Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 takes off from small Arusha airport

The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 that made an emergency landing at Arusha Airport two days ago has taken off today in a dramatic scene captured by some of the people who were at the airport.

A video posted on YouTube by Kaduguda shows the large bodied aircraft taking off hardly halfway through the 1,620m length airport. In the video a voice is heard saying in Swahili that the aircraft lifted off "...at seven hundred" indicating that the pilot used roughly 700 metres of the runway to get this large aircraft off the ground.
The emergency landing followed a failed approach at the nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport where a small aircraft had blocked part of the runway after it sustained a puncture before take off. The Ethiopian Airlines aircraft would normally have been diverted to either Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, or to Zanzibar.

Apparently, the aircraft did not have enough fuel to reach any of these three larger airports and the pilot diverted instead to the nearest but shorter airport in Arusha. News reports revealed that during the emergency landing the Boeing 767 slightly overshot the runway. No casualties were reported. The runway's length at Kilimanjaro is 3,600m.

The pilots are credited for both landing and taking off with such a large aircraft on a short runway. I believe the landing was much more difficult than the take off.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The stresses and strains of grave site selection

In Zanaki tradition if no word is left to indicate where someone wants to be buried then the selection of a grave site sometimes will pit the deceased's family in a battle of where the burial should take place.

In a recent funeral, word had reached Butiama that the grave for a relative who had died in Mwanza should be dug at his parent's home in anticipation of the funeral several days later. He was married twice and had a business in Mwanza region.

As work commenced on digging the grave a phone call from his close family pointed out that the digging should be suspended until the body arrived in Butiama because there was an unsettled debate on where the deceased should be buried. The current wife wanted him buried on his property in Butiama while his former wife was said to have wanted him to be buried in Mwanza, where she lived.

An uncle in Butiama said he saw no reason why the deceased should not be buried next to the grave of his father, instead of burying him in a municipal grave in Mwanza. The tradition of burying family members in the grounds of the family's home is still practiced among the Zanaki. Burying a family member in a municipal cemetery would appear like abandoning him and denies surviving members the practice of frequently visiting a grave to communicate with those who have gone before.

Eventually the uncle's decision was decisive and the deceased was buried at the same site that was initially pointed out. Which prompted me to ask: "Shouldn't the wife have a say in where her husband should be buried?" An elder told me that the wife becomes part of the husband's family and the decision made by the uncle, representing the father of the deceased in this case, is paramount.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Church services held to remember the late former President Nelson Mandela, 8 Dec 2013

This is a photograph from the 8th December funeral service for the late Nelson Mandela.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela, President Jacob Zuma with Cooper Weir-Smith and Abathembu Chief Mandla Mandela at the Bryanston Methodist Church as they celebrate the life of former President Nelson Mandela. (Photo: GCIS)

The late former president of South Africa will be buried today in his ancestral village Qunnu.

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Friday, 13 December 2013

South Africans mourn the death of the late former President Nelson Mandela

Members of the South African National Defence Force write their messages of sympathy in the condolence book for their former commander in chief President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at the University of the North West Mahikeng Campus Great Hall National Memorial service public viewing area. (Photo: GCIS).

Mandela died on 5th December after a long illness. He will be buried on 15th December 2013.

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