New Blog!

If you've enjoyed reading about my experiences in Tanzania here, check out the new blog I've started on Wordpress as of November, 2017. It's called "Back to Tanzania" and you can read it here. All new adventures in Tanzania from an older, wiser, more experienced expat.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Staying at the Bottom of Kilimanjaro

K2 and I visited Moshi on Sunday. Moshi is the town closest to Mt. Kilimanjaro. We passed through quickly in 2006 on our tour coming and going from the mountain, but didn't really see much. We got an early start, then stopped for chapati (yes, the Indian flat bread, there're lots of Indian Tanzanians) and chai at a roadside restaurant. The dead spider in the sink outside the ladies' room at this restaurant was impressive for sheer size. I washed my hands over it, because it was dead after all, but it kinda freaked me out!

Traffic police stopped us along the highway. Here in Tanzania, being a traffic policeman (or woman) is basically a platform for extorting small payments from passing motorists to supplement your low salary. The police officer was quite pleasant and checked K2's license and the required insurance stickers and fire extinguisher. The car (borrowed from a friend of K2's) was missing one sticker. So the police officer asked K2 to get out of the car, then walked with him to stand behind the car. A second officer joined them. The second officer was a fellow member of K2's Nyakyusa tribe, and knew K2 from seeing him on this road so often coming and going from Kilimanjaro. So, still all pleasant and in good spirits, they told K2, "We are very hungry." Which is code for, "Give us a few shillings so we can buy breakfast." K2 paid them about 3 or 4 dollars, then got back in the car. The first officer, still very pleasant, stuck his head through the driver's window to say goodbye to me, and made some joke that led K2 to say, "So you are proposing marriage to her?" And to me, "Be careful, he's a Maasai." So I said, "Maasai have one more than one wife. That's not good for an American woman." The officer said, "I promise you will be the only one." Then we all parted ways laughing and in a good mood.

A bit farther up the highway, the clouds suddenly cleared from Kilimanjaro, and we had the rare treat of a view of the mountain.

Before we reached Moshi, K2 pointed out a road heading up toward one of the park gates at the base of the mountain, and asked if I wanted to see it. We followed a dirt road up through a series of villages, eventually ending at the park gate. On the way up, K2 related a story of the people in this area being at war with the people across a valley. The chief of this area died, and the warriors extended a (malicious) invitation to the other side, saying all the warriors should gather because they were ready now to make a peace agreement. But they ambushed the visitors, killing all of them. This happened in the late 1800's, but is only starting to be forgiven now. Many of the older houses have doors facing away from the road, because they built them to face away from the enemy. This story is almost the same as one we heard on the island of Mafia three years ago. I was struck again by the power of story telling and how the dramatic pace and the scary elements are so much the same around the world. (I say struck again, because last year we heard ghost stories associated with prehistoric rock paintings that were just like American ghost stories).

We kept passing people standing by the road who extended a hand palm up, as if begging, and made dramatic, beseeching faces to us. K2 laughed and said, "They are asking for a ride." I asked him if he usually picked people up and he said he does when he's alone. So I said I didn't mind if he wanted to give people rides. We picked up a series of all different kinds of folks. First was a nicely dressed older lady in a good mood. She rode only a half mile or so to a large Catholic church, then headed into mass. Next, a very quiet, younger woman carrying a baby who rode for about a mile. Then a group of three older ladies decked out in beautiful African style dresses and head wraps, also on their way to church. They filled up the back seat and their exuberant spirit filled up the whole car and left me feeling happy even after they got out. All the way up this road, we drove through and around crowds of people, mostly on their way to and from various churches. K2 tells me these are people of the Chagga tribe, and that they love to spend weekends with their families in the villages. Everybody was really friendly, entertained to see a mzungu in a car coming up the road.

We reached the park gate, one of the Kilimanjaro trailheads, to find three park rangers who all know K2 from his work as a mountain guide. One was eager to practice his English with me, and we had quite a conversation. He asked me what I was doing in Tanzania, and I said I was hoping to find work as a porter on Kilimanjaro. Understand that these porters carry 50-pound loads on their heads up a mountain I could barely summit with just a day pack! The ranger took a minute to realize I was joking, and had quite a stunned expression on his face at the thought of a 50-year-old American woman working as a porter! Hey, as long as they don't give me the job of cleaning and carrying the camp toilet, I should be fine, right....?

Driving back down, we picked up three young men who rode all the way into Moshi. They pointed out a spot and informed us it was the place where all the ambushed warriors from the other side of the valley had been buried.

We had a delicious Indian lunch at a restaurant in Moshi, then drove through town. There's an extensive neighborhood of gracious large homes inside walled compounds, mostly occupied by foreigners. The town was really quiet, because all of the Chagga people were up in the hills hanging out with their families.

While we were in Moshi, K2's friend Happiness called just to say hello. It turned out she, also a Chagga, was spending the weekend with her family up in the hills along another dirt road, and she invited us to come visit when she heard we were in Moshi. So, another long drive up a horrible dirt road, with a few interim phone calls to check our course. Eventually, we found Happiness and her family. I had met her in 2006 when she was the camp manager at a safari camp where our tour group stayed the night before we went to Kilimanjaro. I remembered her, and she said she remembered me, but maybe she was just being polite. She drove us around the hills a bit in her 4-wheel drive pickup, and showed us the best view of Kilimanjaro -- but it was totally enshrouded in clouds now. We came out at an opening with two concrete water tanks. The caretaker was so happy to have visitors stop by that he hauled out a ladder and let us climb to the top and open a lid to see the water.

Then back to the house of Happiness' parents, where I asked if they'd like me to take a family photo. Her father ran inside to change into a better shirt, and then we assembled the group.

Happiness is in the center back in the white blouse, holding her baby, Princess. Her son, Emmanuel is in the center front in the cool shades.

When we headed back down the hill, Happiness and a friend caught a ride to visit her auntie. As we arrived at the auntie's tiny wooden house, Happiness recalled that she was brewing a batch of banana beer and told me that it's such a treasured tradition of the Chagga people, that I absolutely could not leave without tasting it. I told her I don't drink alcohol, but she didn't really care. She told me it was only a day and a half old, so it wouldn't be alcohol yet. Her aunt brought out a big plastic cup of it. It's made from cooking bananas and millet together and is light yellow and thick. It actually didn't taste too bad. It was sour, and I could taste both the bananas and the millet and maybe some yeast. And I didn't' get sick the next day, so that's a bonus! (I only took a couple of good sips.)

Happiness, me, and Auntie. "Hmmm, an interesting hint of millet."

They're laughing because I just said, "Sijalewa bado." (I'm not drunk yet.) I only know how to say that because the word for "I'm drunk" is only one letter different from the word for "I understand."

Driving back down, we picked up three boys, classmates in the fourth grade and gave them a ride all the way down to the main road. I couldn't follow most of the conversation, in Swahili, but K2 was telling them some story that had them laughing uproariously all the way. On the way out, we had a lovely view of the Pare Mountains off in the distance.

Pare Mountains

K2 had told his friend we'd return the car at 4:00. At 2:30, we knew we didn't have enough time, but headed up to Happiness's place anyway. We were just leaving Moshi at 5:00, with at least a 90-minute drive to go. Poor Ernest didn't get his car back until about 7:30. At least this time when K2 was outrageously late, I got to be with him having fun instead of waiting for him back at Kundayo Apartments!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Safari Again

Last Sunday, K2 and I went on safari to Arusha National Park, an easy day trip from Arusha. We hired a guide and a Land Rover and I paid the foreigner's park entrance fee of $35, while K2 paid the resident's entrance fee of about $1.29. The guide is supposed to have a pre-loaded credit card from one specific bank in Arusha to pay the party's entrance fees. Our guide didn't get to loading the card, so it was a 30-minute argument to get the ranger to let us pay in cash. I forked over US dollars, because it would have been even harder to get them to accept Tanzanian shillings from a foreigner. Very strange customer service model,  because they really really want foreigners to visit the parks and view the wildlife. Anyway, we eventually got into the Park....

Arusha National Park is small. It has lots of open forest of short trees, a few areas of savanna, and a bit of rain forest. It includes a crater and several small lakes. We were there on a cool, cloudy day, but it never quite rained on us. The roads were muddy, though. At one really muddy spot, we passed a Land Rover full of local Tanzanian ladies wearing dresses (hey, why not? You don't really get out of the car except to eat lunch...). Our guide made a joke in Swahili to their guide that at least if he got stuck, all those "mamas" could get out and push. He got a big laugh.

We did not see as many animals as in Tarangire and Lake Manyara, but considering this was a quick day-trip-with-a-picnic-and-home-by-5:00, it was pretty amazing. We saw giraffes, cape buffalo, zebras, warthogs, baboons, flamingos, blue monkeys, and a couple of bush bucks off in the distance.

 I just think it's way cool to see their necks sticking up above the canopy!

 Cape buffalo in the foreground, warthogs behind them, and zebras all the way in the background.


Baby baboon...awww!

This park is known for colobus monkeys, though, and that's what I was really hoping to see. They are black and white with lush, long fur and look like long-limbed skunks perching in the trees. As we drove into the first little bit of rain forest, our guide slowed way down and was scanning the trees and muttering, "Where are you today?" We drove out of the forest, and I thought maybe we would miss the colobus monkeys that day. But on the way to the picnic area, we passed through another bit of forest and found them!

Colobus monkey hanging upside down and watching me through the open roof of the Land Rover

Two adults with an all-white baby in the middle. The guide said he's a very young one, and will change color as he gets older.

Love the long, fluffy tail...

Moomela Lakes

The clouds almost clearing off Mt. Meru. 

Mt. Meru's summit is over 15,000'. It's a popular climb, and many tourists consider it a warm-up for climbing the bigger Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340'). K2's been to both summits numerous times. He says Meru is much steeper than Kilimanjaro, and really difficult, but a shorter hike of 3 days instead of anywhere from 4 to 9 on Kilimanjaro. He's almost convinced me and Anna, the British receptionist here at Kundayo Apartments, to climb Meru. The trailhead is in Arusha National Park.

Hammerkopf. This bird shuffles its feet in the mud at the bottom of puddles to stir up critters, which it seizes and eats when they surface. A favored food is frogs.

This picture is for Cynthia T! I hope your computer screen is big enough for you to see the back legs of the unfortunate frog hanging out of the beak...

Waterbuck, male and female.

Gray-crowned cranes, juvenile and adult

Giraffes wandering outside the park boundary

A herd of Cape Buffalo.

They smell like cows...

...but they're reputed to be a lot meaner.

A small flock of greater flamingos on a really stinky, sulfur-ish lake. Greaters are more white than pink, but their leg were bright pink.

Weren't the baboons good guys in "The Lion King"? Because this one looks like some kind of demon ape...

OK, here's one that's not as scary...

We came across another couple of colobus monkeys, eating leaves right next to the road, and seemingly oblivious to us

The white fur on the back drapes down almost like a cape

A last pass through the savanna area called "Little Serengeti" on our way out of the park. Cape buffalo and giraffes. There're probably some warthogs in there somewhere!

 This young zebra was following this young giraffe who was following its mother who had just crossed the road in front of us.

They stood here and watched us for several minutes.

Then they continued on to cross the road and disappear into the bush...

Kwaheri (good bye), Arusha National Park.

I've posted a link to an album in Snapfish of about 75 photos of Arusha National Park. You can click on it in the right hand column.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Immigration Laws and Good Manners

I've been hearing the rumor for a few years now that Canada's immigration laws are easier than the US's, and that sometimes when an American marries a foreigner, they end up both immigrating to Canada because of the easy immigration policy. Turns out it's not true! Over the past week, we had a wedding at Kundayo Apartments of a Canadian woman to a Tanzanian man. She worked here for a year back in 2006 and fell in love with a local. They've been engaged for two years, and finally got married last Thursday. Since then, they've been scurrying around among various government offices assembling documents they will need to submit as part of a visa application for the Tanzanian husband to move to Canada. On Monday, after being married for a week and a half, the wife is returning alone to Canada to begin the visa application process, which they expect to take a year or longer! Oh well, there's always New Zealand, I guess...

The bride's parents were my next door neighbors for a week, and I quite enjoyed their company. They smoked a lot out on the porch, but I just closed all the windows and doors as soon as I saw them approaching. They really like their new son-in-law and spent two days with his 8-year-old daughter, who bonded with them very quickly. On their attempted return to Canada, they made it to Amsterdam just ahead of the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland that has shut down air traffic in northern Europe. They've been stranded in the airport for over 48 hours, and airport officials are saying it could be a few days more! By email to their daughter, they report that the airport has provided army cots for people to sleep, free sandwiches, and free internet. They sounded pretty upbeat, especially considering they didn't put any clean clothes in their carry-on, since they were just on the way home.

As for my own immigration trials and tribulations, I am seriously considering staying here for a year and putting our visa application on hold for the time being. It seems likely that I can get a volunteer permit, which is a visa that would let me stay for a year. We're going to start looking for a house for me to rent, and I'm looking for ways to tie in with the expatriate community here. Nothing definite yet, but I'll have to decide one way or the other by June. During my entire 25-year Forest Service career, I always chafed under the requirement of getting back to the office on Monday and always wished I could stay away longer. Well, now I can! So I'm thinking maybe I will!

I have ATM ($) access again! My neighbor, Zelma mailed my replacement ATM card to me 27 days ago, and it finally arrived! The instructions for activating it specified that I call from my home phone. So I went into my Wells Fargo internet account page and changed my home phone to my American cell phone number. Then I waited 24 hours, on the theory that the change would have to be in place for a bit. Then I called from my American cell phone and held my breath. I was really expecting I'd have to call the international help number and plead my case and answer a million questions about my account, but no! It was just an automated line and they activated the card. This morning I went to the ATM where I lost the last card, but the card slot was blocked...maybe my old card is still in there from when I lost it during the blackout a month ago! But at the second ATM I tried, the money slid right out into my hand! Yeah!

A random sample of interesting first names here that sound odd to me as a native speaker of English:
Exorbitant-the doctor I saw for my ear infection (and whom I need to see again, because my ears hurt again).
Magnificent- safari guide who took the Canadians to Arusha National Park.
Happiness - a friend of K2's who loaned us her truck.
Modest - a (male) lawyer at a reputable Arusha law firm.

Good manners in Tanzania seem very complicated to me. I am working on not being so left-handed. Because it turns out this is one of those countries where the left hand is more for bathroom-type chores and it's just not to be used for some things. It's not great to eat left-handed when we're eating with our fingers, but it's barely OK, because I'm a foreigner. It's really insulting to give or receive something with the left hand. I keep extending my left hand halfway with money, then remembering, switching the money to my right hand, and passing it on.

Also, I occasionally, unintentionally say rude things to people because I'm trying to use Swahili, but I don't' know enough words.  When K2 and I were eating dinner at a little neighborhood pub, the waitress took a liking to me and they weren't  very busy so we invited her to sit down with us for awhile. K2 ordered grilled cow small intestine as an appetizer. This falls into my category of, "I'm not a Peace Corps Volunteer anymore. I don't have to eat that." The waitress (who doesn't speak English) of course urged me to have some. I said in Swahili that I didn't want to eat it because I'm from America. By which I meant that it's a food I'm not accustomed to. But which came across as Americans are too good to eat something like that. K2 immediately turned to me and hissed, "Don't say that!" I was mortified when he explained. He then explained to the waitress what I'd REALLY meant to say, and that smoothed it over. She came back later and had chicken with us, so it was OK. Oh, and she and K2 didn't like the intestine either. It wasn't cleaned well enough, so they made a few jokes about "poop" and gave the rest to a stray dog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Sunday Morning Walk

I walked up through the village above Kundayo Apartments Sunday morning. Sundays are not as quiet here as at home, mostly because the Christian churches all mount loudspeakers on their roofs and broadcast their services. So whether you go to church or not, you'll hear the music and some preaching in Swahili! I passed by one small church that was packed. The whole congregation was on their feet singing this rollicking, cheerful Tanzanian gospel-style music that's so fun it's almost like a rock concert. I felt so tempted to slip into the back row and be surrounded by the music and feeling, but I was just too shy. I wasn't dressed well enough, and I was afraid everybody would notice the mzungu and it might be disruptive.

Small neighborhood church--the building on the right. You can just see the cross and loudspeakers on the roof.

I passed several nicely-dressed women in bright African prints hustling their Bible-carrying children down the road, late to church. People I passed were in a good mood, and everyone I smiled at smiled back. I had several brief Swahili conversations with people, who were uniformly delighted to hear me speak Swahili. I was able to go a couple of sentences further into the conversations than last week, so although I still know hardly anything, I do think I'm learning bit by bit. Some people I meet speak to me in English. The extent of the conversation is usually, "Good morning. How are you? I am fine." I used to talk to them in Swahili, but K2 told me they want to practice English so I should oblige them. So now I answer in English. Two young Maasai men walked past me and said, in English, "How are you, mzungu?" So I said, "I am fine. How are you, Maasai?" They paused for a beat, while they processed what I'd said, then laughed uproariously as they walked on by me.

"How are you, Maasai?"

A few scenes from my walk through the neighborhood

Buying candy

K2 went back to the dentist, finally, and she drilled the hole in his tooth a bit deeper to hold the filling more securely and replaced the filling (third time's a charm, I hope). When we went out for lunch, K2 ordered a cold soda, which he couldn't drink before, due to temperature sensitivity. Whenever you order water or soda here, they ask, "baridi au moto?" Cold or hot? By hot, they mean room temperature. I speculate this is because so many people have untreated dental problems and prefer not to drink cold drinks. I say that, because after K2 had fillings put in, several of his coworkers were quizzing him about it and wondering if they should give it a try, too.

K2 has started a grand tour of Arusha neighborhoods to help me understand the city better. It has about two hundred thousand population and is quite spread out. We're mostly focusing on neighborhoods where wazungu (white people) live. Not all neighborhoods are safe for wazungu. A few days ago, we drove all around Njiro. Many diplomats, government ministers, and UN employees live in one section of Njiro which has beautiful, huge, stately homes behind high walls. The streets are lined with hedges and trees and security guards. We went inside two of the smallest houses there which are currently available for rent. They were modest, but pretty nice and almost western style. The landlord is asking $1,000 US monthly rent, so no bargains in that part of Njiro! Although K2 says if he had been there alone, the asking price would have been lower. We drove through more modest parts of Njiro and saw some smaller, but really nice houses, just from the outside. It had rained hard the day before, and the dirt roads were full of lakes. In a couple of places, we ran into really slick mud and had to turn back. K2 really four-wheels it in his Toyota Corolla. I'm continually amazed at the places he can get that car in and out of.

Sunday afternoon, we drove through an area of more modest houses built by the government's National Housing Corporation and sold to private citizens at discount prices. Rents in that area are around 200,000 to 300,000 Tanzanian shillings, which is about $175 to $250 US per month. K2's car was waiting at the "fundi" (technician) in this neighborhood, to have the alternator replaced. He spends so much time there with his Corolla that he's almost like family. The fundi's adult daughter Cecilia rode along with us since she knows the neighborhood, and she took us in to meet her mother-in-law and see one house she has for rent. 

K2 borrowed a friend's pickup with 4WD, which was really good, because our next neighborhood was Upper Sakina, which has many nice houses, but it's up in the hills and the road is horrendous. I couldn't imagine having to drive up there to get home every day!

Upper Sakina

In the course of our wanderings, we came across the Obama Bar. The Coke sign of the light-skinned, wavy-haired woman looking so satisfied by her Coke "baridi" is ubiquitous in Arusha. Every single bar and restaurant has that Coke sign.

I am extending my Swahili lessons to two hours. Mr. Solomon added a second student a couple of weeks ago, Roman, an Austrian university student volunteering here. Roman's just starting Swahili, so the lessons together aren't useful for me. I asked Mr. Solomon to split us out, so I can continue at the more "advanced" level, and he agreed, but asked me to attend Roman's portion of the lesson too, so we can converse.

Last Friday at my Swahili lesson, three young women who were my students last year came by to see me. Two of them were my favorites and I was so happy to see them. Beatrice, who could speak English fairly well last year, but was shy about it, is not working or studying now, and seemed to have forgotten most of her English. Gertrude and a third student (whose name I can't remember, I'm embarrassed to admit) were both really quiet in class and didn't know that much English. But they are both working now as servers in the cafeteria at a college for students from several African countries. They use English at work and were both speaking so well! After the lesson, I was riding home on a crowded dala dala,when a young woman standing up inside the door said, "Madam Barbara!" Another of last year's students! How fun!

Me and beautiful Beatrice at last year's English class

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Safari Njema!

"Safari njema," means "have a good trip." "Safari is the Swahili word for journey, and also for travel in the verb form. K2 and I took a two-day safari over Easter weekend and visited Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks. We went with Restoration Safaris, and had a really fun guide/driver, Sam, who hauled us around in a giant Land Cruiser with a pop-up roof to allow for wildlife spotting from above.

We drove about two hours into the heart of Maasai country. All along the way, we saw scattered Maasai villages, and Maasai people dressed in traditional red and blue robes working fields with hand tools and herding goats and cattle and walking along the highway.

Here's a link to an album in Snapfish of photos I took in a Maasai village in a 2006 visit to Tanzania:

We reached Tarangire National Park mid-morning. It was raining hard in Arusha and along the way, but not in the Park. We had a lovely, cool day with occasional showers. Tours here take the form of wildlife drives, in which the driver cruises a series of dirt roads and visits certain spots where he can expect to find animals for his clients to marvel at. When two or more Land Rovers pass, there's a brief pause while the guides exuberantly greet each other and divulge (in Swahili, so the clients don't know what they're saying) where the animals are today. Tarangire is savanna with scattered acacia and baobab trees. The air has a spicy rosemary and thyme scent. Now, in rainy season, the grass is lush, green, and about three feet high. While beautiful, this makes it hard to spot wildlife. The predators are hiding in the grass, and some of the prey leave the Park and go to short-grass areas where they can see what's going on. Still, we saw lots of animals! It was awesome!

Giraffe (left) and Baobab (right).

Yellow Throated Francolin
Water Buck

Water Bucks resting on the river bank

The beautiful green of the long rains and the beautiful long neck of the giraffe.

A beautiful kingfisher. I can't remember the species--Kathy P., if you're reading this, I'm sorry. I've asked K2 to bring me one of his wildlife guidebooks, at which point I'll look up this, as well as some things in the Snapfish album I'm putting together, and fill in the details.


Impala again--very elegant, even when chewing grass

Young elephant grazing--he'd smash the grass on top of his head, then put it in his mouth

Lots of ear flapping. My theory is he was trying to swat away the horrible biting flies that were everywhere. 

The flies swarmed our Land Cruiser whenever we stopped. K2 took my Buff (a stretchy, handkerchief-fabric tube thingy) and was swatting furiously at them. They bit both K2 and Sam a lot, but hardly touched me. K2 and Sam developed the theory that the flies don't recognize white people as having blood to spare, because we are so pale. Then we passed a Land Rover with several white people sticking out through the roof, all of whom were furiously swatting flies. K2 and Sam immediately turned to me and demanded to know my secret. I told them, "Mdudu hawapendi mimi kwa sebabu nakuwa na damu chachu." I botched the last two words and K2 had to tell me what they really were. But my meaning is, "Insects don't like me because I have sour blood." It's true at home, too, with mosquitoes and those horrible midges on Antelope Island in the spring.


wart hog

Dik dik--the smallest antelope, only about 18" tall

The lunch stop gave me a chance to go into the bathroom (which was surprisingly clean and nice) and drop my pants to look for the three dead flies who had crawled up inside my pant legs and made it halfway up my thighs before I felt them and smashed them through my pants, leaving big round blood spots (or whatever fluid is inside flies) on my pants and something disgusting on my skin that I was eager to brush off.


Maasai souvenir shops on the way out of the Park

We left the Park in late afternoon and ran the gauntlet of souvenir shops selling Maasai jewelry and crafts along the Park entry road. I asked for one stop and bought two bracelets (very similar to the six I have at home from previous trips).

We drove to MigungaTented Camp, about halfway between the two parks to spend the night. Migunga means yellow barked acacia. The camp is set in an open grove of these beautiful, lacy-leafed trees and is just lovely. The tents are fancy, pitched on wood platforms with porches and thatched roofs. Each tent has its own bathroom with a flush toilet, a sink, a shower, and hot water. And electric lights! Vervet monkeys run through the trees around the tents. After dark, we heard bush babies yelling all around our tent. They're primates, lemur-like, so-called because they sound like babies crying. All night there was a chorus of insect and animal sounds. The starting point was a background wall of frogs repeating a two-note call, then various insects and birds intermittently added all different noises. I was reading my Kindle under the mosquito net with a small book light clipped to it. Some enormous-sounding moth was battering its wings against the outside of the net trying to get at the light. I never could see it, but I'm thinking Mothra, that monster-moth from the Godzilla movies. Next morning for breakfast the restaurant served brewed coffee, not instant! I really didn't want to leave...

The dining room at Migunga Tented Camp

Souvenir shops selling tinga-tinga paintings, another tourist staple in Tanzania, along the way to Lake Manyara National Park.

We headed out to Lake Manyara National Park next. Manyara has one area of savanna, and a lot of beautiful rain forest, as well as a portion of huge Lake Manyara within its borders. Off in the distance, you see the escarpment that is part of the Great Rift Valley. Another great day of spotting animals. Sam was really good at finding them for us.

Heading into the rain forest

European, or yellow-billed storks

Baboons are plentiful in the Park. At the entry gate, you have to roll up all the windows before leaving the Land Cruiser for the lengthy permit process with the rangers, or the baboons will search your car for food.

Blue Monkey

Silver Cheeked Hornbill

The hippo pond

Out in the savanna, zebras

Zebra matakos (a vulgar Swahili word for butts)

Giraffes lying down--they still stick up pretty far...

Baboons with babies

Giraffe with baby

We saw a couple of groups touring the Park by dala dala. Looks like this one has a Facebook page.

Drinking giraffe

Nile monitor

Banded mongoose...mongeese...mongooses?

I forgot the name of this lizard, too, but it's in that book that K2 has, too...

Giraffe and Lake Manyara

Giraffe and flamingos and Lake Manyara--that's them in the pink, broken line low in the water there. Although Lake Manyara is known for its flamingos, you usually can't get any closer than this.

I've posted pictures that will link you to Snapfish albums of about 85 photos each, one for Tarangire and one for Manyara, in the right side column of this page. Although Snapfish makes you sign in with a password and email address, their policy is not to use that information for anything other than letting the album owner (me) see who's viewed the album. If you are receiving individual posts through e-mail, I think you won't see the right side column, and will have to sign into the website to see those linked photos.