Moivaro Coffee Plantation

Trip Start Jul 19, 2007
Trip End Aug 03, 2007

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Saturday, July 21, 2007

We were able to save a little money by flying in a day early, and we were so glad we did.  This gave us a chance to check out the plantation, to rest up, get to know the two Judys, and just hang out.

We got up pretty early this morning; Amy was ready for coffee, Nathan woke with camera in hand.  We headed down to breakfast, which was quite lavish. A full buffet with so much food it was almost absurd. 

We had a 9am walk scheduled with a guide to take us around the plantation and surrounding modern Masaai village.  Livingston was his name and the two Judys joined us.  Our guide had quite the stories to tell and was very proud of his own story, rightfully so. He had only attended primary school, then spent the next 7 years teaching himself English from an English-Swahili dictionary.  He had started out as a porter for Mt. Kilimanjaro then worked his way up to guide.  He said he summitted 5 times but was then diagnosed with a thryroid problem and was told, "If you want to live, you can no longer climb the mountain."

We spent several hours walking through the village hearing all sorts of stories and learning about the agriculture and village society, seeing beautiful women, children, and fruit.  Slowly, one by one, we managed to gather a troup of kids who followed us around; some would drop off, others would join in ultimately totalling 9 by the time we were done. There was one boy who stayed behind Amy and every now and then he would comment about something along the way; 'this is trumpet flower' or repeat something the guide said to whomever straggled in the back.  We're pretty sure he was a self-proclaimed/propelled guide in training. We heard some elaborate story about a man who called himself Bob Marley living in a treehouse at the entrance to the village and how he had gotten in trouble with his tribe for "smoking his mareejewanna."  He apparently didn't want to get married which was a problem for his younger brother and sister because they couldn't get married until he did.  After being arrested for the "mareejewanna," he cleaned up his act and opened a small store across the road from his treehouse.  The treehouse remains as a reminder of his earlier mis-steps.  We don't know how much of the story was true; it sounded like a cautionary tale for youth.  But it was fun listening to him tell it.

All of the food served at the plantation is grown in the village.  Coffee is no longer a lucrative crop due to labor costs, so people are growing bananas, vegetables and other fruits. 

After the hike, we sat down on our beds for a few minutes only to awake about 3 hours later.  When we woke, we decided to talk a walk around the grounds which was truly beautiful. Flowers of every color, all sorts of birds, huge trees, huuuuggge trees, and beautiful bamboos. Nathan continued to walk around, but Amy decided to grab her journal and sit by the pool to drink a beer.  After a short while, she was joined by the two Judys, Donna and Bob, and Anne, who had recently arrived.  We had a wonderful talk about our various travels and experiences, had a couple beers then we all headed over to dinner.  The meal was delicious, with local delicacies and tons of meat and veggies.  The best part though was the cat...which, thank you very much, was sitting by Amy's chair :-D  Just like home!

Surprisingly tired, we headed back to our cabin to go to bed and to dream the dreams of safaris.
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