Monday, August 10, 2009

Pemba Open 2009

After last year's roaring success, Il Pirata hosted the second Pemba Open kite-surfing competition two week-ends ago. Much larger and with more on offer than last time, even the less than ideal wind conditions (after howling gales for 2 weeks the winds dropped to the point of no kiting on day 3 of teh competition) were not enough to dampen the ethusiasm of the crowd and the competitors. Wake-boarding substituted kite-surfing when the wind dropped and Paulo as DJ and MC ran a series of silly competitions to hand out six-packs of cider courtesy of a sponsor. Music on the beach, grilled food, bar and coffee shop, South African Sport TV and a local station and an excellent turn-out in the crowd all contributed to atmosphere which was pure Pemba.

A few pics (courtesy of my colleague Dave Reynolds) to give you an idea of what we were up to:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Makonde "Just So Story"

How the toad got his belly.

One day a father toad and his son were in the forest. The father told his son to wait for him in the shade of a tree while he went out hunting for lunch.

As the little toad waited a man walked past. The toad had never seen a man and was astonished at his size. Afraid and in awe, he crouched in the shadows silently and waited for the monster to pass.

When his father returned he told him that a huge creature, the like of which he had never seen, had passed by while he was gone.

"How big was he?" asked his father. "As big as me?"
"No, much bigger," replied the son.
"This big?" asked his father, puffing himself up.
"This big?" puffing himself up further.
"Bigger still!"
"This big?" puffing himself up as far as he could.
"Even bigger! He was enormous!" replied the little toad.

But when his father tried to deflate himself, he found that he was stuck, and that is how the toad got his belly.

(Told me by a Makonde artist as I admired his block prints at an arts and crafts fair last week. I was looking at an illustration of this tale.)