Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tanzanian Odysseys: African Diary of a Lost Soul - Part 2

Day 3: Road trip to Morogoro
The Hotel International was an accident, at least for us. Thankfully our previous 2 chosen hotels were full before our cab driver, Mushin Ali, decided to take matters into his own hands and transport us to what can only be described, according to the Rough Guide to Tanzania, as an attractive option resembling a ‘giant cuckoo clock.’ This four storey former palace has 20 rooms, which are graced with four-poster beds (complete with box nets). Robert and mine also has a balcony that overlooks a town full of broken coral filled walls, and corrugated roof tops dovetailed with red tile, interspersed with numerous Indian imported Ashok Tree.

As I was showering this morning I came across, that was in hindsight a comedy moment - in truth it was only amusing once I was out of the shower. As I squinted through the shampoo covering my eyes I noticed that the electrics for the hot water were situated 1cm from the pluming of the shower. Now, I’m no plumber or electrician, but this seemed to be a real catch for health and safety me thinks! Suffice to say, I got out pronto!

The jewel in the crown of the hotel though is surely the roof top gazebo, which gives a breathtaking full 360-degree panoramic view of the Stone Town. On a wall to the right of my room a poignant message found its home:

One God and Muhammad the messenger of God
Don’t lose track of yourself
Mujahidina Palestina

Our time though in Zanzibar, and Dar, is now over and we must take the 3-hour drive to Morogoro. As we approach our destination to our left lay the Uluguru Mountain range. This is a strikingly beautiful location with the town nestled at the foot of the granite satellites of the Uluguru. We meet Athman Mgumia, Agriculture Officer Co-ordinator, who tomorrow will take us into the mountains to visit partners who are trying to consolidate the rural communities in all their complexity to continually play a functional role for the betterment in the overall socio-economic environment. The excitement of finally getting to work is marred though by England losing their 3rd six nations game in a row 19-13 to Ireland – even my friend Stocki says they were lucky!

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