Postscript- On a serious note: What Empathy Has Taught Me…About Poverty

“There is little to be said in favour of poverty, but it is often an incubator of true friendship. Many people will appear to befriend you when you are wealthy, but precious few will do the same when you are poor. If wealth is a magnet, poverty is a kind of repellent. Yet poverty often … Continue reading

Africa In Review: Part 3 ….and the Ugly!

THE UGLY: The compromises Namely……. A SOCIAL LIFE It is truth universally acknowledged (in Africa at least) that a single white women whether in possession of fortune or not, must be in want of a husband, fair game? Oh how Jane Austen would disagree. Forgive me for being cynical but if a man asks me on … Continue reading

Africa In Review: Part 2 The Good, the Bad….

THE GOOD: What I will miss: 1. THE TANZANIAN PEOPLE: In particular, their insatiable sense of humour. And how they can be so jovial at any hour, despite the circumstances. Whether it be at 7am in the morning catching the bus to work or while sucking fuel out of a gas tank of a vehicle … Continue reading

Africa in Review: Part 1: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

There is nothing quite like dropping the statement “I am moving to Africa” into a conversation to bring complete speechlessness to others. I remember telling people when the topic came up, and their reaction was universally the same. Complete silence. Followed by an open mouth with no words coming out, inevitably followed by an attempt … Continue reading

The Mango Rains: Conversations and Cultural Exchanges in the Tropics

There is nothing like rain in the tropics. It is one of my favourite things. Here in Dar we have two wet seasons. The delightfully named Mango Rains, which occur November to late December and the main wet season March to May. Don’t ask me the meteorological explanation behind it, but the response my colleague … Continue reading

Gorillas in our Midst!

Take 4 teachers working in Dar, a former missionary turned Hollywood producer and an Aussie mining engineer living in Mongolia and it was never going to be anything but an interesting road trip through Uganda and Rwanda. Punctuated with highlights including a visit to the source of the River Nile, chimpanzee tracking in the Great … Continue reading

WHY I TRAVEL: The Maasai and the Storm Trooper, just another ordinary day in Dar es Salaam

I have often thought that travelling offers you the chance to go back in time. Such is the enormous difference between the world you know and your destination that it often seems to me the closest you can come to time travel. Living in Saigon, it sometimes felt like I had front row seats to … Continue reading

Mafia Island: Close Encounters of the Monster Kind

A thirty-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, lies the undeveloped, peaceful and pretty island of Mafia. Less touristic than Zanzibar, it is a glimpse of island life as it should be, without the big hotels and crowds of visitors. It offers an idyllic escape, good diving and in the warmer months of December- March, the … Continue reading

Back to Dar: Swahili For Beginners and Kite Surfing 101

There was no doubting that I was back in Dar. A smiling taxi driver held up a tattered piece of paper with my name scrawled on it, as I walked out into the milling crowd at the airport exit. The sign had read “Natalia” but it might as well have said “This sure the hell … Continue reading

La Dolce Vita: Summer in Italy

Italy is like a book you never want to finish. There are few books I would read more than once. Not because I have not enjoyed them, but because there are too many others left to read. Countries are a bit the same. There are so many to see and sometimes it seems a waste … Continue reading

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