I am back in Arusha. The drive this time was 9 hours long; the broken shock and my jua kali repairs didn’t help matters. Jua kali means fierce (kali) sun (jua), and is often used to refer to the type of repairs you get in the bush. Me tying my broken shock into place so it wouldn’t rub against the tire, and tying the coil spring down with twine in hopes that it wouldn’t pop out is a prime example of jua kali repairs. Wire, twine, mpira (old tire rubber) and duct tape. But a jua kali mechanic is worth his weight in gold – he can fix your Land Rover anywhere, anytime, and the rest of us who live in the bush strive for jua kali proficiency.

To be fair, the broken shock was easy. Last trip in, Norbert and I not only got two punctures, but broke the high-lift jack! That slowed down the puncture repairs some…

So. I am exhausted. Back in Arusha, and while there are a million project errands to run – filling our butane gas tanks, getting cash from the bank, and of course buying fresh food — the biggest reason I’m back in civilization, elbowing my way through a sea of people trying to sell me maps and newspapers, is because my mom is coming to visit. And while I’m absolutely thrilled to share this place with my family, I will admit I’m a little apprehensive. My mom is 69 years old. How is she going to like braving the outdoors for the long walk to the choo when nature calls at night?? At least this time I won’t let Daniel set out Fabio for her walk back…



About ali swanson

I'm an ecologist studying how large carnivores coexist. I spend way too much of my time trying to stop hyenas and elephants from munching my camera traps!

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