www.mafiaislandtz.com feedback welcome, still some revisions, corrections and additions to do.
Three vehicles – all 4×4 due to there being no roads to speak of, all over 20 years old – sods law dictates that all 3 will break down at the same time! The petrol land rover, obtained at great expense in Dar 6 months ago no longer has any body work to speak of and has to be driven in differental due to the front cam-shaft having fallen off somewhere in the bush. is now stuck outside the airstrip 14 kms away. The diesel landy, bought on Ebay in May 2006 and stored in Erith until October then shipped to Dar and stored at the harbour whilst we argued that a 22 year old land rover bought for £900 in the UK could not possibly be worth $50,000 and warrent taxes of $12,000 dollars, eventually made it to Mafia and promptly decided that it didn’t like going off road and went into a sulk and now refuses to move. Lastly the Suzuki Samarai, bought from friends in Dar, lovely nippy little thing, can’t be driven during the dry season – it gets stuck in sand, all the roads are sand………………………This morning i needed to go to town, i sailed, by Dhow, not romantic, WET and sloooooooooooooooow, and the money had not arrived despite the transfer having been put in place 10 days ago – it’s been a very bad day, to cap it all we had a letter from the District Commisioner (a non-political position) asking for a $200 donation for the ruling party so they could hold an election meeting. They want the money today – i haven’t got any money – ‘you are european, all europeans have money’, ‘we have no money in our account, it hasn’t arrived’, ‘when will you have money’, ‘when the bank decides to accept the transfer’, this could run for a while!!!
I have readers, having been away in the fleshpots of Dar (Goat Races darling – Dars answer to Ascot)eating in Restaurants, and actually going into supermarkets, i haven’t posted for a bit, nor have i been able to obsessively check my stats and there were loads! If any of you kind readers wish to see the reason we live in this beautiful but forgotten place then see my old blog at www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/titch.
Thankyou Dulwichmum for your kind words – i can only dream that Ocado would deliver here!!!! Quite frankly i’d be over the moon if Lidl opened up on the island!
Still, plenty of excitment, my ridgeback is heavily pregnant and about to drop, the veggie patch is producing amazing stuff, no more driving 14kms on sand tracks to Kilindoni to discover that only Green Peppers are available this week. Oh and i had 39 lobsters delivered by the fishermen this morning – we’ll be eating them on toast for breakfast at this rate – in the absence of cornflakes you understand.
When we moved to Mafia we spent 3 months living in an insect infested guest house (infested to us after the UK) whilst this house was renovated from a subsiding bat, rat and hornet infested pit into a semi-inhabitable hovel. We have been in this house for 8 and a half months during which time it has; poured in water during cyclones and the rainy season due to inadequate capping to the new roof, run out of water due to bad remedial work on the plumbing and the final straw, the NEW shelves in the kitchen fell down bringing all my herbs, spices, cereal etc with them. Why the final straw? Cereal has to be stored in glass jars, to keep the dreaded white ant out of them, Cheerios cost £6.92 for 750g, yes you read that right £6.92!!!!!! And i can’t feed my children cereal sweep off the floor with glass in can i? Olive oil costs £15.84 a litre, hmm can i mop it up and squeeze it into a bottle?!! WHY did that shelf come down? It was held up with ONE screw per bracket (3 in all) and NO BLOODY RAWLPLUGS which we bought and paid for and are nowhere to be found! Lesson in Tanzania, don’t believe that just because a team of builders from Dar has worked for Embassies and High Commissions that they know what they are doing, or rather they know what they are doing but cannot be trusted to get on with it for even as long as it takes you to drive to town for whatever they insist they need!
Myself, Husband, and 2 daughters moved here (Ras Mbisi Plantation, Mafia Island, Tanzania) Last August from Ramsgate, Kent where we had lived since 2002. Prior to that we lived in Sydenham, Southeast London. Since we became a couple Jon and I had been restoring properties the fruits of our labours have been poured into building a Lodge here on Mafia. Currently the Lodge is almost built and we hope to open for business in October.
We grow our own veg, have 3 very mad Mafia mongrel dogs ( Star, Marmite and Bovril) and a very cool goat called Poppy Popcorn.
Since being here we have had to; dig our own bore hole (and learn how to use the various pumps required), build a solar system for the house (no mains power here), restore the house we now live in, start a vegetable garden, employ over 40 people (for building the lodge etc) thereby feeding over 250 mouths, set up a development programme for the local village – currently raising money for the school and clinic, set up a satellite internet connection and home school our daughters. Plus deal with both central government and local government paperwork. Learn how to live in isolation, in my case remember my long forgotten Swahili, in Jon’s case learn it from scratch.m. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!