We leave Songea, the bus breaks down, we lie on the burning tarmac then hitch a lift to Njombe, find a bus.

Back there you have to book tickets online or from a glass fronted box. People grumble when the bus doesn’t come when it says it will, and run for trains they’ll never catch.

Here, we leave when all the seats are full as well as the aisles and gangway. You might get a ticket, you might not, a baby will be handed to you, a sack of potatoes beneath your feet and someone carrying a bag of chickens will be seated behind. You watch the road if you can, close your eyes when something approaches.

Iringa at night: lights on the hilltop ahead, shadows on the road, the smell of the man next to me. We arrive in the dark, find a cheap place to stay and go out straight away to eat, warding off becoming tired and grumpy.

A campsite under the trees run by a man who makes us think, turn thoughts over in our mind about home and the people we know. Fuck off the job he says fuck off the job in Arusha, came here in ’89, build pole pole and around us is his garden, papaya trees, tents, space for good things.


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