The dig at Songo Mnara already feels like another lifetime, or another world.
It was amazing. The site was incredible, the island was gorgeous, the people were great. The sun was unbelievably strong, straight down on us, and if the wind wasn’t blowing sand and dirt straight into your eyes, it was only because you were downwind of the sieve and getting mouthfuls of it. The minute tonal difference between the types of soils, trying to identify them, to distinguish between them, was infuriating – almost painful – and hours spent looking for traces of decoration or finished edges on pottery fragments had me hallucinating bases. Continue reading
Kawe seemed smaller and calmer than I remembered. I don’t know if it changed or I did. They tell me that Kawe has grown in people and expanded geographically, but everything seemed to have shrunk. I remembered an insane flurry of color stuck in a deep mud pit, straining to hold the people in – and we drove into a sedate, seemingly organized, relatively broad street that was as much dust as mud.
It took us a few hours to get from the airport to Kawe – between a tire blowing out and the Dar traffic (there are, supposedly, a handful of traffic lights in the entire city; I think that their existence is an urban legend) – but it was a nice slow drive… Continue reading