Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Friday, 31 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 26 May

In preparation for my fifth upcoming Mt. Kilimanjaro climb from June 3 to 9, I began to wear my menacing-looking pair of mountain hiking boots that have seen service on Mt. Kilimanjaro a few times. I put it in the same category as the truck with attitude.
These boots remain unused for most of the year and so I find it necessary to 'break' them a few weeks before the commencement of the climb.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

My version of the year 2012 in review: 20 May

Having forced my laptop to serve me way past its retirement age, I was forced to find a replacement. Or so I thought.

I walked into a shop in Dar es Salaam and asked for a "notebook." I meant to ask for a "netbook" but did not know the difference at the time. The teen-aged salesgirl realized I did not know the difference and instead of helping me along to spend at her shop, she made some customer unfriendly comments. To say she was disgusted by my ignorance is an understatement.
My ignorance steered my out of the shop and to the next shop where a more accommodating salesman sold me a netbook.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 19 May

Just before midday, teachers and students from Musoma's Utalii College paid a visit to Butiama as part of
the training for the students.

Two hours later, Mrs. Maggie Mlengeya (left) and colleagues from Arusha also visited Butiama and took the guided tour organised by the Butiama Cultural Tourism Enterprise (BCTE).

Oher posts in this 2012 review series:

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

40 Tourism undergraduate scholarships offered at Saint Augustine's University

Mwanza's St. Augistine University has introduced the Abraham Scholarships Program to students for the Tourism and Hospitality Management Degree Program.

The scholarship will cover tuition and dormitory fees only. Applicants are expected to meet the following conditions:
  1. Be accepted as a student in the BScT program.
  2. Fill out the special application form.
  3. Write a brief autobiography explaining an interest in becoming a tourism professional.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation from a religious leader [such as a priest, sister, Brother, minister, or imam], a teacher and a parent.
  5. Be personally interviewed.
Link to the application form:

More details on the Abraham Scholarships Program from SAUT here:

My version of the year 2012 in review: 16 May

From the ever changing skyline of Dar es Salaam, I watched the canvas paint image of the ever
changing colours, shades, and tones of Butiama's sunset.

Other posts from this 2012 review series:

My version of the year 2012 in review: 30 April

I fixed an appointment to meet someone at the top of the Peacock Hotel along Bibi Titi Street in Dar es
Salaam and caught a glimpse of the changing skyline of a section of Tanzania's capital city.

Other post in this 2012 review series:

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 29 April

I found myself in one of my favourite spots in Dar es Salaam: the ferry crossing to the Kigamboni area located south of Tanzania's capital.

As I crossed to Kigamboni on another ferry, MV Kigamboni carried passengers and vehicles back to the city.

I returned to the city in the evening and managed to capture in the following two images reflections of the lights of part of Dar es Salaam's skyline.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Free eBook: Learn to read minds

I recently stumbled upon this eBook by author William Walker, Learn to Read Minds: Practical Mind-Reading and I believed I had at last found the means to discover what some people say about me behind my back. I was mistaken. Mind reading proponents claim it is possible to acquire slightly different, but nevertheless remarkable abilities.

The author attempts to demonstrate in a series of gradual steps how a "suggestor" - a person who projects a thought or image - can transmit a thought or image to a "receiver", or person who receives the transmitted thought pattern or image, only by means of what is also known as telepathy or thought transference and "without the medium of words, or any other visible means of communication."
Reporting on some experiments, the author reveals how this process enables a blindfolded "receiver" to discover objects in rooms or words in books that are transmitted in this manner by the "suggestor" or "suggestors."

I thought the experiments provided rather compelling evidence although some scholars discredit claims that it is possible to transfer thoughts or images.

Here's the link to the free Android app download version:

You may also like:

My version of the year 2012 in review: 28 April

After our plane landed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam I noticed that the aircraft
next to us was getting a wheel replacement. I thought it was fortunate they noticed the puncture before it took off.

Other posts from this 2012 review series:

You may also like:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 26 April

These flowers made a lasting impression on me on the walkway in front of the gazebo that forms part of the

former residence of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere at Mwitongo, Butiama.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Monday, 13 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 15 April

It seemed like the entire clan of the yellow-beaked hawks took to the air today above Mwitongo, in Butiama.
I suspected there was a dead animal in the vicinity.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Le's travels: Morocco

Kilimanjaro Club member Le Huynh, a native of Vietnam, is a globetrotter and has traveled to the farthest corners of Earth. He normally sends reports of his travels, this time from the Morocco.

Dear friends,        Although Istanbul has been often cited as a shining example of cross culture where "East meets West" has given amazingly diverse result, for a true example of antiquity melting pot, the Amazigh meaning "Free people or Freeman" in the North Western region of Africa, part of present day Morocco, has no equal.
        Perhaps a distant relative of the ancient Egyptians, they were joined by Mediterranean anglers and Saharan horse-breeders around 250 B.C., the Phoenicians around 800 B.C., then the East Africans around 500 B.C.  By the time the Romans arrived in the 4th century, unable to characterize this multi-cultural milieu, they simply casted these people as "Berbers" meaning barbarians, a typical Roman imperialistic reaction!
        For centuries, the Romans tried and failed to absorb this Freeman's land into their Empire. However, the arrival of Islam in the 7th century marked a new chapter of Berber history: many Berbers converted willingly to this new faith and in the process also gained access to the Arab overland trading routes that brought business their way... savvy people :-).         To better understand the Berber spirit, one can follow in the footsteps of the old caravanserai camel trade route into that most inhospitable region where these tough minds are forged:  the Sahara (from the Arabic word "Sahra" meaning "desert").
        From a geographical point of view, the Sahara is unique: sand dunes of such extent that even the mighty Romans never managed to cross. Those who dare to attempt the feat are constantly threatened by that most nightmarish of all deaths: slowly from thirst!!  Only the toughest and self-reliant mind can manage to survive and inhabit such a dangerous place. After all, Jesus of Nazareth went into the desert for 40 days to prove himself... and the Prophet Mohammed brought Islam message back out from the desert! [continues, below]

        Back in those days, a pound of Saharan salt was traded for an ounce of Saharan gold. It's easy to understand why Berber tribes zealously guarded their controls of the Saharan trade routes. Hélas, whenever there is gold, troubles are not far behind: foreign powers are forever looking for lucrative trades. The Berbers' fiercely independent spirit is also their Achilles' heel: unable to accept any form of authority including their own, countless Berber kingdoms rose and fell throughout Moroccan dynastic history.         
        The present day visitors can only catch a glimpse of a glorious past, as illustrated by the ruins of majestic Ksar (fort) dotted around the valleys and oasis, and walk in the almost mystical desert landscape which stretches beyond the limit of our imagination. 
Le Morocco 2013
Other posts related to this one:

My version of the year 2012 in review: 24 March

The Egumba traditional dance group came to Butiama again to entertain guests from Canada and England.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Saturday, 11 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 7 April

I was in Zanzibar to attended the official ceremony to mark Karume Day, the 39th anniversary of the assassination of Zanzibar's founding president, Sheikh Abedi Amani Karume.
The year before I avoided sitting near the front and sat at the end of the hall, with the benefit of a wall to lean against. This year one of the protocol officers at the event insisted that I sit near the front and I spent the duration of the event shifting the weight from one side of the seat of my pants to the other.

Other posts from the 2012 review series:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 26 March

Visitors from the mobile operator, Tigo, paid a visit to Butiama from Mwanza.
The Butiama Cultural Tourism Enterprise (BCTE), a community-based organisation that promotes the village of Butiama as one of the tourism destinations under the Cultural Tourism Programme (CTP) supervised by the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB), receives domestic and foreign visitors to Butiama throughout the year.

For more on the BCTE and its attractions, visit BCTE's Facebook page: 

My version of the year 2012 in review: 18 March

During a high to Mtuzu Hill, I came across this tree with unusual flowers. I have never visited a
Japanese garden but these flowers and the leafless tree reminds me of a Japanese garden. I have no idea why.

Posts related to this one:

Monday, 6 May 2013

Letter from Butiama: If Taifa Stars can, we all can

This is one of numerous articles I wrote for the Sunday News (Tanzania) column "Letter from Butiama" between 2005 and 2011. Publication date: 24th December 2006. 
I rank Daladala commuter bus drivers as some of the most news conscious members of society. If anything is on the news it will soon be written behind a Daladala.

In the past, I recall seeing “Kandahar” and “Torabora” when bombs were falling on those two Afghanistan cities. Recently, I have seen “Maximo” on one Daladala and it is a name that has been in the news often this year.

I believe that many children born this year of parents who are football fans have been named “Maximo”.

One of the most remarkable news items in Tanzanian football this year is the transformation of Taifa Stars into a team that also wins football matches, lately against the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national team during the 45th anniversary celebrations of Tanzania’s independence.

The big lesson from Taifa Star’s transformation is that the Brazilian Marcio Maximo is not fielding players from Brazil, he is using Tanzanians who have been around all along and who, as he says, just need to rediscover their inner abilities by gradually building up their confidence.

This brings out the fact that it is leadership that makes the difference. The combination of a new leadership in the Tanzania Football Federation, a new government that has promised to place greater emphasis in sports, and the arrival of a coach from Brazil arising from that promise has made a difference.

Brazil is a magic word in world football, and that juju may have worked up to build that confidence in our players. I suspect if the coach were from Vanuatu we would still be wondering why it was necessary to build the new stadium.

Today, we just have to commend the government for possessing such forward vision. Taifa Stars tops group seven in the African Cup of Nations after whooping Burkina Faso and drawing with Mozambique in Maputo. They face Senegal in March and if after that match Senegal’s Lions of Teranga will be aware of a more ferocious lion from the Serengeti masquerading as Taifa Stars, I will begin looking for tickets for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010 in the firm belief that Tanzania will be playing in the first round matches.

There is still the question of whether our national team will make it to the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana, but even if it does not, we have some time to prepare for 2010.

What has happened in football can happen elsewhere. There is a lot that can be said about the barriers to development that developing countries face against developed countries and so there is a valid argument that however hard an individual in poor countries works to transform his life to a better level, his chances are limited by the opportunities open to his country in international trade.

However, the confidence to take on other nations cannot be built upon people who are not confident to face their part of the responsibility of transforming their lives. You can bring a Maximo and even an Arsene Wenger, but, in the end, someone has to believe that it can be done.

While we continue to seek out those who can help us from the outside, we have to begin looking inwards and build from our own resources, from our own history, and from our cultural heritage.

We cannot build confidence in the future generation of Tanzanians if the reality is that youngsters today continue to look beyond our borders for their role models. Cultural influences from outside shape the minds and aspirations of young Tanzanians today more than ever.

We can blame the proliferation of outside media – the internet especially – for having these strong influences on those who have a greater probability of becoming  Tanzanian’s future leaders, the urban-based youth. But we should also do as much as possible to ensure that our youngsters learn as much about Tanzania as they do about the rest of the world, but especially instilling a sense of pride in our country and its heritage. If the aspiring footballers plait their hair they should know that it did not originate from David Beckham, but closer to home.

We cannot and should not control the Internet, but it may be helpful to look at the media content in radio and television to help maintain a greater content of local programmes to assist this process of confidence building and moulding young Tanzanians from an early age to also look inward.

If Taifa Stars can do it, we all can.

You may also like:

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Kilimanjaro Awards Music nominee Dr. Jahson is asking for your vote

I have received a plea from Tanzanian ragga artiste Dr. Jahson to vote for his song Push Dem which has been nominated for this year's Kilimanjaro Music Awards. I will vote for him only because he is the only one who has issued a plea. Would you? Watch his video and decide.

If you wish to vote for him write the following text message, BW4, and send it to 15345.

He gets my unsolicited bonus vote for advising his voters to eat natural foods. He recommends a diet of stiff porridge (ugali in Swahili, nsima in some of the dialects of Malawi and Zambia, and polenta in Italian) made from sorghum flour, plenty of fruits, and vegetables.

My bonus vote is only for the green stuff on the plate, not the green stuff on the headscarf.
And he appears to be practicing what he preaches.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Redd's Miss Kibaha contestants preparing for beauty pageant

The Redd's Miss Kibaha 2013 contestants are gearing up for their beauty competition on 17th May 2013.
They are pictured here in a practice session at Dar es Salaam's Vijana Hall.

The contest will be held in Kibaha, Coast Region.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 20 March

On my way to dinner I ran into a snake along the corridor.

It was a small version of the Black Mamba, Dendroaspis polylepis. It didn't matter it was a smaller version of a snake that can grow up to over 2 meters in length. I took great precaution in herding it into a plastic container and removing it from the house and releasing it back into the distant vegetation after displaying it to my dinner guests.

Posts related to this one:

How the passage of time is altering core Tanzanian values

Tanzanians are much less hospitable then they used to be.

More than 25 years ago, while driving a Land Rover 109 between Arusha and Butiama, I exited from the Ikoma Gate of the Serengeti National Park late in the evening during the height of the rainy season.
File:Land Rover Series III 109.JPG
The Land Rover 109, similar to the one I drove through the Serengeti. Photo credit: Buckers.
On reaching Fort Ikoma I turned towards Mugumu, the district headquarters. Being alone and intent on avoiding the risk of getting stuck in mud and spending the night in the midst of wild animals, I thought it better to spend the night at Mugumu and resume my trip to Butiama the following day.

The road between Fort Ikoma and Mugumu was in terrible condition and I occasionally ran the risk of getting stuck in pools of water and mud, but fortunately, the car held on and I progressed slowly ahead.

At around 9:00 PM I was flagged down by a man who was heading in my direction, walking alone, soaked, and  traversing wildlife territory. I picked him up and we reached Mugumu after 11:00 PM.

None of the hotels that I went to had vacancies. When I offered to drop my hitchhiker at his house he gave up his room for me and I spent a comfortable night that otherwise would have been spent in the car. Those familiar with the Land Rover 109 will recall that it did not have reclining seats.

This is the Tanzania which we do not have anymore. Of people who had trust in strangers hitchhiking at night amidst wildebeest and hyenas, and of people who let strangers into their houses.

I have to admit that today I have to think twice of picking up a hitchhiking stranger, even in daylight. And I doubt whether the person who I picked up that night more than two decades ago would today allow a stranger into his room without risking this stranger leaving unannounced with a few of the room's fittings.

Trust has evaporated and in its place there is tremendous suspicion among ourselves and, consequently, an erosion of the values that identified us as Tanzanians.