Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian)

Wentworth Falls NSW AU

The below is an off-site archive of all tweets posted by @stilgherrian ever

June 30th, 2009

There’s the fifth pair of eagles circling near the road.

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18km to Morogoro. Much greener: mountains catch the rain.

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First casualty: me. Photographing an abandoned sisal farm. Result: 6cm scratch on arm. Plus a photo. Of sisal.

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Drought effects: none of the maize seems to have reached harvest. Passing thru Chalinze.

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Piss stop. Sorry, “traditional medicine stop”. Lame advice to watch out lions. Cellphone towers line the road.

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Good 2-lane highway. Heavy lorries, plus people walking between villages or on bicycles.

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Kibaha region. West, rather than north. Small farms: bananas, coconuts, cassava, cashews, others I don’t know.

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En route to Dodoma. Lonely Planet says “There is no reason to go to Dodoma”. We are going to Dodoma regardless.

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This will clearly be a long road trip.

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Albert complains that we didn’t tell him we had interests other than cloves and cassava.

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Lena complains loudly that Albert failed to tell us Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar.

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Driving north-east out of Dar es Salaam. Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean”. Discussing our SEKRIT investigation.

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Oh, and for the police with AK-47s.

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Stop at mall for videotape. Same as any other anywhere, ‘cept for the occasional Masai in full tribal garb.

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One lane each way. Traffic slow. Fuelling and water-buying stop: four young women to operate the pump for us. Dusty.

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Wondering whether to introduce our new Tanzanian bloggers to @TheBloggess. Maybe there IS such a thing as too much culture shock.

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@micktleyden I thought IMAP would help resync back to my MacBook Pro when I return, but it’s causing too much grief here.

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In hindsight,changing my email from POP3 to IMAP was a mistake. Too much network overhead. Srsly.

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Noting that everyone sending their last email all at once is killing at office’s 512k/128k link.

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Watching people finish frantic emails before we hit the road for hours… days… to the end of Time itself.

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0815. Avoiding the traffic jam by detouring down a very rough back lane.

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Should I be concerned that “Born to be Wild” is blasting out as we cruise intn town? Yes, Thomas was waiting for us.

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0745. Breakfast done. On safari for 4 days now, Dodoma and Nzega. Updates as we’re rolling. I bet Thomas is already waiting for us.

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45 minutes left for breakfast, final re-pack for the road trip, checkout, “urgent” emails. That view looks nice. I’ll try to look.

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@mrsnickhodge Every hour there’s four things which could all be 400 words. Ever single hour.

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@mrsnickhodge It’s not the 140-char killing me. It’s that a post takes an hour or two. W e never get them.

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@SnarkyPlatypus Our shared human creation of bureaucracies is also universal. ;)

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@mrsnickhodge Kilimani village on Zanzibar wasn’t distant in space, but certainly in culture. And yet… ah, I’ll write later!

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@mrsnickhodge The “culture shock” isn’t about what’s vastly different, but what’s almost-the-same. There’s an essay there!

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@archielaw @Mark_Chenery It’s clear that the longer-form writing will come once I return to Sydney and can reflect.

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Tue plan (D5): Drive to Dodoma (5 hours), see… something; continue training on blogging. Long day.

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Emerges. 0608 in Dar es Salaam. Pre-dawn sky over the ocean. We leave in 90 minutes.

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I can’t believe I’ve been in Tanzania for 4 days without knowing “wanaume”.

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It’s approaching 7pm. Kili Time has been declared. Dusk falls on a dusty Nyerere St, Dodoma.

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They’re still discussing tomorrow’s itinerary. A photographer to be collected from Mwanza before Nyega. How many km?

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Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the Fair was over. However, we did get a nail in a tyre. Mechanicals proceed.

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So, we’re going to talk our way into the NGO Fair at Parliament House without registration. I detect looming Fail.

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Eating goat and rice, in company with a concrete antelope while “Falling in Love” croons.

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Kidia Vision Hotel, Dodoma, where Jesus Loves You, it says. There are large, prominent Bibles. 3.40pm. Lunch.

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In Dodoma. “There is no reason to go to Dodoma”, it said. Except it’s the national capital. And dusty.

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Did I mention lots of baobab trees? Oh. Another question.

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I don’t know why I’m asking questions. I’m in the middle of Tanzania.

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75km from Dodoba. @Nickhodge, are you timing this journey? Dry, dry, dry.

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The sunflowers are heartbreaking: drought-tattered. Everything grey, dry.

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Semi-desert now. Stunted trees, prickly pear, dusty farm towns, sunflowers, goats, cell towers. Kibaigwa.

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Passing thru Gairo, noted for it’s maize markets. 123km short of Dodnma.

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Passing Keyangaya mountain in Morogoro region.

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The cellphone transmitters live in better huts than 95% of the farmers here.

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Local transport is Chinese motorcycle, quarter the price of a Honda. Used heavily, they last 6 months.

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We don’t enter Morogoro, we turn north. But we pause to buy the freshest bananas ever. A dozen eagles overhead.

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