A couple of really nice drive days! Tanzania is such a very beautiful place 🙂 We enjoyed the scenery out of the windows, and the coolness of being at higher altitude in Iringa. Some of the African participants found the UK-type temperatures a little on the chilly side… The Old Farmhouse Camp was a tranquil minimalistic site, with3 clean, stone-built long drop toilets, lit by candles at night, and 3 surprisingly nicely-tiled showers heated by an oven-fire water system, which we had to keep burning as the 160 travellers welcomed a warm wash 🙂
During the long hours of driving, we did some activities to get to know each other better, and to understand a bit better each other’s connections to Climate Change. Truck 5 (Nyota!*) has a very diverse mix of people from Ole, the Masai, to researchers from Norway and the UK. The most inspiring story for me came from Winnie Asiti, the infamous Kenyan Climate Activist (350.org, KYCN, AYICC). She told of how the region which flourished as she grew up has over the years been devastated by deforestation, diminishing resources, and food and water shortages. Now what she knew as a rich, thriving landscape when she was young is bleak and barren. This moved Winnie to study Environmental Science, attend the UNFCCC COP12 (Nairobi) and COP15 (Copenhagen), and get seriously involved in Climate Activism – making big efforts, nationally and internationally to slow and halt the degradation of her natural world… She is the most friendly and caring girl, and an excellent speaker, with such clarity and passion, and has achieved so much for someone only a little older than me. She has great respect from national politicians, and is accredited to attend the COP17 main conference, which recognises her competence at an international level! I know that with people like Winnie, our campaign will succeed in making a huge influence on global climate policy and the treaty we are calling for. I am looking forward to hearing and writing about other life stories from people here.
Beautiful sunset on the first night, as we discussed how solar power could become more prevalent in Africa:
As we crossed the border from Tanzania into Malawi, we were shocked to see more than 5 of the large rivers, that should be running into Lake Malawi, completely dry… the lake’s waters are shrinking away from the shores, and the communities are noticing the land drying up further around the lake. This means that the rich banana, mango and orange plantations we see around will no longer be sustained, and the region’s food and trade will plummet, leaving people empty-handed and deeper into poverty and struggling to support themselves.
As the sun was setting, we arrived into Chitimba camp, and set up the tents… I took a brief tour of the campsite after a satisfying dinner of tomato soup & bread, followed by spaghetti with Ugali (sp?). But I found all the charging points, and showers taken, so wandered back to camp and crashed out in the still-slightly damp tent…
We woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise over the shores of the lake, refreshing showers, and bright smiles. Here are some of my favourite impressions of the morning:
Today, we have a drive day to Lilongwe and then the concert there tomorrow and our third brig campaigning opportunity. I’m going to use today to try to mobilise my bus to be able to gather as many petitions as possible. In the meantime, please keep signing the online petition at www.wehavefaithactnow.org! Thanks! Claire x
*meaning star in Swahili