Tanzania, take two

Nairobi airport, 7am, after an overnight flight but little sleep.

Squinting through tired eyes at the departures board, I realise – with a mild sense of panic – that my flight is the only one without a departure gate listed next to it. Cancelled. No reason given.

Panic levels increasing, I’m told the next flight to Mwanza wouldn’t be until tomorrow. Tomorrow! The only thing running through my mind is that I do not have the wherewithall to spend the night in Nairobi by myself.

Luckily, I’m put on another flight, leaving in an hour or so, to Kilimanjaro. From there, I ‘should’ be able to get another flight to Mwanza. I’m assured that my hold bag will follow me to Kilimanjaro, and then again to Mwanza. I want to believe this, I really do, but my sleep-deprived self does not trust in the unlikely so easily.

But if you are ever re-routed through Kilimanjaro, do not fear. It is possibly the most beautiful airport in the world. Like some luxurious beach-side hut; wooden decking and courtyard cafés, brightly-coloured cushions and trees growing through the roof. Flying in, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro peaks majestically through the clouds. (And my hold bag did follow me all the way.)

I’ve been back in Buswelu for about ten days now. Despite some big changes since my last visit six months ago, it feels like I never left. It’s incredible how much difference a little rain can make. Luscious green plants and trees are everywhere you look and the corn plants tower over six feet. It makes the place seem more prosperous, healthy and full of life.

We are enjoying trying the little cafés that seemed to have cropped up around the village since last time. We’re making a habit out of sampling each one on our walk back from site at lunchtime. At 35 degrees, we’re usually gasping for a cold soda in one of the cafés.

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