East African sailing trip – log 57

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October 25, 2004

Today we agree to stay put! We need to attend to some chores. I give the whole boat a good clean. Everything is back in its place and sparkling. Wolf fixes the genoa lifting it slightly. I re-stitch the elastic on the mosquito netting for the hatches. That was the best idea we ever had… Before leaving I bought mosquito netting and made covers that slip over each hatch and the companionway, so even though every hatch is open, we are free of flies and mosquitoes.

We dingy ashore and send off another newsletter, then dive into the pool where we swim… and swim… and swim, we have this lovely pool to ourselves and luxuriate in all this fresh water. Ohhh… fabulous! You will only understand what I am feeling if you are a yachtie on a boat with limited fresh water. After swimming we indulged in a cool shower, then meet the Food & Beverage Manager, Waltermar, at the beach bar, he is a really neat person and makes us feel so welcome.

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I am drawn to this woman who has her small son with her; he sits obediently while we conduct our transaction. I am astounded to see how content he is to sit and watch his mother – not uttering a sound – His interest in this “Mzungu” (white woman) plainly visible on his little face.

Africa is a complex, multi-faceted environment with rich and varying cultures. Each day I spend traveling this vast land, I gain more insight into its diversity and the lives of its peoples.  Women work really hard in all the islands we visit. It is not unusual to see groups of women picking and harvesting seaweed, or fishing along the shores with nets, usually with babies on their backs, or selling wares on the streets. They are exposed to the harsh working conditions, usually for little reward.

We stroll back to the sanctuary of the lodge and our home afloat and I offer a silent prayer for these women; asking for continued strength, and God’s amazing grace to be showered on them.

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