Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My version of the year 2009 in review - May 2009

May 1, 2009

On International Workers' Day two velvet monkeys took turns to groom each other, picking ticks from their furs.

May 6, 2009

The recently-appointed District Commissioner for Musoma district paid a visit to Butiama. In the photo, above, Mr. Godfrey Ngatuni (second from right) with Mrs. Ngatuni to his right.

May 7, 2009

On her first day of a two-day visit, I took geologist Prof. Kazue Tazaki (photo above, 1st right) on a visit to a brick production site at the village of Magorombe, close to Butiama. Prof. Tazaki suggested to the youth to diversify production to clay figurines to sell as souvenirs to tourists.

May 8, 2009

On the second day of her visit we visited artisinal gold miners at Buhemba, about half an hour's drive from Butiama, where I heard for the first time the word 'garimpeiro' from Prof. Tazaki. It is a Portuguese word that means gold prospector and is normally found in English usage to describe Brazilian gold prospectors.

The photo, above, was taken at a mine shaft which the Buhemba garimpeiros told us extends about 200 metres below ground and another 100 metres horizontally. During our visit, they pulled up their colleague who was hoisted up while he sat on a bucket attached to the yellow nylon rope.

May 23, 2009

I attended the live music performance of Hisia Band at the Jolly Club in Dar es Salaam. Band leader and proprietor, the multi talented Abdul Salvador, normally plays the keyboard but he picked up the bass guitar for a few of the songs that evening.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My version of the year 2009 in review - April

April 5, 2009

In preparation for the visit of Idi Amin's son, Jaffar, to Butiama, a team of BBC reporters descended on Butiama and as Vicky Ntetema (above, left), Tanzania bureau chief for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) filed a report to London...

Eric Nampesya (above, middle), the BBC's Great Lakes correspondent and Charles Hilary (left) of the BBC Swahili Service exchanged arguments about which of their teams, Liverpool (Eric's) or Arsenal (Charles') was the better team.

April 7, 2009

Teaching students from Queens University in Kingston Canada laid out cash in neat rows to facilitate counting before I drove with the cash to Mwanza to handover to the tour operator whose driver drove them for a game viewing safari that included the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Teaching students from Queens University visit Butiama every year for their teacher's training practical assignment. They have taught at Machochwe Secondary School, and Butiama Secondary School.

Later that day, the BBC's Charles Hilary (left) interviewed Chief Japhet Wanzagi (right) as part of the BBC Swahili Service's radio programs to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tanzania - Uganda war.

April 8, 2009

I squeezed myself between the Canadian teaching students for a photograph just before they left for their game viewing tour of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

April 9, 2009

I hosted Jaffar Amin (left) at Butiama. Following some negative comments about his visit to Butiama, I defended my decision to host him at Butiama in this article.

April 12, 2009


A beautiful tree succumbed to the forces of nature after a rainstorm. I was disappointed; those who seek firewood were not. In a matter of days, the tree was gone and was fueling the cooking of meals.

April 18, 2009

I paid a visit to the Carmelite Missionary Sisters at Bunda, an hour's drive from Butiama, and after I left I contemplated one of two possibilities: that I am either exceptionally tall; or there is a height restriction in the entry requirements to the Carmelite order.

April 25, 2009

Students from Nyegina Secondary School in Mara region visited Butiama and Mwalimu Nyerere's library.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My version of the year 2009 in review - March

March 24, 2009.

I peeked into the cistern of an old toilet in need of repairs to find out if it was repairable. Fortunately it was. I bought the parts and fixed the toilet, but am yet to solve the persistent water shortage to supply the toilet.

March 25, 2009.
Under the cultural tourism initiative of Mara Region, I joined students from Queens University in Kingston, Canada, who visit Butiama every year for their teacher's training practical assignments, in climbing Mt. Chamuriyo - the mountain with the highest peak in Mara Region.

Before the climb, we visited the premises of the local medicine man and the visitors were kind to pose in front of my camera.

We later climbed to the peak, where the ruins of a German Fortress from the German Colonial period (pre-1918) still stand.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My version of the year 2009 in review - February

February 3, 2009

Sarah Kisolo from Uganda visited the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Library at Butiama, accompanied by colleagues from Kenya, and Tanzania. She said she plans to bring family members to visit Butiama.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My version of the year 2009 in review - January

In a series of posts beginning today, I share part of my collection of photographs taken during the year 2009.

January 10, 2009.
Elvis Ogina behind his camera at Butiama.
Elvis Ogina, a photographer from Drum Magazine in Nairobi visited Butiama. He was sent to photograph me after I was interviewed by Associate Editor Thomas Maneno for an interview featured on the magazine.

He hopes to work as an independent photographer one day, possibly as a fashion photographer. That, he said, is where the money is.

January 14, 2009.
L-R, Professor Sarungi, daughter Maria, and I at the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Library at Butiama. Standing behind is Benjamin Masatu, the library's curator.
Professor Philemon Sarungi, former surgeon at Tanzania's main hospital, Muhimbili, and also a former minister who has held various portfolios in the Tanzanian government, visited Butiama with his daughter, Maria. He is now member of parliament for Rorya constituency in Tarime District, close to Butiama.

January 30, 2009.
I stand sandwiched between the team of Chinese doctors and their guests, as I hold on to my gift of Chinese tea.
Members of the Chinese Medical contingent at Mara Regional Hospital at Musoma, visited Butiama with colleagues who work at Dodoma. They have a custom of bringing along presents, including Chinese herbal tea.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Eve with a twist

If someone asked me where I would like to be on New Year's Eve, I would have said, my bedroom. That's where I have always commemorated the New Year for the past few years. Pressed to name an exotic place, I would probably have mentioned Uhuru Peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

What happened this New Year's Eve, I would not have imagined. I had to travel from Butiama to Dar es Salaam on Thursday through a flight from Mwanza that normally takes off at around 2000hrs and arrives in Dar before midnight. However, before I left Butiama for the two-hour drive to Mwanza, I was informed that the Air Tanzania flight was delayed and would leave Mwanza at 2300hrs. And so it was.

An hour into the flight and about 30 seconds before the stroke of midnight, Captain Karim interrupted a quiet but chilled cabin half-filled to capacity and began to speak, but I could not make much sense of what he said having just woken up from a nap. But I caught his mention of the fact that we had left Mwanza in the year 2009 and would arrive at Dar es Salaam in the year 2010.

I realize there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of travelers who take a few hours and two years between two destinations, but it felt unique to experience it myself.

The Captain then began a countdown to the New Year. A weeks ago if someone suggested I would be in a plane on New Year's Eve at 20,000ft above Tanzania, I would have said that was an interesting dream.

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