Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's over!

As Ambrose isn't near my laptop this afternoon, I'm writing his post for him. 

Although we never thought it would come, our idyllic sojourn in Tanzania in general and Mwadui in particular has ended. Although we knew that Grant's contract is only for three years, we imagined that the company would be able obtain the necessary work permits and documents to enable us to stay another two years. However, this was not to be. Grant flew to the company HO in Dar es Salaam on the 7th January to see if he could sort his permits out. After lunch he phoned me and said, "We're leaving Tanzania!" 

Now, although I would have loved to break down and weep, I did NOT. Instead, guess what I did first and foremost? 

I immediately phoned our pet travel agency in South Africa and asked them to put the wheels in motion to get our kitties home. Then I phoned Zahra of the Dar Es Salaam expediters with whom I did business in December 2013 (when I sent Rina's cats to SA) and asked her to arrange to get the cats out of EA. Next I phoned Siv, the PR at Coastal Aviation and provisionally booked a flight on the charter airlines. 

The cats are always very inquisitive when I bring their travel cages out of storage. Can you believe that they had their booster inoculations on the 6th of January? 

What followed then was two weeks and two days of intense concentration to arrange the paperwork, e-mails, telephone calls,  veterinary health certificates endorsed by the vet and scanned to the SA pet travel agency and the Dar expediters. Finally on Friday 23rd January every i was dotted and every t was crossed. All that remained was for me to confirm my flight on the charter plane with the cats as my luggage and get onto it! 
You have to experience this to believe how involved it is to get the cats moved from one country to another! 
The travel cages with cats inside, waiting to be loaded onto the 12 seater plane
The three cats in the luggage compartment of the small plane. From left: Ginger, Ambrose and Shadow

As I post this, all three the cats are in a friend's kennels near the Bloemfontein airport. Grant and I will pick them up on our way home tomorrow afternoon. More about their travels soon. 

Meanwhile, I'm catching up on blogger while on the hotel WiFi. We're sleeping overnight in Dar in a hotel overlooking the harbor. We fly home tomorrow. (I use the term "home" loosely here as it feels as if I've LEFT home in Mwadui! )

Please forgive me, everybody, for not letting on about our changed circumstances until now. I just had to knuckle down and get moving. Apart from the task of getting the cats out, I sold almost everything we owned in Mwadui. Since we knew we were leaving we attended one farewell after the other.

(And that was including the exciting weekend we had when the new trucks were commissioned! )

I'll post all about the emotions, heart-ache, laughter and tears as soon as we're all settled in back in Marquard. (Suffice to say, I broke down proper  this morning in the dark when I fondled Princess' ears and patted Nando to say goodbye!
Happy Saturday to you all.

Mwadui Critters

As this post is aired, we'll be on our way by road to Mwanza. At 8.55am we board a flight to Dar Es Salaam. Once we land there at 10.45, Grant collects our luggage from the carousel our driver, Mohamed takes us across the city to our hotel. On Sunday morning we fly to Johannesburg and from there on to Bloemfontein. Then a mere 160km road trip and we're "home".

Meanwhile I'm posting about the critters we've seen this week in and around Mwadui. 
Agama lizard male in our Guest House garden
 A younger male Agama lizard sunning itself on the step leading into the Guest House kitchen

Driving through the beautiful park-like Client camp, we stopped to watch a band of mongoose playing around the base of the tree above

Soon we were rewarded with a mongoose peering out of the clump of grass 
And venturing out further to look at us!
 I had fun snapping away as they popped out all over the lawn

Back in the yard at home, Princess, Nando and pups enjoy the life of Riley. 
Princess has the most expressive eyes ever

Two of the pups

I'm linking my post to Eileen's Saturday Critter party here

Until I reconnect again in SA, please do all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Green against blue

For more sky posts around the world, please click here

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Good fences, good critters

Namaqua Dove (Male) on fence at explosives magazine

A bashful Agama Lizard on a pillar supporting the fence around the explosives magazine

I'm linking my post to Good Fences Thursday.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


For more Wordless Wednesday please click here

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kestrel, Bishop and Social Weaver

Common Kestrel (Male)

Grey-capped Social Weaver 

Southern Red bishop
Eastern Paradise-whydah

For more birds please visit Wild Bird Wednesday here

Mwadui Giants

After many months of waiting, several machines of the new fleet,  eventually arrived in Dar es Salaam port. Grant arranged a driver to drive the 1000 km to the city and escort the convoy of vehicles back to Mwadui. Between Christmas and New Year I posted about meeting the drivers when one of these trucks arrived in town. 

Finally the day arrived when the trucks would be commissioned. The invited client arrived at the workshop and joined the company's management and staff. 
Grant welcomed everyone, then Johan explained the afternoon's proceedings 
Johan attached a bottle of champagne to the boom of a crane while the driver lifted it to the required height
We watched ...

...and eventually the bottle was exactly as Johan wanted it!

Johan asked me and Arlen (the client GM) to christen the truck
Marita wanted to pose on the truck. I joined her

Arlen, Johan, Ayoop and Grant 
Grant laid on sodas for the workshop staff
Then I lined them up in front of a truck and photographed them

The next morning at 7.45 Johan and crew drove the trucks out of the workshop yard and onto the mine. Once again the Client was invited. Arlen rode in the first truck with Johan; Marita traveled with Poena and three drivers brought the other machines up in the rear. Grant and I awaited them on the mine haul road so that I could video the excursion! 

We followed them into the mine 
Five brand-new trucks ready to be handed over to the drivers
While waiting for the handover, Marita and I posed at the trucks - now on the mine!

Grant's production supervisor, Touro (center), gives a speech before handing over the keys to the first five drivers doing the first shift
Grant, Johan and the team pose in front of the trucks

For more of other worlds, please click here

Monday, January 26, 2015

Puppy discernment

Shop bought toys or...

...recycled water bottles! 

Thanks Margaret for bringing to my attention that the video could not be viewed. I hope it's visible now!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hedges Kitty Weekend in Mwadui

Hi Bozo, Lindy and Mum's blog followers. This is Ambrose and life's still good here in Mwadui. We kitties continue to do what kitties do best. That's mostly to sleep! 
This is I, Ambrose, trying to sleep on the cat tree, but Mum flashed a light at me and woke me! 
Unca Shadow asleep under the dining room table. Mum took this photo skew but she said she didn't have time to straighten it! 
Dad Ginger is in the office 
Trying to sleep on our day bed, Mum flashed a light in my eyes and woke me again
Our favorite spot of all time, resting on the day bed with Mama Chui

For more cute pet posts please click here

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reflected photographer

This man saw me focus on the group he was standing in and donned his sunglasses. I zoomed in on his face and got this reflection.

For more weekend reflections please click here

Saturday Critters Party with Eileen

Last weekend as we drove out onto the mine, Grant stopped so that I could photograph some donkeys at the boom gate. 
Four pretty ladies socialize in shade of a tree
Nearby a small flock of Little Egret hang around some cattle
Driving through the bush, we spotted a dik-dik in the bush next to the road

Further up the road, a very small dik-dik stands still watching our vehicle. I manage to get a photo before it bounded into the bush.
A small dik-dik stands motionless in the road

After viewing and photographing several birds (to be posted on Wednesday next week) we returned along the slimes dam wall. We spotted a pair of helmeted guineafowl having a sand bath. 

Both the guineafowl enjoy their sand bath 
Returning through the boom gate, the herd of donkeys had moved towards the askari's hut
The herd of cattle was also closer to the askari hut with the Little Egret in tow

Before stopping at home, we popped into Amanda and Andre's home to say hello.
The tree-lined road leading to the client camp

For more critters, please join Eileen here

Here's wishing you all a happy weekend.