Manhattan seen across the Hudson river from New Jersey.New York panorama image

June 2013 in Tanzania through the eyes of an Englishman

Alicia:Hobbies - feeding, feeding, and sleeping.


21/7/2013 - A Father Once More.

It's a strange sensation at age 71. I never thought in my wildest imagination 10 years ago that I would be responsible for the upbringing of another child. My view of retirement then was of dabbling in hobbies that I had not had time for before, and going, or being wheeled to the pub whenever the fancy took me. Last of the summer wine.

But it's not worked out like that. Dabbling has been replaced by real hard work in areas that I either knew something about, or had to learn - building construction techniques, design, woodwork, plumbing, electrical installations, and so on. As a result, I'm significantly leaner and fitter than when I retired, and somehow younger. It is an effort though. Your body tells you 'I'm not supposed to be doing this any more', and you have to tell it to shut up and get on with it. And now - Alicia Constance Teale, born 19th July 2013 at 20:43: I will have to work even harder to stay where I am so I get the years to ensure that Alicia gets a good start in life. Hell! In for a penny, in for a pound.

Today I'm doing a tolerable impression of Basil at Faulty Towers, feeding the guests who are appearing at typically random times on a Sunday morning. The Kagera women got fed up of waiting for them an hour ago, so I sent them off with Adia's breakfast in a taxi. I will be going to see mother and baby when the last guest has been fed.

There is woodwork to be done waiting for me in the workshop, but by the time I have been to the hospital and back, it will be time to make some lunch, then go back there to take it. Maybe I'll get to it this afternoon, but frankly I doubt it. I can't settle to anything at the moment.

Master Felix:Now an established family member.

Master Felix.

11/7/2013 - July.

Weather now typically cool and cloudy first thing, brightening up later to sunny and hot - midwinter is past.

Adia plus Baby T are now a huge combination. She looks like she might explode at any time, and that fits in with the gyno's estimation. I think there will be news before the month is out. We have suitable naming plans now solidified to be revealed on the day.

The new kitten - Felix - is now thoroughly at home, and his favourite place is on someone's knee. Any sucker will do, though I seem to be popular. He is as you can see, a classic Tabby.

Work on our new bridge is progressing quite quickly now, with the steelwork for the top load-bearing surface being put in place, and the walls already half cast. They won't make completion by mid July, which was the target, but they may make it by the end of the month. It will probably have to stand for 30 days before anyone can use it of course, and when it is completed we will be in the hands of the municipality, and probably a new contractor to construct the roadway over the basic bridge, so I am still not holding my breath.

Some half-hearted work has been done on the alternative route from the Njiro Road, but the worst parts have not yet been touched, so it may be entirely coincidental.

Despite our reduced accessibility, we have some guests. Julie and Tilde, two Danish girls are with us on holiday, and one of our ESAMI regulars is using us as a retreat to study for examinations. A candidate for a long-term stay may visit us today.

With the latter possibility in mind, I have been hard at it trying to get unit 1 into a habitable state. As I reported last month, I have made a table, and I have now more-or-less completed the bed and bed-side tables. The woodwork scheme was more or less forced on me by the carpenter who made the doors. I foolishly agreed to use the wood Loliondo, which he told us was now more plentiful and had come down in price. Loliondo is generally a blond coloured wood, so I am tied to woods such as it, Jacaranda, and maybe white Mruka. I have had difficulty in finding all of these in larger pieces and a good colour, and the bed may end up with temporary pine sides until I find some suitable pieces of Jacaranda.

Today I will be working on kitchen shelves. Some strength is required here, so Loliondo will be required even though it is rock-hard and a pig to work. Those will take two or three days. After that there's still quite a list. Dining chairs can be done later, we can get plastic ones as a stopgap. But we really ought to have a sofa - a home is not a home without a sofa to sit on and watch the TV. Then also essential is some provision for clothes storage and hanging in the bedroom. Some sort of small table or desk is also required for either a dressing table or for the computer. Oh, and of course a full-length mirror - vanity oh vanity ;=)

More problematic are the hardware items. I can't make those. The minimal list is a gas stove and cylinder, a fridge, and a small TV. These require hard cash, and I don't know how much of that I have available until after Adia has delivered Baby T.

And of course there's always more, like some landscaping outside, provision of a decent parking area, a gate boy, guard dogs ...

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Check out the BEV retrospective
currently covering 1942 - 1975.

1976 is yet to be started.

What is BEV?

Brits Eye View is the personal blog of a 70 year old Englishman - Steve Teale, started in January 2003. It's currently about life in Arusha (Tanzania), and previously in Bangalore, Manhattan, and the Bronx. It deals with life in general, building a house, food and drink, computer programming, opinion on current affairs, 20th century history, and so on. It may give you some insight into what life is like in 'the third world', or encourage you to visit Tanzania.

I started playing with it in January 2003, when I was living in Manhattan. At the time I felt I was going nowhere, and exposing the details of my life could be no worse than not. Almost immediately I changed partners, and quickly recognized that while I might be prepared to live in a goldfish bowl, other's weren't.

The same year I lost my job - recession, exhausted my NY State unemployment benefits, and got a job in India. Consequently a large proportion of BEV was written in Bangalore. India was OK, but I could not see what I was going to do there when I retired.

This uncertainty was resolved when I met my current partner Adia in 2006. She was a Tanzanian, studying law in India, so I came Tanzania in 2007. Here we have built a house, and made new friends. The rest, you can read on BEV.

At about the same time I had the ridiculous idea of extending BEV backwards to cover the years 1942 to 2002. So far I have got to 1975. For the years 2003 - 2012, choose a year/month from the tool bar, or go to the archive page. For 1942 - 1975, choose a year or go to the retrospective page.

Visiting Tanzania?

Adia's Place now has On-Line Booking. Please feel free to check it out. It may not be 100% yet, but if you get a confirmation email then it's a safe bet that we got your booking.

In the short term we will re-confirm.

If you have done all the usual tourist destinations, then make a leap and discover Africa! Come and visit Arusha, Tanzania.

You might be able to stay at - a great centre for safaris to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Kilimanjaro, and of course our own pet volcano, Mount Meru.

Please feel free to contact us. We can tell you about hotels, facilities, prices of basics, etc.

We now have very pleasant bed and breakfast rooms available at $20 per night. The Old Cottage and the South House are also available for longer term visitors.

Studying in Arusha?

Some of the major study centres in Arusha are at Njiro. There, you'll find the Arusha Institute of Accountancy, ESAMI, and TRAPCA.

If you are not happy with the accommodation there, you are only a 5 minute drive from - a secure haven of tranquillity with African food like your mother cooked for you. Price is competitive with the on-campus accommodation.

Just call Adia - 0762 442888 - and she'll come and get you and show you her place. You won't regret it!

This Month's Posts

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Top 20 BEV Pages.

Exchange Rates.

Moods of Meru.

Mt Meru

The clouds give a good impression of how high it is.

Random BEV Poem.


If you are a Linux user, you might want to try this piece of graphical design software I worked on last year. You can use it to design business cards, labels, logos for your web site, and things of that sort.

You can download it from the BEV COMPO page, where you'll also find the documentation.

About You.

A bit of nonsense. If you've ever wondered what a web site can discover about you when you visit one of their pages with little or no effort, then now you know.

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