Not Here nor There

Iota suggested this: a photo a day. Tell me when you’ve had enough …

My eldest daughter took this one: she, her camera and a walking stick as a writing implement headed out to the Sand Island. Of Kenya she says, ‘it’s home’  (a place that might have been for her forefathers but never for her, not until now, when she isn’t away at University in snowbound England where she was born … it’s a complicated thing, this ‘belonging’). And yet, I note, she scribes Karibu in the sand.

Kenya this may be but a Tanzanian bids you welcome with the word.

I wondered who she was willing to her isolated patch of beach? The birds, who flock busily when the tide seeps out until Pili chases them all up again? A lonesome plane puttering through the powder blue sky above, ripping clouds to insubstantial shreds?

Or invisible, faraway passersby in the ether?




12 Responses to “Not Here nor There”

  1. Daryl Lloyd Says:

    Now there’s a word that’s wonderfully familiar and comforting for someone who was brought up in the middle of Tanzania. Even to this day, after 22 years away, I still have to bit back an instinctive “karibu” whenever anyone arrives at the door.
    Anyhow, I am delighted that you have taken up your digital quill again. Even if you are no longer writing about Tanzania (which is the reason I found and started reading your blog), I’ll carry on coming back.

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      isn’t it just Daryl, wonderfully familiar. Thank you for continued reading even though i’ve relocated …

  2. Lily Says:

    On the compass rose of the displaced there seems to be no North or South, but rather Before and After, and the invisible points in between. It’s the geography of gypsies, those who wander the earth with their shadows for company. It seems we all have the same crumpled map in our pocket!

  3. Iota Says:

    Good luck with the photo a day! I’m so glad you’re doing it. If you need inspiration, or the stamina to keep going, I think there are websites which you can link to. Then you can be part of a big global photo-a-day, and learn about people’s daily lives all round the world.

    I love this first one. Very appropriate. You are greeting us with your new venture. (I’m assuming Karibu means Hello.)

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      thanks for that Iota, that’s a great tip. I’ll get searching. Karibu means Welcome, ‘piga hodi’ is to enquire who’s in, a sort of ‘hello, anybody home’, the response in Tanzania would be ‘karibu’. x

  4. mapesburyMum Says:

    Karibu sana – glad you’re back! Look forward to your next photo – maybe some of your jewellery?

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      thank you mapesbury x can’t wait to get stuck into glass and jewellery again. waiting for studio to be finished then i can fish all my bits out of dehumidifier store where i hope they are defying this climate and not rusting to pieces …!

  5. Connie Says:

    Wonderful! I shall be popping in every day.

  6. janerowena Says:

    With thick snow outside my window, I really wish I were there to read it for myself.

  7. TatuMbili Says:

    Please keep them coming! I, like your daughter, consider Kenya “home” so I completely understand that complicated thing of belonging, even after 35 years away from home.

  8. Jill of All Trades Says:

    I have just moved to Tanzania and I’m afraid this word causes a quiet rage in me. I am still finding my words to articulate why; lets just say, I am jealous of the mzungu, who even by his name, is allowed to wander the earth. I am jealous that I have to explain so often why I would want that same privilege. I found your blog awhile ago, but forget to check it sometimes as I am not on wordpress. I love your digital and verbal imagery.

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