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January 2013

The new year began with a change in crew: one Musafir departed to pursue a pilgrimage in Europe to raise funds & awareness for the project. The Musafir's intention was to travel on foot from Rome, Italy to Galicia in the north of Spain, crossing the Pyrenees and following ancient paths used by catharists in the medival times. All in the banda wished him well on his journey.  After he had departed, another Musafir arrived to join the crew in the banda.

Steady origress was made on the boat with the mbao (timber) along the sides being molded and put into place plank by plank. This process of cutting thick planks and molding them into the shape of the hull using a small fire and cooking oil, gradually bending them into shape before lifting and nailing them to the mataruma (ribs). But as always sourcing material, especially for the mataruma, was a challenge. A deal was made to find and collect more timber but the process was delayed and the Musafirs had to be patient.

In the meantime, life in the banda continued harmoniously with the highlight of a visit from friends from Kilifi, who joined to crew for a few days to share good times and leave behind good energy.

An encouraging start to the new year!