Monday, January 21, 2008

SS Liemba - Day 3

Life, particularly in Africa, seems to hang on a thread. A delicate thread. Traveling the way I am, I can see up front sometimes the daily struggle to survive. It's probably beyond my scope of reality to fully comprehend how poor most of these folks are. But, getting back to the reality of the struggle, we got a dose of it today on the boat. The Liemba came across a partially submerged dhow (sail boat of questionable integrity). I was having lunch when the Liemba made a donut, and most of my fellow passengers piled onto the port side.

Clinging to the bottom of the dhow was a group of 3 adult men and 2 women. Floating nearby was the body of a young child. It was dead.

I made it to the deck late, but I saw quite a few rescuers floating about. News had it that they'd been in the water for 2 days before being found. A fourth adult male perished we encountered them. A sad day on the lake. Lots of people were crying.

I saw Saving Private Ryan and Platoon on Oguda's laptop today. It helps pass the time. The ship's progress is slow. The ship's hold is loaded but it's made numerous stops at tiny villages to pick up passengers and small loads. This happens at all hours of the day. The Liemba stops about 500 metres off shore and what seems like the entire village heads out to meet her in tiny boats.

I'm not in a hurry, but there's talk that we'll be arriving in Kigoma tomorrow night. That wouldn't be very good. I've adjusted to the rhythm of life on board. I've made alot of friends. I love it on board.

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