You may remember this post by my visitor Stephen some months ago on his way out to Iringa for an internship. Well, he's with me again on his way back to the UK - or, to be more precise, he spent the night Friday to Saturday and is currently enjoying the delights of Zanzibar, flying out at some absurd hour on Tuesday morning, pretty sure that Heathrow and Gatwick wouldn't allow scheduled 3.30am. take offs! So it seems appropriate that I'm ready to show you my pictures of Iringa whilst he's here.
Iringa is about 8 hours inland from here by coach, with Morogoro just less than half way. Some of the driving gets a bit 'interesting', at one stage I considered driving myself and am jolly glad I didn't!
One of the attractions there are the Kombangulu stone age paintings. If you go to this travel guide it tells you to take the dala dala (local bus) headed to Kilolo as far as the Bwawani campsite, then find the campsite owner Freddy and ask for directions. Well, right down to the last semi-colon this is exactly what happened - except that Freddy ended up coming on the walk with me. I still find this slightly uncanny that the information on the web was so entirely accurate!
The scenery is remarkably mountainous and dry, beautiful in an austere manner which I hope the following pictures show:
Alas, the paintings themselves don't show up very well without specialist photographic equipment and techniques, and are also prone to vandalism. Here are some attempts:
There was also this grave that caught my imagination, I hope you like the pictures:
So, that's just about it for this week. Another post from Iringa to go, the Isimila stone age remains are absolutely breathtaking, hopefully in photographic form as well as when you're actually there. I'm off to Arua in North West Uganda this week for an intensive work trip, interviewing candidates for next year's masters programme, and am hoping to be able to take some pictures on the way. And, whilst I mentioned briefly that I've moved a few weeks ago, I'd like to tell you something about the apartment. Suffice to say for the moment that I'm writing this blog entry whilst lying on a recliner on my balcony able to see my previous apartment block and hearing children playing in the swimming pool which I used before going to church this morning. It's a tough life.
One final thing. Just to give advance notice that I'm wanting to raise money for 10-year-old Joshua Ngombo, currently in India undergoing cancer treatment. He's a member of my Sunday School group, and I mentioned him under the pseudonym James in this blog entry. His parents Ahmed and Audrey are pastors at the Pentecostal Church, you can read their blog here, also there's a article in an Indian newspaper about them which can be read here. Formal launch coming soon, suffice to say that it seems appropriate in raising money for a cancer patient to seek sponsorship by having my head shaved. Would be delighted if you could support me in this.