Bridge2aid

Tanzania - February 2017

 

 

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Sunday 19 February 2017

 

Well, here we go again ... and a warm welcome to any new 'bloggees'. As always, do get in touch if you have any updates from other sources or are reading this blog in some obscure corner of the planet.

Earlier this afternoon, the two teams met up in Terminal 4 at Heathrow. This year they are going to be based on the western shore of Lake Victoria and have a 4-leg journey to jet there:

London ► Nairobi ► Dar es Salaam ► Mwanza ► Bukoba

and they were fearful that something might go awry with one of the connections.

Kiaran, one of the team leaders, had an extra leg (of her journey - not a superfluous limb!) as she was flying down from Leeds/Bradford and had to transfer from T5 to T4 but Liz texted me to say that they had all met up successfully, unlike one previous trip when someone forgot their passport!

There were some newbies and some who had been many times before. This is Liz's eleventh trip but Judy, the other team leader, has been about 20 times, with multiple trips each year.

Before I left, they were handing out the Bridge2Aid T-shirts and generally getting to know each other. I left in time to get back for the Manchester United match, not so much a case of me prioritising; more just me being in the way if I hung around.

Kenya Airways flight KQ101 was due to take off at 17:25 and according to FlightAware, actually pushed back 19 minutes early. They are due to land in Nairobi at 05:00 local time (02:00 in the UK) and should be OK for the next leg as they have a layover of 1hr 50 mins. Nairobi Airport is notorious for 'losing' luggage; their luggage is checked through to Dar as the second leg is also Kenya Airways but it will be interesting to see whether all of the luggage makes its way through to Dar.

 

 

Monday 20 February 2017

 

They landed at Nairobi airport at 04:26 local time (01:26 in the UK) and I got a text from Liz to say that she was sitting on the next plane.

They then caught Kenya Airways flight KQ 480 to Dar, the commercial capital of Tanzania. Since 1996 the administrative capital has been the new city of Dodoma, although, in true African fashion, Dodoma, is in the middle of nowhere and has more of an airstrip than an airport.

The plane for the second leg was due to take off at 06:50 local time and actually took off at 07:02, which really is pretty good. It's only a 1½ hour hop down to Dar but it will be feel like it's a different world as Dar is so humid and, if the airport is air-conditioned, I didn't notice it when I joined Liz last year. Indeed, Liz has just texted me to say that she is sitting in Dar airport in high humidity; mo mention of any luggage missing !

Apparently they got an amazing view of Mount Kilimanjaro, completely covered in snow (which is, unfortunately, rare these days) as they flew down from Nairobi. Normally it looks like the picture (left) which she took on a previous trip). A couple of years ago we got an email, out of the blue, from someone in the US, who had found her picture online and asked permission to use it in a book that they were writing.

They landed at Dar at 08:02 (05:02 in the UK), which, again, puts them well on schedule as the next flight to Mwanza doesn't leave until 10:10. The carrier, this time, is FastJet, the East African no-frills airline that was founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the guy who founded easyJet.

In fact the flight to Mwanza pushed back at 10:03 and so they are still well on time. For people who are new to this blog and the work of Bridge2Aid (B2A), Mwanza, on the southern shore of Lake Victoria, is where the charity is based and where it also runs a state-of-the-art dental clinic, the Hope Dental Centre, a fee-paying dental practice, the profits from which help to fund the main work of the charity, which is to train Clinical Officers to be able to provide basic dental treatment in remote villages.

I have just received a text from Liz from the departure 'lounge' at Mwanza airport where they are waiting for the charter plane that will take them up to Bukoba. As usual, it is MUCH cooler and less humid up on the lake shore.

 

Liz 'phoned me from Bukoba, where she is staying overnight at the ELCT Hotel (see http://www.elctbukobahotel.com/index.php ) ELCT apparently stands for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. It was very odd because I could hear some African magpie squawking in the background. She said that she had also seen some hadada ibis in the hotel grounds.

Tomorrow they will be having their 'orientation' session at the Victorious Perch Hotel (see http://www.victoriousperchhotel.com/ ) which is where the other team will be based.  After that Liz's team will set off for Muleba, 110 km south of Bukoba (see map), where they will be based. The country to the North is Uganda and the country to the West is Rwanda.

Later I actually managed to have a Skype conversation with Liz, which I don't think we have ever achieved to/from Tanzania before. She also managed to send me a few photos - see below.

As you can see, they actually travelled from Mwanza to Bukoba in two 12-seater planes. En route they got a good view of the various islands in the lake.

 

 
 

Tuesday 21 February 2017

 

I see that Tanzania was in the news yesterday and not for positive reasons:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39026477

 

Yesterday, Liz said that she had passed by the impressive Catholic cathedral in Bukoba and I have managed to find a picture of it. Its full name is the Mater Misericordiae Church (Mother of Mercy) and it was opened in 2012.(see http://www.bukobadiocese.co.tz/ ).

Below, also, is a photo of an hadada ibis, which Liz reported seeing yesterday. I don't think that either of us had seen one before. As one friend has asked, does this make the hotel part of the Hotel Ibis chain !

Liz texted me at about 17:45 local time to say that they had just arrived at the hotel in Muleba, where they will be based. It's called the Nalphin Hotel and is a bit basic but looks OK. There is a large function room but they are on the far side of the hotel and hope, therefore, that they are not disturbed.

The hotel has a website, which you can find on Google but DO NOT try and access this site as it appears to have a virus and Google warns users against the site. Hopefully this is the only virus associated with the hotel!

Liz said that the grounds of the hotel in Bukoba were great and that she had seen a Nubian woodpecker (another first!), a grey-headed kingfisher and about 30 pelicans in a tree. Unfortunately, she was kept awake by dogs barking; we have a 3-month puppy and so it was a bit like being at home !

 

The drive along the shoreline was was lovely, with banana, pineapples and papyrus growing in the fields. Interesting that, because Lake Victoria is so vast, Liz referred to it as the 'coast' road. She saw lots of weird  contraptions outside houses made of corrugated iron. Apparently these are used to catch grasshoppers to supplement the diet ! I guess that they could be called hopper hoppers. I don't know if this what she means but I have managed to find a picture of grasshopper traps in Uganda, which is not that far away (see picture left)

At the orientation this morning, she learnt that 834 volunteers have now gone out to Tanzania with Brideg2Aid on 84 separate trips. They have trained 491 Clinical Officers and and treated 42,510 patients on those trips. As a result of the training, 4.5 MILLION people now have access to basic dental services where, previously, there was nothing. The ratio of people to dentists in Tanzania is getting better but it is still 128,000:1.

The percentage of the population that is HIV-positive now stands at 5.2%. Average wage is USD 1.00 per day - about the price of a Twix (not that I ever buy said confectionery, of course).

One reader has just contacted me to say that he is reading this blog in the wilds of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. It is already raining and, with Storm Doris heading that way, I would rather be in the comfort of my own home at the moment.I spoke to Liz just before she went to bed (see photo of hotel room) and she said that there is definitely no WIFI but I may get photos coming through from the other team in Bukoba.

 

Wednesday 22 February 2017

 

Today they set off at about 07:30 to the first of the two clinics. This is in the village of Kamachumu, about 50 km away from Muleba. To get there they have to drive back up the road to Bukoba and then off on a murram (compacted earth) side road. I managed to find a photo of the daily banana market in Kamachumu (left).

Today's 'reader in foreign parts' is my nephew's wife who says she had been reading this blog - in Utah! Another reader has let me know that they are in Dundee but I think that Utah trumps that (if you will excuse the most unfortunate pun!).

More importantly, I received an email that appeared in my InBox as coming from Емилия Илиева. As my Cyrillic is not that good, it was only when I opened the email that I found that it was from Emilia Ilieva in Bulgaria. She explained that she is the mother of Teodora (Teddy), one of the members of the Muleba team. I have sent Liz a text so that she can tell Teodora that her parents are keeping up with progress.

 

Somehow (probably by text message) some pictures of the team at the Kamachumu clinic today have made their way onto the B2A website. The link is:

        https://www.facebook.com/bridge2aid/videos/10154863126195446/

Liz said that, once they were off the main road, they climbed into the hills along a valley and the area seemed reasonably 'affluent' by African standards. Bananas are definitely the dominant crop and a lady, who runs a café in the village, prepared lunch for them, which included banana fritters.

There are 4 male and 2 female Clinical Officers and one of the ladies, Fausta (echoes of Goethe!) was assigned to Liz. Their second patient had a marked gap between his lower incisors and Liz quickly diagnosed that he had a broken jaw. No strange African illness, however; he had been in fight a week ago !

They treated one man who was 93 years old, a real rarity in an area where the average life expectancy for men is only 58.! The clinic is quite new and they are working outside on a balcony with a balustrade but the area is covered. Needless to say, even though it is new, there is no running water nor electricity !

Ever the bird-watcher, Liz saw a long-crested eagle (left) sitting on a telegraph post and some very pretty lesser striped swallows.

 
 

Thursday 23 February 2017

 

In the absence of 'live' photos from the team, I have found a picture of the plantations in and around Kamachumu (left) and one of some of the local villagers.

Interesting to note that, this evening, the BBC is running a programme (Born Too White)  on albinism in Africa. Previous readers of this blog will know that Bridge2Aid has strong links with a village called Bukumbi which offers a shelter for albinos and lepers; Liz visited the village a few years ago when she first went out. Whilst albinos are shunned - whilst they are alive - their body parts are considered, by local witch doctors, to have special powers. As a result many albinos are killed for that very reason. Much of this takes place in the Lake Victoria basin area. In 2015, in an attempt to make albinism less ostracised, an albino minister was appointed to the Tanzanian government (see http://www.dw.com/en/tanzania-appoints-first-albino-deputy-minister/a-18916274 ).

They saw 93 patients today and Liz worked again with Fausta who had to give a talk to the crowd. Not all of the crowd spoke Swahili and so they had to get a lady from the crowd to demonstrate in the local language.

Below is a picture of training at Katoro clinic, where the Bukoba-based team are working today.

 

Today is the birthday of Beatriz, one of Liz's team, and I was contacted yesterday evening by her husband, who is enjoying reading the blog.

                    Happy Birthday Beatriz !

Liz said that they had a little party and sang 'Happy Birthday' in Spanish. They asked at the bar if they had any wine and bought a bottle of Proudly Tanzanian wine for about £5.00. When it came, it turned out that it was rather sweet altar wine!

Amazingly, I have managed to find a picture of a bottle of it.

 

 

Liz said that she treated a young lad today who has had dental pain for about 10 years. He had been along to the local witch doctor who had given him some 'traditional medicine' to put on it and he had been applying this for years but the only effect was to wear away the gum down to the bone (Heaven know what the salve was!). A quick examination revealed that it was all due to a bit of infected root that had been left in the jaw. 5 seconds later and it was out !

They also saw a lady whose face was so swollen that she could not really open her mouth. There is a small 'hospital' next to the clinic and she has now been admitted and put onto an antibiotic drip. Hopefully, this will reduce the swelling and they will then be able to diagnose what is wrong with her. Chances are that it will be something very simple that has been allowed to get worse and worse.

Below is a picture of training at Katoro clinic, where the Bukoba-based team are working today. Hopefully there will be some pictures from Kamachumu tomorrow.

I filled Liz in on the impact of Storm Doris but i am sure that, to someone who is doing intense work in a humid environment 'in the bush', fallen trees and blocked railway lines must seem a world away.

 

Friday 24 February 2017

 

Overnight I received some photos from Judy's team in Bukoba and these are to be found below.

Remember the grasshopper traps ? Well, it looks as if the Bukoba team have been tucking into them for lunch. I guess that they add a whole new meaning to the phrase 'spring rolls' !

 

                             

 

If you did not manage to see the BBC programme last night about albinism in Tanzania, do try and watch it on catch-up. It was fascinating .... if a VERY hard watch at times. It was odd for me to think that Liz would recognise many of the roads around Mwanza and surrounding villages. The programme gave a very good insight into rural life in that area.

Early this morning I received an email from Julio and Rosario Sánchez-Álvarez in Pamplona in Spain. They are Beatriz's parents and have been avidly reading the blog, which makes it all worth while.

I also received another email from the Bukoba team, who have now had a chance of reading the blog and have been able to fill in an important gap .... left you will see a photo of the view of Mount Kilimanjaro that they had as they flew from Nairobi to Dar. Apparently the pilot dipped the wings so that everyone could see the sight.

Today was their penultimate day at Kamachumu and it was exhausting, as they saw 122 patients, which is a lot !

4 patients arrived late in the afternoon and they felt obliged to see them as they had walked for FOUR HOURS to get to the clinic, Crispin, the site administrator at the clinic, was able to converse with people in the local tribal language which is Haya (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haya_people ).

Good news ! The lady from yesterday with the swollen face had responded to the antibiotics and they were able to treat her as the swelling had improved.

They saw lots of people on bicycles with huge bunches of green bananas to sell at the local market (see photo from Wednesday's entry)..

Liz says that she saw a pied kingfisher on the way home. Quite how she knew it was on its way home, I don't know but it was down by the river. I believe that, apart from hummingbirds, they are the only bird that can hover without a facing wind (see photo below). They then dive vertically from the hover and their hit rate for coming back out with a fish is very high.

Liz trained Moyo today. He is the oldest of the Clinical Officers at 58 (the others are in their 20s and 30s). 'Moyo' is actually his surname but he likes to use it as it means 'heart' in Swahili.

When we spoke they were sitting in the outside restaurant area, listening to some VERY loud band playing African music. The problem of course, is that there are not a lot of hotels in Muleba !

 

 

 

Saturday 25 February 2017

 

I see that, overnight, President Trump excluded from a briefing representatives from certain press organisations that he doesn't like (including the BBC). As I used the word 'trump' in Wednesday's entry to this blog, I am now expecting an injunction to be taken out to take this blog offline !

Today is their last day at the clinic in Kamachumu before they have a rest day and then move to the second clinic.

They saw 144 patients today which, as far as I am aware, is some sort of record for teams that Liz has been on. This was despite the fact that it was raining in the morning.

Kiaran, the team leader, and Liz ended up treating patients whilst everyone else was packing up. This included one 17 year old girl who arrived almost as they were clearing up; she started to cry as she was so desperate to be seen and, of course, they saw her.

Liz was with Mwanaidi today, an Islamic name that means 'Child of Thursday'. She had previously been with Stuart, one of the other dentists and Liz said that she had shown huge improvement over the last few days. She is left-handed which makes it very strange when training her.

The plan for tomorrow (their day off) is that some of them will attend the first (of three!) hour of the service at the local church whilst the others go to the local market. They then hope to meet up with the Bukoba team at a waterfall which they had passed en route to the clinic.  I have found a picture on Google (left) of the waterfall and Liz has confirmed that this is the road they have been travelling along to get to the clinic.

The plan is to have a lunch of the local delicacy - chip omelettes !

 

Sunday 26 February 2017

 

I got a text from Liz, early this morning, to say that she probably doesn't need to go to the church this morning as she was woken - at 06:00 - by some sort of service being blasted out over loudspeakers for an hour an a half. In the past, she has been woken by the Call to Prayer in Muslim parts of Tanzania and it will be interesting to find out exactly what this was.

She texted me later to say that they had arrived at the church in time for the 50 (yes FIFTY) minute sermon on giving. She described the preacher as the Swahili equivalent of the late Rev Ian Paisley. People came up to the altar with gifts of bananas, sugar cane, etc. and then it was 'hands in pockets' time.

The team were welcomed by the ministers and Mussa (their local fixer) explained the role of Bridge2Aid and they were given an opportunity to take the mike and say hello. They may regret it tomorrow when there are huge queues at the clinic.

The rest of the team went to the local market (right) and bought some material, which a tailor is making into dresses at a cost of £8 for two.

Apparently a herd of Ankole-Watusi cattle (left) spend the night in a field next to Liz's room. The mooing is very comforting as long as it's not too early !

One interesting fact from yesterday. Apparently the new president introduced a new community day on the last Saturday of every month. Tanzanians are not allowed to work in their own business but must spend the day picking up litter and cleaning. Given the amount of litter along the verges of Hertfordshire, this strikes me as an excellent initiative for the UK.

They walked to the waterfall this afternoon, escorted by hordes of village children. En route they passed lots of smallholdings, growing bananas, cassava, coffee and moringa beans.

The other team had been to another waterfall and bat cave (did they meet Michael Caine?) and then they all met at a restaurant for chip omelette (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipsi_mayai ). In true Tanzania fashion the food took TWO HOURS to arrive. Liz is never sure what actually goes on in the kitchen; perhaps they are waiting for the potato plants to ripen ? Apparently i will be sent, in due course, a photo of them all, once the Bukoba team are back in their hotel. It will be good to have a 'live' photo of the Muleba team.

Later in the evening i got a text from Liz to say that she had been thinking of me, down at the Odyssey Health Club, watching Manchester united bear Southampton. She and the team had been watching it in the restaurant in Muleba - small world !

 

Monday 27 February 2017

 

Today they set off for the second clinic, which is situated in the town of Izigo. Unfortunately, Izigo does not show on Google maps but it appears to be north of Muleba (I.e. back towards Bukoba) but not as far as the junction they turned off at to go to the first clinic. This means that their travelling time each day will be about half of the rime they took to get to Kamachumu, It will also be along a main road and not along the murram road which can be pretty bone-jarring.

Interestingly, when I searched 'Izigo' on Google, I found one site that offered to give me the latest Ski Weather for Izigo ! If only I had known that Liz was sneaking in a few days on the piste ! I was also directed to numerous pictures of the iZi Go car-seat for babies - oh the wonders of Google !

From another site I think I have located Izigo and you will find an aerial view of the village on the left. The North-South road is the main road from Muleba, where they are staying (to the South), back to Bukoba, where the other team is based. Izigo does not appear to be a particularly large place but i am sure that patients will walk a long way to get to the clinic. As mentioned earlier in this blog, the local tribe is the Haya people; I found a picture of a traditional Haya house which can be seen on the right.

I got a text from Liz at 06:30 (UK) time which is 09:30 in Izigo, where they were sitting in the bus outside the clinic. She was watching rivers of mud passing them as they have had torrential rain for two hours. The irony is that they have had no running water in the hotel for the past 24 hours. Luckily Liz filled a large bucket with water yesterday morning - the advantage of being a seasoned traveller to Tanzania!

 

Patients are starting to queue up already despite the weather. From the online forecast it looks as if it will be raining heavily all week; at least that tends to mean that the humidity drops off.

The clinic in Izigo is very similar to the one last week but ..... STOP THE PRESSES! this one has electricity and the ceiling fans and lights work. They also have sinks with taps but, needless to say, no running water !

They saw 65 patients today. Fausta had to go back to Mwanza to complete some of her Clinical Officer exams and so Liz was 'floating' between trainees and also doing paperwork as well as training Joseph, the guy from Bridge2Aid in Tanzania. The lady who runs the local café turned up with some very tasty food for their lunch.

They appear to have a tame hornbill sitting in a tree by the clinic all day. It's probably a Tanzanian red-billed hornbill (see left) but I will check.

As part of their campaign to get volunteers for the next trip in May, Bridge2Aid have put the following clip on their website of the trip to one of the clinics. It gives a good idea of what the team experience every morning.

https://www.facebook.com/bridge2aid/videos/10154876120200446/

I spoke with Liz just after they had been playing JENGA in the bar. How appropriate, as 'jenga' is a Swahili word, meaning 'construct'.

Later in the evening, I received pictures from the Buokba team of the meeting of the two teams on Sunday. Below is a photo of all of them at lunch and a photo of tilapia and the notorious chip omelettes !

 
 

    

 

Tuesday 28 February 2017

 

Second day at the clinic in Izigo. I see that the weather report is for another thunderstorm in the area; if you have ever been to the tropics, you will know that it is amazing just how much water can come down in a short period of time. Usually, however, this has little impact on the number of patients who turn up as they are so desperate for treatment. Bridge2Aid arrange for notices to be put up in surrounding villages, advising the population of the days that the team will be at the clinic.

Today's picture is one that I found of two ladies walking to Izigo village. This should give you an idea of the sort of paths that the patients walk along to get to the clinic - pretty muddy in the rain !

I imagine that the dresses the team had made were in such bright material.

They saw 106 patients today, which is a lot considering that the clinical officers sat their theory examination in the afternoon. Liz was training Moyo again today and said that the day was exhausting. she certainly sounded so when I spoke to her later in the evening.

Apparently this clinic, and the one in Kamachumu, were funded by an American charity. The one in Izigo is destined to be an HIV clinic and one room is already being used for testing. The Regional Dental Officer, Dr Hassan, who spent the day with them today, was encouraging patients to get themselves tested; not part of the routine patter at the dental surgery in Knebworth !

 

 
 
 

Wednesday 1 March 2017

 

Bridge2Aid have posted a slideshow of photos of the Muleba team. To access this show, click on the following link

https://www.facebook.com/bridge2aid/videos/10154878520945446/

If you have friends or relatives who are part of the Bukoba team, click on the following link to see a slideshow of the work of the other team:

https://www.facebook.com/bridge2aid/videos/10154878550290446/

which also contains photos of their visit to Rubare forest.

 

Today's photo comes from the website of another charity that is doing work in Izigo village (http://cosad.org/communities-projects), with their interestingly named One Woman, One Goat initiative. There are lots of photos of Izigo village on that site.

It looks like there is another thunderstorm headed their way and the temperature is only 220 C, which is quite a bit lower than Liz has experienced on previous trips.

They saw 128 patients today. Unfortunately, Fausta has not returned yet from her exams in Mwanza as it takes FIVE hours each way by bus.. Liz spent the day with Dr Sadoth who is acting as Dr Leotye, the District Dental Officer has been busy at his hospital.

Liz was worried yesterday that Moyo was having problems seeing properly and so he is now the proud owner of Liz's spare pair of reading glasses.

The local cook excelled herself today with NINE separate dishes, including fish stew, beef, chips, cassava, bananas and spinach.

Just as she texted me a family of green vervet monkeys ran across the road in front of the bus.

On the left is a sweet picture of one of yesterday's smallest patient who visited the clinic being run by the Bukoba team.

When I spoke to Liz this evening, she said that she had had her first shower for five days as the water pressure in the hotel has just not been strong enough. Mussa had brought along some grasshoppers for them to try. I am reliably informed that they taste like pork scratchings. Liz said it was a bit like the Bushtucker Challenge in I'm a Celebrity; get me out of here. Mussa ate the leftovers !

Today they treated the security guard at the clinic and his daughter. He has been really good and has stayed on long after he should have left and he asked if they could give him 80p for the extra work.

This evening Kiaran, the team leader, gave each of the team a small bell, inscribed with a different message for each of them; nice touch !

Tomorrow they are due to finish at Izigo just after lunch and make their way back to Bukoba for a debrief with the other team.

 

Thursday 2 March 2017

 

Woke this morning to find an incoming email from Judy Beckerson, the leader of the Bukoba team. She said that it is very odd staying at a hotel that has WIFI but that it slows considerably when they all get back and want to access the internet at the same time. She sent a picture of the bats that they saw in the cave on their day off (the team had a day off... not the bats !).When you see a picture of a bat you appreciate why the German for 'bat' is 'flying mouse'.

Hopefully, the next time I hear from Liz she should be back at the ELCT Hotel in Bukoba and we will be able to communicate via Skype. This will also be the first opportunity that she has of reading this blog herself.

They saw 130 patients this morning before they left the clinic. That is a VAST number of patients and it left them all exhausted. The good news is that all of the trainees passed and so they had their usual ceremony with certificates, etc.

Finally, just before they went into their end-of-trip meal in the Victorious Perch Hotel, Liz managed to Skype and, for a fleeting moment, I saw a grainy image of her. Far more important, though, was that she was able to see (and hear!) our 4-month old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Bailey. Right is a picture of her in our garden this afternoon (more for Liz to see than other readers!).I'm not sure who is missing whom the more.

Apparently Teddy's mother has included a link to this blog on Facebook and there have been over 400 hits, which is gratifying.

Tomorrow they fly back to Mwanza and then go their separate ways, of which more tomorrow.

See the following link for a message from the Chief Executive of Bridge2Aid, Mark Topley:

https://www.facebook.com/bridge2aid/videos/10154882948405446/

See also the following clip, which gives you a good idea of just how desperate the villagers are to get a numbered ticket to be seen by a dentist:

https://www.facebook.com/bridge2aid/videos/10154883607285446/

 

Friday 3 March 2017

 

This morning they fly on a charter flight from Bukoba back to Mwanza, where Bridge2Aid is based.

Some of them are then flying back to the UK (via Dar and Nairobi) landing back at Heathrow at 15:30 tomorrow.

The remainder are going on a mini-safari in the Serengeti. Liz, Judy and Kiaran are staying until Monday but the others fly back on Sunday (again via Dar and Nairobi) and land at 15:30 on Monday. Kiaran, Judy and Liz are staying an extra day and arrive back on Tuesday morning, flying with KLM via Amsterdam. I got a text from Liz to say that they had flown to Mwanza and were in the safari vehicle and on the way to the Serengeti. They are going to make a halt at Stopover Lodge, the place that they used as their base on Liz's first trip with B2A back in 2008.

I believe that they were going to stay at separate lodges but that they are now all staying at the Mbalageti Lodge (see http://www.mbalageti.com/ ) which looks VERY nice. Fortunately, I am not at all jealous, even though I have just bought a specialist zoom lens for my camera ! On the right you will see a photo that I took in Lake Manyara National Park when I flew out to join Liz at the end of her B2A trip in 2016.

I shall follow the policy that I have followed in previous years which is to consider the safari as 'private time' and will end the blog here.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about the exploits of the dentists and nurses whilst they have been in Tanzania. If you think that there is any way that I can improve on this blog in future years do drop me a line at colin.stringer@ntlworld.com.

Asante Sana !