Ushongo weekend

Well as I said I had to get away for the weekend and ended up going to Ushongo another place with an endless white sandy beach just south of Pangani.  The road here wasn’t good and took us three hours to get here.  I didn’t half feel guilty when Nancy told me the driver was staying for the weekend – I had assumed he would just be driving back but it turns out he enjoys swimming so I hope his weekend is a good one. 

I’m staying at Emayani Lodge next to the beach and the dive centre.  Nice place with 8 little bungalows all looking onto the sea – even if there is no glass in the windows – it’s all just bamboo type curtains.  In the evening met a white Kenyan guy called Neil who is doing some work on a house here and a couple from North Carolina – Raleigh again.  Whats odd is than most of the Americans I have met out here are from Raleigh – there must be something about the place that makes everyone want to leave?  I have been there and didn’t think it was that bad!

Friday night was one of those incredibly still nights, no breeze coming in from the sea at all and surprise surprise TANESCO had another all night power cut!  It was so hot I sat on the veranda under the stars and moonlight for a couple of hours in the early hours of the morning just to try to cool down a bit.  Worked out the trick was to keep all the blinds open – which is really odd as anyone could see in – but then again there isn’t anyone to walk in.

Went diving on Saturday – despite the lack of sleep.  Lots of fish about and some good coral – not quite as good as Pemba but better than Zanzibar.  We dove off an “island” called Maziwe – well it was an island once – 5 hectares of trees but in the 70’s the government cut them all down fearing spies!?!  It has destroyed the island and with nothing to prevent it the sea has just encroached upon it so now it is just a sandy mound in the middle of the sea.  This is really bad news for the turtle population who lay their eggs there as the tide comes in and causes the eggs to rot.  The divers  have been working recusing them and bring all the eggs to the mainland and set up hatcheries so they can survive.  In the five years they have been here, they have managed to stop the locals eating turtle eggs, saved over 400 nests (each nest has several hundred eggs) and now got the locals looking after and protecting the hatcheries – which is pretty good going.  In the rest period between the two dives we went on the island to check to see if any eggs had been laid over night. 

When we were leaving to start our second dive a couple – obviously on their honeymoon – came over in a boat with table, cushions, shade etc. for a romantic picnic.  If I was them I would have demanded my money back when two boat loads of teenage kids turned up out of nowhere.  When we surfaced from our second dive, this mound of sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean looked a bit like Ibiza!!!!!

I hit rock bottom when got back to the dive centre – combination of low blood sugar and lack of sleep.  Was so much better with food and a pepsi inside me but I still slept for an hour!  Electricity worked the next day but I got lazy and just joined the pool party at the hotel – how can somewhere more remote than Korogwe have a large expat community?  Well large may not be the right word but 20-30 in the local vicinity at least.    Oh well back to Korogwe today for another week of work.  On the ferry on the way back I met a nice couple – he was English and had just left the army and she was Swedish.  They have just moved to Tanga for 3 months to renovate a house so we swapped numbers and hope to catch up again soon.  They have also offered me a place to stay whenever I want which is great.


About becksupeverest

Took a leave of absence from work and decided to work as a volunteer in Tanzania based in Korogwe, a small town in the northeast of the country (combined with some travels around East Africa). The project is to look at the cost base, strategy and business plan of a tree nursery NGO - one of the Gatsby Foundation projects.
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