Thursday, 10 September 2009

Day 6, From Ruhatwe to Kikole village

I wake up early to hear the sound of a mother hen and her chicks pecking around my tent. – definitely free range! After a short while I hear the sound of sweeping, I emerge from the tent to see school children sweeping around the trees nearby. Salim tells me that it is customary in Tanzania for the children to clean the school each day before lessons.

We head back to the village for breakfast – we have to eat discreetly as people are fasting. So we sit inside and eat chipati and drink tea. Afterwards we go to the village meeting house where about 20 villagers have gathered to speak to us. This is a very good interview, I’m particularly pleased to meet Ameen Amsham who was in my last programme ‘sounding post’. After the talking Martin shows the group his flute, once again everyone is delighted. They ask him to play, then another flute player from the village appears, he says he plays the bamboo flute, I ask if we could see it. He returns and finds the fluteplayer who Martin gave the flute to last night. After a few tonal adjustments they play the flutes together – it sound fantastic. After this we put a way our tents and have lunch. We then ask if we can take some photos – I thought people might not like this too much, but everyone is coming up and asking for their picture to be taken. One woman even guides me to what she knows to be a good place to take a picture – I think they’ve been through this routine before!

After lunch we hit the road and move onto Kikole, the next village, this village has just made their first harvest of FSC mpingo – a great achievement. This village has a different feel to it than Ruhatwe, we go through the same procedures of being welcomed and signing the vistors book. I interview a group of the villages and then we set up camp on a hill with a lovely breeze next to the village dispensary. After dark we return to the village. As we arrive Jonas hears an announcement being made on a loud-hailer saying that Martin has come to perform his flute. It’s much more chaotic here and many people surround us. Martin’s hand is swelling from a mosquito bite and I think he’s finding the experience rather uncomfortable, it is very dark and we are surrounded by about 50 people. Martin plays but people talk over the performance, it is less respectful than in Ruhatwe, when he stops playing the flute is passed around and people try to play it – I think this is a bit distressing for Martin, Jonas says that people thought playing would be easy but when they try they realise it takes some skill.

After dinner we head back to camp early – Martin and I are both exhausted. As I am falling to sleep there are sounds of animals near by I’m not sure what it is – maybe a monkey, again the sounds of drumming and singing in the early hours as the villagers break their fast.