A few weeks back Eyal came back home from grocery shopping in Pangani and as usual with the newest gossip – news around here really go by bush drums and not newspaper as you’d think. But this time the story was actually about Tembo Kijani – good to hear what’s going on in our own lodge.

So the story went that “Tembo Kijani”, meaning we, are going to a witchdoctor (you have to know that the Swahili Coast here is quite famous for that, and the next witchdoctor is located in a village around 40km away from here) for him to do voodoo on the lodge, so that we are getting more business and the lodges around less. According to the story it worked – and I have to admit, yes, the end of last year was quite busy. But we really had a good laugh about it and told that the only “witchdoctor” we go to, is God himself, and that yes, He really blesses us with work.

A few weeks later just before the start of the rain season, one of our employees came in the morning to work with the story that there was a baby, just born, in a village around 80km from here, and that he had verses of the Quran written all over his body, and he talked already and prophesied that there will heavy rain coming next Monday; but not clear rain, rather dark orange that no one will be able to drink. He was really confused and a bit panicked. To him it seemed totally normal that something like this would happen. In the end, there was no rain (although by now the rain season has started) and most probably also no Quran-tattooed baby talking right after birth.

Even though these stories are pretty funny, it shows quite a lot about the way people here on the coast in Tanzania think: most things are a mystery, rain doesn’t come according to the weather, and neither success doesn’t come from hard work.

Let’s hope that at least for our employees we can make a difference and prove them that success comes from hard work and not cheating; and if we can teach them a bit about the connection between deforestation and rain, then it’s even better.