Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Kenya + Tanzania

Njia Panda, Karatu

Monday 21st March

Njia Panda road and fields
Njia Panda primary school
mud and sun
We visited the Iraqw village of Njia Panda, near the town of Karatu.

The rain had turned the rich red soil into a viscous mud that stuck inches thick onto our shoes, so even a short walk to visit the local primary school was slow going.

At the school the headmistress talked to us about the school. Our local guide Paulo was on the school committee and that seemed to have some clout, as they'd managed to get a previous head teacher removed. We also visited a classroom, where the children sang us a song and told us what they wanted to be when they grew up (nearly all professional jobs of one kind or another, though surely a good number of them are going to end up as farmers). In Tanzania primary education is in Swahili and secondary schooling in English. (Janet was working with an education NGO, so she was particularly curious about our school visits.)

We walked back to the centre of the village, where we visited some people, then past a large brickworks to our local guide Paulo's house. It had cleared by now and the sun was rather intense, so we were most thankful to be able to go inside and sit down.

His wife and a neighbour fed us ugali, which is an East African staple consisting of almost solid maize porridge, with slightly spicy diced vegetables. This was really good and we could happily have eaten more of that (and in fact we asked if we could have that for dinner one night).

Paulo and his family and neighbours put on a traditional music and dance performance for us.

chickens hiding in the shade
an Iraqw couple
Paulo playing an Iraqw lute

While we'd been doing all this, Muba had driven back to last night's campsite and moved the tents etc. to our new campsite. Kudu Lodge was probably the nicest of our campsites in Tanzania, with a green lawn for the tents and lovely gardens.

camping at Kudu Lodge
We got there early, so we had the afternoon to laze around and relax. The lodge had an Internet cafe where Camilla checked her email and I just browsed news (I don't trust random computers with passwords to anything). I watched birds in the bushes, sat and discussed politics with Brian and Janet, and finished the Inspector Morse novel I was reading.

Next: Olduvai Gorge
Previous: Lake Manyara: two
Up: Kenya + Tanzania

Kenya + Tanzania << Travelogues << Danny Yee