shangani    TZ     night     16 - 17  DEC   2006

you're listening to the west indian ocean from a room in a house above the beach at shangani, on the outskirts of mtwara

when somebody gets up, you can hear them brushing off their feet before they climb back into bed, slipping under the mosquito net

this tape is labelled 16-17 DEC night - it's probably very early on the morning of the 17th : you can hear dogs barking and cocks crow -

the tide is in : the long tide of the w indian ocean, there has been wind blowing, the water is moving strongly, the bed nets billow in the wind through the open windows it's hot

in 4 days you will make a cake and you will celebrate s's birthday in the kibanda - the little thatched building in the garden - right on the edge of the beach and where the busy lizzies grow in the sand - shielding the candles with a box from the wind off the sea

the landscape is very dry the cattle are thin the dams are empty there's no electricity it's hot
it's the hottest time of year in mtwara s tanzania it's
still dark
dawn alfajiri is to come

this is how we sleep before dawn by the ocean - with the dogs and the cockerels calling - you can hear s breathing - the breath of this family in this house - the Eden Guest Lodge on the very edge of the sea - the sea in a shell