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