, we couldn't stop oo-ing and aah-ing about the variety of goods the Indian owner had on display. Once again I spotted the potential to do pottery shopping. Tilla and I had decided that a desk organizer would be just the thing to keep our many tools and sponges displayed on neat and accessible trays.
Officer Organizer on my desk. We bought one for the loose sponges, cutting wires and tools at pottery
I also found a couple of varieties of carbon paper. We'd run out in the studio, so I bought a folder of separate sheets. I was rather taken aback at the price, but the shopkeeper assured me this particular brand was most superior!
The very expensive carbon paper
From the stationery shop we drove down a side street to the kitchenware shop, called Amazing Grace. Because I've been feeding a little cat who lives inside the shop for the past two-and-a-half years, all the expats, company drivers and our chefs know it as the Paka Shop/Cat shop. While I fed and petted little Joy, Tilla and Marita eagerly scanned the overcrowded shelves .
Joy, the Paka Shop cat!
With an excited squeal, Tilla homed in on the baking shelf; she'd spotted cake pans with a cylinder in the middle. We'd never seen these in Tanzania, so we each bought two! I baked the cakes for Linda's 30th birthday in them.
Cake pan with central cylinder which creates a hole in the final product
The week beforeI'd been to town on business for Grant. I have a very good relationship with Jackson, the owner of the Paka Shop and he often gives me a gift from his shop. Last week he gave me a kitchen ornament : a Latino man with an opening in his back holding several cooking utensils. Although it could be seen as quite kitch, I'm taking it to my SA home to display in my newly refurbished kitchen!
Although kitch, I think this little guy is quite cute!
On that same trip, I spotted a really bling tea set at a large Arabic supermarket. I had to have it. It could also be considered kitch but once again, I actually liked it so I bought it !
My gold-rimmed, ultra-bling teaset!
The morning we three ladies were in town eventually had to end. We came home grubby, sticky and happy as Larry! And laden with all sorts of goodies!
Now, no post would be complete without an update on the pups, day 13. I marvel at the routine Princess, a dog no less, and theoretically still a pup, has established for her litter. When I took her cookies soaked in warm milk into garden yesterday morning, Michael had already come on duty and opened the shed door. She was lying peacefully just outside the door. Inside the pups were fast asleep, after their early morning feed.
Princess having already given the pups breakfast, takes an early morning break
The pups, day 13 having their first sleep of the day
Aaah, this is the life!
Last night I went out into the garden with Princess' evening meal. Zechariah had arrived and Michael was signing off. Princess was in her seventh heaven with both her most favorite persons in the world with her at the same time!
See the adoration in Princess' body language as she gazes up at Zechariah
Michael reaches down and gives Princess a last cuddle for the night
This image should be preserved into, and publicly displayed as a bronze sculpture; I've never before seen grown Tanzanian men showing such affection and kindness for a dog!
As I walked towards the doggy shed, Princess trotted alongside
Once again the pups were settled into an early evening sleep. As I took photos of the cuties, I was fascinated to see Princess step carefully into the hut, and walking - as if on eggshells - between the sleeping pups, she carefully checked each one with a gentle nudge of the nose. Satisfied, she step outside again and went to lie down next to Zachariah's chair ! Once it's dark, he puts her inside the hut and bolts the door
I hope after this lengthy post, I still have readers left! Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday!
I'm linking this post to Our World Tuesday, which you can visit by clicking here