Saturday, March 26, 2011

waitin'....

i thought about you this morning...when i heard the guinea fowl calling down in the ploughed field below the house. lucas has begun planting...and there are loads of guinea fowl that move in early in the morning and peck out the seeds, i think. hearing the guinea fowl in the mornings always takes me home to a place i know...

and the rains have arrived. and they're thunderingly glorious. god i love 'em. the wait, as painful as it was, was truly worth it. i love the nights, watching the storms flickerin' far away across the plains. sometimes raging around the old tin roof and the rain, the rain on the roof as i lie cosy under the hyrax rug feelin' safe and warm and dry...

last week end we headed out into the maasai steppes to visit bram on his farm for his birthday. he farms out near lokisali mountain which you can see from the ngorobobs far out across the plains... in the morning there were torrential rains. we thought should we? shouldn't we? those mile long black cotton soil plains become impassable...the sun appeared around noon and we thought, hell yeah, why not. so away we headed. the road looked like this from the very beginning...you can't see him properly, but that maasai man only had one leg. he was travelling from loliondo which is hundreds of miles away, up the rift wall, to visit a healer who has become hugely famous here in tanzania. here he is on his way home. still with one leg. not the sort of place where lifts come by too easily, it must be said.

so we made it through this tricky bit. and all the next tricky bits until we arrived at the first karongo. a karongo is like a dry river bed which only runs in the rains. there are loads of them around... and here we had to stop.

and there we sat. the rest of our friends (another three car loads) arrived...and more landrovers full of maasai arrived...some the other side, some this side. and there we sat...there was much discussion about how long it would take for the water to subside. some said two days. some said one hour. some said three hours. we all sat and sat and discusssed and watched a rock on the other side to see if we could see the water levels changing...

and we sat...and sat....waiting...

and waited and sat...
the sun marched on with the time...more cars arrived. more people. until there were 14 cars...mostly landrovers and one tractor.

yes. all those people came from inside that one landrover.

these landrovers were on the other side. waiting. there was only one thing for it. open the champagne meant for bram's birthday, get the guitar out and sing, watchin' the sun start to sink along with the water, which by now was slowly subsiding. there was something which made it all ok to wait...there was no where else to go...sitting there was where we were all meant to be. we were all heading in the right direction somehow....the wait was temporary. stories were told. ideas exchanged.

as twilight snuck in, two brave people decided to check how deep and strong the water was but they turned back. the full watery moon had started to rise...we weren't givin' up, no sirree...

after waiting for 5 hours we made the crossing, with great excitement and trepidation, at 8 o clock that night. the water had dropped to a safe crossing height... successfully. there was something so magical, racin' 'cross the plains, the rainy moon high, lighting the road, the crickets and frogs in chorus, insects flyin' into the windscreen, lightening flickering far away. bram was waiting with roast lamb, roast pork, fine wine and lashings of chocolate cake. we sat late into the night, watching the water silver on the big rock behind the house. we felt alive and didn't think about the journey home, until the gentle rain woke us early the next morning.

but that's another story.

Kitchen Board: 26 March 2011: lazy saturday afternoon. ngorobob hill.

umeme is electricity...not sure how this got onto the list? there simply isn't any to be found in the entire country, it seems.
being saturday afternoon a siesta is in order and then a ride on the spotty hoss before it rains again. life is sweet.
toodely oh bestests. bisous X X X sexy rainy hot sun ones on yer lips. x j

22 comments:

Mama Shujaa said...

Janelle,

Stupendously wonderful post! I LOVE IT. I've been off and on in blogland this last month; this post has certainly kicked off my morning (my week, even) before we head out to our 12-year-old's Saturday morning soccer matches.

The images and your prose will remain with me all day. Wish I was there waiting with all of you. Did you pack sandwiches? Such adventure filled lives - that is what I miss most - not some concocted adventures we experience (with very little patience) huku America. No such thing as road rage there, I bet! :-)

Loved it. Have a great week dada Janelli.

Mingi Love
Mama Shujaa

Bill said...

Janelle, such a timeless experience. Waiting for the water to subside, talking with fellow travelers, dealing with patience ... being close to both nature and humanity. Then, resuming your trip, pockets fill with new stories and new appreciations.

Bill

karen said...

Hi Janelle! I just love this post.. brilliant photos and a wonderful story! So glad you finally made it across that karongo! Glad the rains have come at last.

I've been away for a while, so just catching up. So very very sorry to hear about the loss of another friend... and due to poachers!!It is indescribably awful..

Warm weekend greetings from further south :)

Linda Sue said...

karongo patience- good that you had champagne and guitar on board! what a tale! And the one legged man trekking off to a healer- wow! I am sure that you are pleased with rain- since we have way too much of that good thing I can not share in your enthusiasm- too much!
We lived on the rez about 20 years ago and always carried our canoe on top of the truck- we had to ferry visitors to our house for dinner across the flood plane frequently...like I said we have too much rain.
Looking forward to your BOOK! Please.
xxoo
ls

Barbara said...

just beautiful!

elizabeth said...

You do have some ADVENTURES!
What a lovely tale things are pretty damn dull and cold around here.

Val said...

i love it - the waiting, the acceptance - somethings just cant be rushed! and patience is a skill; great pics too. Are you still there at Brams???
x

Janelle said...

asante sana mama shujaa...nice to hear from you!? definitely no road rage out there... x j

thanks for swingin' by bill...x j

linda sue...what's a rez? sounds exciting..canoes? x

thanks barbara, elizabeth and val! and no val, we made it back...just! x j

Robyn said...

Such an adventure and such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

family affairs said...

I love you x

Mark said...

Janelle: Approx' two weeks ago on on a Sunday afternoon I was browsing the Internet and came across a blog about African elephant poaching. I followed your post and found myself spending the remainder of the day reading all of your Ngorobob House entries. What a wonderful journey. I waited patiently for your recent post and in keeping with your schedule it arrived...thx! Please do continue your postings in the fashion we have all come to love. M

Janelle said...

thanks robyn...it would've been more adventurous if we'd been swept down the river to makuyuni! (the place where the water was floodin' down to..) x j

aw..love ya too lulu xxx j

thanks ever mark...lovely comment. yes yes will try and write more regular, ya know? x j

Angela said...

Like Linda Sue says, your book, your book! No change of style, just like blog entries. You`ll get RICH, just by telling your blog audience! AT least do what I did and let them make a book out of your Ngorobob blog. For your children. But then 1000 for us!

Mud in the City said...

Good point - must remember, always pack champagne, you never know when you might need it!
x

Lori ann said...

you are so cool. honestly. excellent post. it was worth the wait.
xxxx

3limes said...

I was wondering how you are...good to know you are happy, loving the moment and telling it like it must be told. Keep singing in the rain!

Chimera said...

Smashing post...so exciting and loved the photos very much. Thank you Janelle! T xx

Elizabeth said...

And I want your book too.............

I thought i had commented several aeons ago
but it got lost in the ether

you DO have adventures
and we DO love to read about them

Celeste said...

Your writing is so captivating Janelle, sounds like a perfect trip. I am so happy that the rains finally came for you.

Miranda said...

Glorious post as always.

And here, your twentieth comment, so a new post please! xx

Reya Mellicker said...

We Americans would never have the patience to wait for the water to settle down. I love this - the pictures, the story, all of it. All of it, yeah.

Lori ann said...

yes, we would and have :)