The Road to Kondoa

Friday 11.2
In the morning Seppo and I started preparing the things to take to Kondoa. It is a 250 Km journey partly on paved road and the last 100 km or so on dirt track. Its going to be a bumpy ride, especially the last part and with the Epson 3800, hand made papers, camera gear and some people to pick up on the way the Land rover is going to be packed full.

We hope to meet the school children in the village of Imbafi a short drive from the campsite where will be be living for the next few days. I cut some white matte paper for sample printing from a large roll we have here at the Arusha Masai Cafe. The children's work will be printed on the hand made papers.

We found some water based block printing paint -a  similar colour to the rock paintings. We made a  back up plan for paint brushes, made by splitting normal house paint brushes into smaller pieces and attached them to sticks - cool idea as one brush yielded about 8 separate smaller ones!

Before we left we got a call from the International School saying they would like to meet us on Tuesday 14 in the morning. Perfect.

Girl at a roadside cafe
On the road out of Arusha the streets were heavily congested with traffic and I took out my iPhone to shoot a couple of short sequences from the front passenger window.  Suddenly a hand reached into the car and grabbed the phone from my hands. In a split second the iPhone disappeared. I wiped the door open - watched as the young boy disappeared into the crowd and it was gone. Damn. Nothing to be done - except block the phone.

The girl at the roadside cafe
Seppo drove on a for a bit to pick up some things for us to take and while in he was in the shop I went online using his USB internet stick - wrote a panic message through FB for Eeva to contact my service provider to cancel my account. I set up data delete through Find My iPhone and we headed off to Kondoa on the Great North Road - going south. 

Cattle grazing along the Great North Road
We passed villages that lined the road and saw the Masai wandering the landscape everywhere. Cows and goats herded together stopped at muddy watering holes scattered across the landscape. The young Masai boys preparing for their circumcision ritual had stark white painted faces - a dramatic contrast to the deep black of their skins.

Lunch - fried chicken, rice and something greenish
We passed about 5 police check points on that road. At each stop a police officer would greet us, ask where we were going, looked around the inside of the Land Rover and waved us through. It reminded me a little of Pakistan, without the rifles slung over the shoulders.

Provisions from the hardware store
The dry dusty landscape changed as we drove south becoming greener as the ground turned from a light sand to deep red. In a village about 30 km from the campsite we met up with our two passengers, Elke and Daniel and went for some fried chicken and rice at a local restaurant.

The guy from the Fuji Photo Lab in Babati




Masai in Babati

 Picking up some provisions, building materials, bags of lime and strips of iron the Land Rover was now fully laden and we headed off for the last 80km journey to the campsite. 

Main street in Babati



Humungous tree - check the figure under the far right branches
Unpacking the Land Rover as the sun sets

 Tomorrow we will drive down to the village and meet the students for the first of the Rock Art workshops. At the moment we don't know how many there will be or what we will do exactly. For now I'm ready for bed.
Yep - couldn't sleep so I wrote notes and took bedtime photos!

During the night I could hear singing in the village below. The rhythms were familiar - and out here in this remote landscape I could imagine the gathering of women singing in the dark as the moon rose high above my head.