Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Some geological history from Mara region

About 20 kilometres before reaching Butiama on the Mwanza - Musoma road, travelers approach these three hills (photo, below): Kihuzu (1,684m) on the left, Makerere Mkubwa in the middle, and Muganzo on the right. The road cuts between Makerere Mkubwa and Muganzo.
Several years ago I met a lecturer from the Geology Department of the University of Dar es Salaam who informed me that one of the two hills on the left side of the road is over half the age of our planet Earth; the trouble is I cannot remember which of the two hills he identified.

I am assuming it is Makerere Mkubwa; I stand to be corrected.

Makere Mkubwa has some interesting geologic history. First, a little earth history: Planet Earth is estimated to be 4.56 billion years old. The African continent consists of various types of rocks, but predominantly five ancient Precambrian cratons: Zimbabwe, West Africa, Kaapvaal, Congo, and Tanzania. A craton is a segment of the continent that has remained tectonically stable and relatively earthquake-free for a long period.

The Precambrian geologic period ranges from 540 to 3.8 billion years, although, as with most science, there is no consensus of this lower limit. Thus it has not been officially recognized by the international scientific body that stamps approval on geologic dates, the International Commission on Stratigraphy. I am just fascinated that every so often I drive past a hill composed of rock material that is at least 540 millions years old and could be a few billion years old.

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Saturday, 15 August 2009

The Mwalimu Nyerere Charity Climb 2009

As with last year, this year I am also combining my climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro with raising funds for charity. This year I am raising funds for Community Alive, an organization based in Musoma that is active in providing help to people affected by AIDS, primarily children.
Community Alive was launched in the mid nineties with the objective of informing youth and their peers on HIV/AIDS and what they can do to protect themselves, but has since evolved into a program that, today, assists people of all age groups affected by AIDS.
Community Alive's assistance to children includes:
  • education support activities (school uniforms, shoes, books and pens)
  • Home and school visits
  • counselling and recreational activities
  • food and medical support for families in need
  • socialisation and psychosocial support
    I would like to appeal to anyone who would like to support Community Alive and the Mwalimu Nyerere Charity Climb 2009 to donate through the following:
Community Alive
P.O. Box 327
Musoma, Tanzania.

Bank Account:
No. 064 - 6000246

Title of Bank Account:
Community Alive

Barclays Bank, Musoma Branch, Tanzania.

Further information on Community Alive can be obtained by writing directly to them at the mailing address provided above or by calling Joseph Musira (Project Manager) at: +255(028)2622430, or through his mobile No.: +255(078)7713 771.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Visitors to Butiama

Before Jaffar Amin visited Butiama in April, his visit, which was organized by the Swahili Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), was preceded by the arrival of some of BBC Swahili Service's big shots, including Solomon Mugera, head of the Swahili Service, Vicky Ntetema, the Tanzania Bureau Chief for the BBC.
Others from the BBC who came to Butiama included anchor Charles Hillary who normally reports from London, Caroline Karobia who is stationed at Nairobi, and a familiar name to BBC Swahili listeners, Eric David Nampesya, BBC's reporter for the Great Lakes Region, top right, with Solomon Mugera.

As an avid radio listener who regularly listens to BBC radio I felt dwarfed by the presence of such big names from the BBC Swahili Service.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Preparing for Kilimanjaro Climb 2009

First the good news: I have finally managed to take into my possession a mountain bike to help me raise my fitness level for the Kilimanjaro Climb in September. I still have to pay my niece for the bike which she bought but has never used although I plan to convince her to donate it to me as her contribution to the Mwalimu Nyerere Charity Climb 2009.
The bad news: the bicycle is in Dar es Salaam, where I have been for the past week while I should have it at Butiama where I would be able to ride up and down Mt. Mtuzu. I have been riding it around Dar es Salaam and have been careful to dodge some of the road hogs of Dar who learn to drive on the road, rather than at a driving school.

Yesterday I met an individual who tells me he used to sell driving licenses at a cost of Sh.150,000 (approximately $US130), complete with driving test certificates and the necessary signed 'official' papers and permits. Some of the individuals to whom he has sold these licenses are drivers of public service vehicles. He would pay about a tenth of his selling price to a middlemen with the necessary connections to the relevant government offices.

Back to Kilimanjaro: I am still undecided whether I should take the bicycle to Butiama or keep it in Dar where I have found it is extremely convenient to use during rush hour and will take you to a destination faster than a vehicle. Which reminds me; I saw someone driving a yellow Lamborghini in the streets of Dar es Salaam two days ago and the only impression I have, considering the snail pace of traffic in Dar is: what a waste of money and horsepower.