traffic jams in Mombasa, which get worse by the day, are
becoming a serious threat to our activities, NEWSLETTER
NOTES FROM FRIENDS OF FORT JESUS.
to South Coast are and have always been unpredictable because of
the vagaries of the ferry which we have learned to accept.
however we find that we have to leave home much earlier for our
Sat. bird walks.
Nyali Bridge is a queue until well after 3.00 p.m. and if we are
going to Nguu Tatu, passing Kiembeni is a nightmare.
lorries, matatus that park and block the road plus 'bodaboda's
which have a large parking area on the side of the already
crowded road and never a policeman in sight !
members don’t want to come to town as they never know how long
it will take them to get home and in fact for their sakes we
have now shifted our monthly council meeting to lunchtime.
know Nairobi traffic eliminated evening meetings of KMS and can
only hope the same will not happen here.
On Thurs Oct 24th in co-ordination with the exhibition
entitled ‘Lest We Forget’ which had magnificent
informative posters on the history of slavery, funded by
UNESCO, there was a special event: the screening at Alliance
Francaise of a documentary ‘Slave Routes’ followed by a
presentation by Patrick Abungu ‘Slaving along the Kenya
Coast’ and another by Ruth Lewa of SOLWODI on modern day
slavery which we may not always recognise.
One of our senior librarian’s Ms Khadijah Shariff invited me
to attend the re-launch of the Kenya Library Service Coast
Chapter which I did.
have (with shame) to admit that I have never entered the Mombasa
KLS building and hardly knew where it was.
a retired librarian it was so gratifying to hear all the
speeches lauding the ‘book’ as averse to the Kindle and
e-books, I was with people after my own heart.
doubt Kindles and e-books have their uses but in the vein of
birds, hands and bushes I feel ‘a book in the hand is worth
two on the screen’.
is of course very under funded and if you have any books you no
longer need please think of donating them there.
I most certainly shall.
Speaking of technology – Doris Schaule operates (is
that the right word?) a Facebook page for FFJ.
Many of you might not be aware of that.
connection is: https:// www.facebook.com/groups/FFJmombasa
Visit and Enjoy!
Reid – Chairman
19th October, Bird Walk - Due to an invasion of the South
Quarry, where we had planned to go, by tree poachers during
Friday night, we had to detour to the shale quarry at Nguu Tatu.
water in the wetland was high and so were the reeds so not so
easy to see the birds however we did have a fairly impressive
list of 37 species.
was a female Black Cuckoo Shrike (we always see more females
than males for some reason) Spurwing Plovers.
lovely flock of 14 Open-billed Storks.
breed on the Tana River in thousands but we usually see only one
or two. Not many migrant waders, a small group of Common
Greenshank and a couple of Common Sandpipers; a splendid male
and flying overhead and hard to see a juvenile African Harrier
of weavers; Village, Golden Palm and Grosbeak and after a long
time we saw a pair of Scarlet Chested Sunbirds, a species we
used to see regularly but which now seems scarce.
22nd October - AGM and Film (Pt 1 of
the ‘Bee Trilogy’)
AGM was very well attended and we thank all the members who
came, it was most gratifying to see you all there and thank you
for voting in the following Council for the coming year:
you can see we have two new members on the council; Harendra
Patel (a long time member) and Rev. Ben Humphries, the padre of
the Mission to Seafarers.
elected to office include:
Marlene Reid, Vice Chair T. Hamzali, Treasurer Fatima Lobo,
Secretary Vibha Shah, and committee members Jitu Haria, E.
Khediwalla and Doris Schaule. We sincerely welcome them while at
the same time recognising two members who stepped down; Kalim
Hassanali and Jamilla Rajabali.
thank them for all the work that they did and look forward to
maintaining a close friendship with them as members of FFJ,
which they have been for many years.
the close of the business everybody enjoyed the delicious
bitings made in Essa Khediwallah’s kitchen.
round off the evening we watched Part 1 of the ‘Bee
Trilogy’, another excellent film from African Environmental
Film Foundation. Part 2 and 3 will be on our Dec. programme.
26th October - Rabai.
trip to celebrate the New Year of the Warabai, at Rabai.
real fun day; full of dancing, singing, cultural displays, craft
stalls, lots of laughing etc.
was raining cats and dogs as we left Mombasa on the bus but
apart from a short sharp shower at Rabai it stayed dry.
had a tour of the Krapf Museum and the Church before going to
the ground where everything was happening.
of our members who shall be nameless, became so involved in
taking part in the cultural demonstrations, pounding maize,
grinding corn, traditional marriage etc. that we thought we
would have to leave them behind.
delicious and very cheap lunch was eaten at the Blessed
Restaurant which was a stone’s throw away.
UNESCO representative and his family arrived in the afternoon to
join in the merriment and before we headed back to Mombasa FFJ
was happy to present two new sets of football outfits to the two
teams from Rabai, girls and boys.
coincidence I see in Coast-week under ‘Twelve Years Ago’
that the Rabai Festival was being held. Good to see a good
tradition continuing, thanks to William and Raphael and Chondo
from the Museum for keeping up the good work and helping us with
to introduce a cultural tour are in hand ‘Footsteps of Dr
will be a guide to the Mijikenda Community, crafts, traditional
and cultural customs, Kayas, ending up with lunch at Nguuni
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2nd November -
Heritage Visit for schools from Gazi, South Coast
time we had four primary schools from the Gazi area on the south
coast; Gazi, Kinondo, Magutu and Vyamani.
usually have two secon-dary and two primary but in fact we
discovered that these primary children asked many more questions
when they were not in competition or feeling intimidated by the
tour of the Old Town went well, only problem was dodging the
added value to the Fort was the Butterfly House which the
children loved. Thanks
to Aisha for explaining butterfly farming to the children.
by Essa and lunch by Queens were both delicious and great value
Mohamed finished off the day with a tour of the Fort before the
tired children were bussed back to Gazi.
visits are such a delight ! Thanks to all the people who made
this one so successful.
10th December in the Fort at 7.15 p.m.
Talk by Jim Nyamu – ‘Conserving African Elephants
Through Walking and Talking’
will be talking on this occasion but about his walking, to
publicise the need to conserve our elephants.
embarked on his first walk ‘Ivory Belongs to the Elephants
Campaiagn’ on Feb. 2011 when he walked 500 kms in 14 days.
has since done several other walks, one this year in June when
the 1st Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta joined in part of the
campaigns have given rise to the formation of many groups
involving both organisations and individuals.
has worked with the African Conservation Centre, FAO and KWS as
assistant research scientist on projects based on Mt Kenya,
Shimba Hills and Arabuko Sokoke Forest. This is just a small
portion of his CV which is full of qualifications and honours.
He will have a great deal to tell us.
shall be giving him a donation of shs 10,000 to help with his
next walk which is planned for Feb. 2014.
will also take the opportunity, while in Mombasa, to talk to
school children in co-operation with WCK.
look forward to meeting Jim and listening to what he has to tell