Return of the dog

running NoflikWell, for now the ‘Give me Money’ sign can be put away. Africans don’t know what to do when a Mzungu is holding it anyway. The begging story in our last blog raised a quite substantial amount of money, that allows us to skip the trashcan restaurants for a while and as the week progresses, Marten looses his weird rash and Henk regains his sight. Oh, the wonders that vitamins bring. But aside from our own maintenance, the most grateful we are for the donations that made us able to retrieve our loyal companion on four legs, Noflik. “Woof!”, she said several time when she saw our faces peering around the corner and we knew what she tried to say; “Take me out of here, I miss defending you guys from all the dangers in this wretched continent!”. And so we took Noflik back in our car.

With our guard back on our side we head for Tanga, to make us useful in Tanzania. Tanga is a laid back town thats so typical for the eastern coast. Quite stretched, but now flats or other high buildings. The center is simple and when your out of the center, the outskirts begin immediately with small concrete buildings and wooden shacks scattered along the road. Although there is actually nothing to do in this town due it being a Muslim community, everything you need can be found in these strange suburbs. For what we’re looking for however, we need to travel a little outside the city, where we find the TangaFresh factory.

Farming in TangaAbout two decades ago, a couple of Frisians founded FarmFriends over here, a initiative to mobilize the local people that owned one or maybe two cows to invest in a couple of more cows and eventually grow in to real farmers, thus stimulating the local economy. For a change, the organizations goal is found in the phrase ‘from Aid to Business’, meaning that as soon as possible this diary business is independent as soon as possible. The new factory processing the milk from all the farmers in the district is a great achievement on this part. Its incredible though, daily we see small time farmers emptying their small bucket with not more than one liter milk in the huge cooling installation that on the end of the day contains around twenty thousand liters, proving that small bits do make the difference. We love the ideology behind all this and happily we help install new networks in the factory for a week or two.

Meanwhile, the Indian catering lady Audrey kind of adopted us and does anything to make sure that we don’t miss anything. A few times a week she cooks for us and stuffs us up till we have a hard time walking, she does our laundry and even irons it, and made sure that we have a parking spot near the sea, including bathroom with hot shower, which has become an unthinkable luxury during our trip.

Frisian Witchcraft
bending twigsDuring these days we meet Lut, the big honcho of this joint and he is also Frisian, like we are. Note that Dutch people, who are considered bright and down to earth, consider Frisians as incredibly down to earth. Now, this Lut invites us over to his place at the beach and tells us thee what he had to go through to settle down in that place. Before building the local witchdoctor urged him to conduct some rituals to please the spirits. When he didn’t do that, his newly constructed building caught fire. Upon rebuilding the structure, he indeed slaughtered a black chicken, threw around some rice while his neighbor, coincidently being the village shaman, chanted to the spirits to ease them. The building never caught fire again, claimed the Frisian. “Alright…” we say with a frown. After this, he tells us that he also found a fresh water supply using a fork shaped twig. Come on man! You’re Dutch, Frisian even, don’t get all hocus pocus on us now! Its true he says and to prove it, he takes us in his garden, breaks of a twig and shows how it works. Cynically we take the twig the in our own hands and what do you know… The twig actually bends. After a small minute it even points downwards, telling us that in this ground must be fresh water. A strange experience, that didn’t totally convince us, yet gave us a new illusion, a rare occasion during this trip, where we normally only lose illusions by gaining experiences.

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6 Responses to “Return of the dog”

  1. Aboubakary Ahmed Says:

    Hi, I hope your’e fine and proccered of your activities. Back my side i’m very okay. My friends a few minutes i was arounded bus

  2. Loes Walsteijn Says:

    Hallo mannen,

    Wij reizen ook door Afrika in onze oude MB608 en we kregen jullie naam van Martin, ook een Fries, die met Jet door Afrika reist.
    Neem contact op want we hebben een vraag die we niet algemeen publiek willen stellen.

  3. Helen marron Says:

    i found your site when I Googled Loes walsteijn. I am tring to get in touch with she, assuming it is the correct person. The Loes I am tring to contact is from Almere and her partner is bernard. She was a good friend to me and my late brother, Julian. Is it possable to pass on my email to her so we can re estabilish links.

    i have looked at your web site and feel you will do a lot of good, i wish was in a position to offer financial support but I can not at the present time. I envey your adventure - good luck

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    maak n draai by Hiccups koudse bier in Malawi !!!

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