Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The roof is up

The roof is up today for one of the grain silos at Mwitongo, Butiama.

Tilting the roof provides access to the finger millet stored in the silo. The finger millet flour is mixed with cassava or maize flour to cook ugali (hard porridge), a favorite meal among members of the Zanaki ethnic group.

Occasionally, as is the case in this occasion, the roof of the silo is tilted to permit visitors to view the grain stored inside.

Mwitongo is the compound of the residence of Tanzania's founding president, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

I am not a mzungu! (re-posted with the Afro)

I am not a mzungu is something I have to keep on repeating at least once a month to children.

I am baffled why children should call me "mzungu" a Swahili word for Caucasian. And there is no confusing me with a white man; I am unmistakably black. There is at least one other meaning of the word, but in general Tanzanians understand "mzungu" to mean a white person.

But I have had to consider that children have their own interpretation of "mzungu" and it is slowly beginning to make sense to me. The first time I heard being called "mzungu" by a child was in Rombo, on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was hiking and had my headphones. I concluded it was the headphones that made me a mzungu.

The second time I became a mzungu was during my Ukerewe to Butiama bike ride and as I rode through a village three children called out to me: "mzungu!" I responded: "I am not a mzungu!" They insisted I was.

I can attribute the second instance to my colorful mountain bike, sunglasses, and the huge Afro I was sporting. I could have deflected attention if it was only the bike, but I just couldn't go unnoticed for being unusual with that huge Afro and the sunglasses.
My colorful mountain bike.
This morning I was reminded how much I confuse children when a child called out my other name. I still have the Afro, I was holding my sun glasses in my hand, and I had a small backpack. I have concluded that, to these children, "mzungu" has nothing to do with race, but has a lot to do with the activity I indulge in (cycling), the accessories I use (sunglasses, headphones), and that huge Afro that even Don King would have envied. Or Wole Soyinka?

I originally posted this without my photograph, until Benjamin Leers commented: "where's the Afro?" So, here it is, below, although I trimmed it when I took this photo. Let me know if you think Don King or Professor Wole Soyinka would be impressed.
The headphones, the Afro, and the author of this post. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Le travels to the Great Barrier Reef

I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with Le Huynh in August 2008. He travels the world, and shares images and experiences of the places he visits. He shares the following stunning photos and a poem from his recent visit to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia.

He writes of his experience:

Dear friends

We come from the sea
we bleed salty blood
we cry salty tears
we're humble at sea.

Some may say that
there's nothing to see...
only the same sky
above the same sea!

Oh what a canvas
of infinite colors
forever changing light
open your eyes to see!

Great Barrier Reef 2016