FROM TABORA WITH LOVE: Once again, this Valentine fellow is here

DEAR nephew Milambo,

Greetings from Bagamoyo

My dear nephew, I hope that by the grace of Limatunda you and your family are doing okay under the protective eyes of the ancestors led by Chief Mirambo.

I hope too that all my people in my beloved Ukumbisiganga are also doing fine, enjoying protection from Liwelelo.

As I am writing this letter, I am at a place called Bagamoyo, I remember I told you once about it, which is somewhere not very far from the confused city of Dar es Salaam.

I know you are wondering what I am doing here, but the fact is, your aunt had a three-day seminar and she insisted that I should accompany her, because her office has paid for everything.

When I say everything my dear son, I mean just that, everything, because they have paid for accommodation, meals and drinks, and I can assure you my boy, I am having a great time just sitting by the beach.

This hotel that they are conducting their seminar is splendid my dear boy, and they have a giant swimming pool and a superb beach where you can relax and watch the ocean and the gentle waves.

We came here two days ago, and I am sure by the time we go back home I would have gained some few extra kilos my son, because all that I do here is eat, drink and sleep while your aunt is in her meeting.

However, last night I nearly sent myself to the ancestors after I decided to give the swimming pool a try, and had it not been for some young fellows who were there, I would be chatting with Chief Mirambo right now.

You see son, your aunt called me and told me that they were going to be a bit late because their meeting was still going on, so I decided to entertain myself because I was becoming a bit bored.

I went back to the room and came out wearing my favorite flowered boxers ready for a swim, and I am not sure who I was trying to impress, but I decided to go to the deep end of the swimming pool.

You know very well that I have just learned to swim a few weeks ago, so when I watched some of those boys playing around in the water, I decided that I should show them that I might be old, but I can still do what they can.

Swimming requires a lot of feet movement, and I was doing fine until suddenly I felt excruciating pain shooting in my left leg, which felt as if my muscle was being pulled out.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced something called muscle strain, because that is what happened my dear boy.

I know you are wondering what that might be, but according to my limited knowledge, a strained muscle occurs when a person stretches a muscle excessively, overuses a muscle, or experiences an accident, such as a fall.

One of those young fellows who rescued me happened to be a doctor, and he told me that people with tight, inflexible muscles and those who do not warm up properly before exercise may have a higher risk of muscle strain.

He told me that even if my muscle strain did not require medical attention, it was important to rest the muscle and allow time for recovery, because he said a strained muscle is more susceptible to re-injury.

My dear boy, it was a painful and at the same time a very embarrassing situation, and you should have seen me as I limped towards my room in my wet, flowered boxers dragging the hotel towel behind me.

Anyway, I made sure your aunt did not hear the story, because she could have practically locked me in the room the whole time until she comes back.

Otherwise apart from that incidence, this place is ideal for relaxing, with its cobwebbed portals and crumbling German-era colonial buildings, central Bagamoyo is well worth exploration.

The most interesting area is along Ocean Road where you’ll find the old German boma, built in 1897, and Liku House, which served as the German administrative headquarters.

On the beach is the German customs house. At Bagamoyo’s port you can watch boat builders at work and a busy fish market, where I and your aunt enjoyed fresh fried fish.

We are supposed to return home tomorrow evening, although I will have to convince your aunt so that we leave on Monday, though I know it is going to be a tough task because in a few days’ time it will be what they call Valentine’s Day.

My dear son, until now I really don’t understand women with this Valentine fellow, because your aunt has already bought a red dress ready for that day.

Before we came to Bagamoyo, I accompanied her to town where she bought the red dress, and I refused completely when she tried buying a red suit for me.

I told her that at my age I do not want to look like a retired clown wearing such strange colours just because a fellow somewhere decided it was fun.

We really argued before she bought the red dress, because she bought another red dress last year for the same occasion, and I remembered correctly that she wore it only once, when she dragged me to dinner and forced me to buy her flowers.

I don’t know if this Valentine fellow is the one who convinced the women that people are supposed to buy flowers on that particular day, as if wearing red was not enough.

I hope this Valentine madness has not reached my beloved Ukumbisiganga, because if it has, then you will be in trouble my dear boy.

Your wife might convince you that you are supposed to buy a red dress for her and at the same time you should also wear a red outfit, and then take her out for dinner, but not before you buy flowers for her.

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