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It was another very early started. We arrived at the bus station at 5:50 to find 4 coaches lit up like Christmas trees. The first two were fully. But the finally coach had one seat left. It was sad to say goodbye to Arthur and Amon, as they had been such incredible hosts to me. I got a seat on the back seat of the bus and waved goodbye. It was very cold, so I asked the guy at the window to close the window. However it open again straight away. There should have been two panes of glass in each window but ours only had one… The wind howled in as the coach was shooting along at over 110kmph. To compound matters the guy next to me then moved so I had no shield from the wind. Luckily when we reached Bunda (in nearly half the time it took when I arrived in Musoma) I quickly moved next to a lady and her child. It was a good job that I moved quickly as there were people and bags lining the allies.

I was fully awake due to my previous seat, but the view out the window was brilliant all the way to Mwanza. There was a quick toilet stop on the way, no service station, just go next to the coach and do your business, but we didn’t stop nearly as much as my coach on my previous journey. We reached Mwanza in a little over 2 hours and a half. I negotiated my way through the many taxi drivers and sellers to grab a rammed Dala Dala to town. The seat I had was like a bus stop seat at home; only big enough for half your bum and slanted downwards.

I went to a cafe Arthur recommended and had Mandazi, kitumbua, fruit and coffee for breakfast. I read my book and watched a replay of an Premier league game until 11. I bought a paper and headed to find a Dala Dala. I was very disoriented and walked in the wrong direction before finding a Dala Dala stop. However I was at the wrong one… So a man, very kindly walked me to the right one, via a packed market. I’m glad I left lots of time as I was pushing it a little bit.

I went through to ‘check-in’ to find just two counters there, one had a person manning it but nobody could check-in there… I had to visit customs before I left. I waited for 5 mins for one lady served a couple in front of me. There was another lady in the office, but she was reading her book instead of serving me. My flight was called and I was told to go through gate 1 (there is only one door to the runway, so I am unsure why its called gate 1…). The flight back was good, even if the stewardesses looked angry to serve me my drink. We flew over the lake, before flying over the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater.

I grabbed the shuttle bus back to town. The driver was uncharacteristically cautious, he decided not to do a triple over take or overtake round corners, so it took an hour to get back. It was great to be back, Faheem ran and hugged me as soon as I entered the compound. After seeing the kids, I had dinner and returned to SWIWSCO.

My night was good, very normal, until after the little boys went to bed. I then heard Nurdin, one of the younger boys, running and shouting into the house. I was about to shout at him and get him back to bed, before he told me there was a big snake in their room. Dula, one of the eldest boys, and I grabbed some bricks and headed to the room to investigate. We were shortly joined by 3 of the other boys (Gohgat, Haruna & Saidi) and some of the older girls (Tatu, {Pares, Vumi and Acia – the lady who works at SWIWSCO).

Dula and I saw the tip of the snake go under one of the beds. So we carefully moved it, but could still not see it. It had gone under a group of very large (9 by 4 feet) roof tiles were propped against a wall. I went to one of the top bunks with a brick and shoes whilst Dula, without touching the floor. Passed some of the tiles out. He then started to tip the tiles onto the floor. As we got to the last one suddenly the snake appeared for a second, with screams from the observers outside. It was a good 4 maybe 5 feet – actual a big snake.

The snake has now gone under the tiles that Dula has tipped on the floor… so he has to pass some more out and put the rest back on the wall. The last one was there and still no sign of it. Dula got a broom and quickly picked up the tile, as I aimed and threw my brick. I missed the head and hit lower down the body… So I panicked and started to throw shoes. Screams were coming from outside as Dula got more bricks thrown in… In a cloud of dust from 6 bricks, the snake lay dead. Victory. However the boys were now spooked and the room was a complete mess.

It took over 30 mins to get the room back together and get the boys back in their rooms. It was an exciting/scary reminder of how suddenly dangerous Africa can be.

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