Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Fun-filled Week

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



  1. She is a darling dog, Jo. I gather from your remark that Tanzanian men do not have dogs as pets. It's nice that Princess has worked her way into his heart. Deb

  2. i love michael's and zachariah's devotion to princess and hers to them! so sweet!

    sounds like you enjoyed your time at the market. the bundt cake pan was a good find. :)

  3. Such a sweetheart she is and I agree with Tex, I,too, love Michael's and Zachariah's devotion to her!! I do love those markets!! Hope you have a great week, Jo! Give those puppies a hug from me!!

  4. OK, I stayed to the very end. You sound like a bunch of children at a nickel & dime store let loose with 50c in their pocket.
    Love all those puppies and Princess is such good mom.

  5. Looks like you all had a great time shopping --and you obviously got some great items. Sometimes it is just fun to get away and do something different. I love the tea set...

    Glad Princess (who is a very good mother) is doing well --and all of the babies are doing well also... TERRIFIC.


  6. I enjoyed reading your post. The excitement of the shopping trip oozed through the words. The love of the pups and Princess is also lovely to see.

  7. I have been so busy lately that I haven't had much time to read blogs and have started to feel guilty about it. The puppies are adorable.

  8. Now I realize even more how life is in Africa, all things we find here everywhere and they are so normal to us that we don't even pay attention anymore, you are so happy to find them ! What a great shopping day !
    Princess looks very good in her mother job and the puppies grow !

  9. Jo, I am glad to stay till the end. The end included my favorite pups and Princess. She is a sweetheart, it would be hard not to love her.. What a fun time shopping, lots of goodies too. Thanks for sharing your day, enjoy the week ahead!

  10. I am still here and you know i loved ALL the pup update... thanks for that, i was worried we would have to wait another day. LOL
    your bling tea set is beautiful and great idea on the organzier...i had forgotten about carbon paper and have not seen any since about 1969, i think that is the last time i used it... glad you had a fun day with friends and found lots of things needed and not so needed

  11. The puppies are adorable!!:) Great post!

  12. I'm exhausted after all that shopping and like your 'kitch' choices. That Princess is a really smart Mom.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo