The fish arrived the next afternoon. With attendant baggage. To our relief. And – though they mightn’t have registered it yet – the relief of the entire staff of, and any transit passengers in, Dar es Salaam International Airport who would surely have begun to smell a rat (or similar) had our bags not been dispatched so hastily. I ripped it from the clingwrapped bag and dropped into the deep freeze without drawing breath.

Challenges on Day One, therefore, included:

– making enough telephone calls to ensure our luggage was loaded onto that day’s flight;
– braving ‘town’ to purchase tomatoes, potatoes and mozzi nets (and chocolate to distract the children from all the nutters who kept approaching the car to leer in at them – this place is either national dumping ground for anybody who doesn’t conform to normalcy or a stagnant puddle spawned off inbreeding gene pool – entirely understandable given the distance one would have to go to find a partner; or perhaps insanity is what happens to everybody who lives here long enough, also entirely understandable given my first two days);
– battling to capture every drop of water that fell from every tap in order that we can wash, flush loos (we live by the faintly disgusting mantra ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down’ now) and trickle the odd mugful onto my jaundiced lawn (parent stock carefully uprooted from my garden in Arusha and transported here)

Challenges on this – Day Two – include trying not to have a total nervous and emotional breakdown when my Desktop (which contains every word I have ever written – including four unpublished books – none of which I’d backed up, naturally) crashed in spectacular fashion and promised internet connection failed to work.

Outpost living isn’t going to be easy.

But perhaps it means I will always have something to talk about.

Perhaps it means I’ll be a better person for the adventure.

Or perhaps it just means I’m going to go mad too?

Given the fact their mother is threatening to fall apart at the seams, my children have been pillars of strength, suggesting I drink sweet tea (interestingly it was only yesterday that Amelia asked for an explanation as to the importance of sweet tea) or have a lie-down. My husband has stopped taking my tearful calls.

The tea helped; it encouraged me to be proactive. I called a friend in Arusha who organizes highly paying safari clients onto execu-jets that – by virtue of destination must stopover in Outpost to refuel (when I bet they all peer out the aircraft windows and wonder if anybody lives in this God forsaken place); she has suggested sending my hard-drive to Arusha where it can be seen by the necessary technician and returned to me in same luxury manner.

My hard drive is going to travel in better style than I ever will.

So long as it comes home working, I won’t hold a grudge.


5 Responses to “Challenges”

  1. R. Sherman Says:

    No comment, other than hang in there.


  2. Iota Says:

    I really hope your hard drive comes home working. For your sake. But also for mine – I so enjoy reading your blog.

  3. The Good Woman Says:

    It will get better. It always does. It’s just the gems remain, as yet, undiscovered. Thinking of you.

  4. Phillida Says:

    Hi R Mem,
    Thank you for your posts, as always,
    Mighty woman,…just one step at a time and lots of deep breaths.
    That’s the trouble with adventures……they are really hard work too…but worth it in the end.
    Thinking of you and fingers crossed with the hard drive. I bet the experts get it sorted and it will become a distant nightmare.

  5. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you all. I feel cut off here. But not lonely. The sun warms my skin, the dust is stiffening my hair, the sky is as big: it’s still Africa, it’s still home, it’s just a different part of Africa; I’ll get used to it. It helps to blog (blab?) about it. Thanks for listening.

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