Visiting friends in Malindi, Kenya and Tanzania

Visiting friends in Malindi, Kenya and Tanzania.  - Muhammad Bin-Dohry

On 24th December 2016, I started drafting my following travels with Brother Salim Balleith, who I had invited to Mombasa to attend a family wedding of the daughter of my brother-in-law Dr Fuwad Abdallah Bin Hatayan. We started our travels together after the wedding.

As I was continuing with my visit to Kenya, which started on 28th November 2016 and On Sunday 18th December 2016. I made a trip to Malindi, Kenya with my good friend Salim Balleith who came from Mwanza, Tanzania. It was a day trip just to see old friends.

Salim Balleith, Muhammad Bin-Dohry and Yislam Bateis in Malindi

We were well received by Yislam Mohammad Bateis who is related to Salim and I knew his late father from Mombasa until he moved to Malindi. We later had lunch at Bateis's home.
Salim and I started by strolling in the neighborhood to visit an old friend -Feisal Ba'lmy, who was not in good health, as soon as he saw us his face lit up with a big smile. I remember Feisal from the 1980's perhaps earlier in Jeddah where he served with British Airways. We recalled the good old days and the many other friends. It was a very sentimental and good moment after so long to meet a dear friend after our paths drifted apart.

Muhammad Bin-Dohry, Feisal Ba'lmy and Salim Balleith

We then took a drive to explore the small town and beach areas with our Malindi host. Malindi is unfortunately run down and the tourist industry which once flourished over the years has taken a tumble and put many businesses down. The once booming hotel industry took its toll, many closed down. Sindbad, Eden Rock hotels are but a few examples.
Italian property owners left their beautiful beach villas, smaller hotels and restaurants closed and the for sale signs were visible on many empty properties. The economy has taken a great tumble in Malindi. No foreign tourists were to be seen on the streets, a rare sight compared to the past! Foreign governments (European, USA  and others) still have in place their travel ban for their citizens NOT to travel to Kenya for security reasons.

After a delightful & delicious lunch at Bateis's home, we hit the road for Mombasa. We made earlier arrangements to meet up with a friend on the way back and look him up at the fabulous Vipingo Ridge development! There are many investors, both foreign and local who set up homes for retirement, and some live there permanently. Vipingo Ridge has a beautiful scenery of high-class property developments, a golf course, a club, restaurant and other facilities. Our host Abdallah Agil showed us around his home and later took us to see the other areas of development.
The place gives you a sense of peace and tranquility. Security on the development which covers an area of nearly 25,000 acres is well controlled and protected. There is still demand to continue with the second/third stages of further construction & development.We later had coffee at the club and enjoyed the scenery from the top of the golf course.

At Vipingo Ridge with Salim Balleith and Abdallah Agil

We departed the area at 6:00 pm back to Mombasa. Early Monday morning 19th December, we left Mombasa by coach for Tanzania. The road on the Kenyan end was poorly maintained over the many years since Independence in 1963. On entering Tanzania's Horohoro border, the road infrastructure was way better from that of Kenya stretching to Tanga and onwards to Morogoro. We were met near Chalinze by our good friend Abdallah Bin Eifan and for the rest of the journey, we traveled in a four wheel drive vehicle to Morogoro. The road was well maintained and signs posted. It is the same throughout the country. There were several modern weigh bridges checking commercial vehicles as part of protecting the road infrastructure.

We were well received by fellow Hadhramis of Morogoro and met them with our host Professor Abdalla Bujra Al Nahdi. We visited a farm the following day owned and developed by Hadhrami investors with expertise in agricultural projects. Dr Said Bin Silim a former Agricultural expert in Nairobi and head of  The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) an international non-profit organization that undertakes scientific research for development. (Activities and details of an organisation working on sustainable ecological farming in Africa).
Dr Said, retired in Morogoro and partnered Mohammed Mbarak Bin Neheid Al Nahdi in this admirable project.

Bin-Neheid, Bin-Dohry, Dr Said Bin Silim and Salim Balleith

Bin-Dohry, Prof. Bujra, Bin-Neheid, Balleith and Dr Said Bin Silim

The following day we visited the Muslim University of Morogoro where Professor Bujra works. He took us around the university's various departments and briefly introduced us to the Dean.  Later in the afternoon the three of us went to visit some Hadhrami friends where Prof. Bujra usually gets briefs on the ancestral homeland and Yemeni politics. Bujra took us to another briefing with a group of other younger generation Hadhramis at Balhabou's family home. We were later entertained in the evening for a Hadhrami/ E.African dinner by Balleith's cousin, Salim Mbarak Bin Neheid and in attendance were his brother Mohsen and son Aref and other family members.

I briefed all Hadhramis we met on the forthcoming Hadhramaut Inclusive Conference that will take place in the near future in Mukalla. 
We also visited the Islamic Foundation's TV & Radio Station managed and run by Aref Bin Neheid Al Nahdi. Who kindly took us on a conducted tour of the premises.

We flew out the next day to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, where we stayed in Balleith's cottage, overlooking the lake and enjoyed it's beautiful scenery, surroundings, and the sound of birds and calmness!

 Salim Balleith and Muhammad Bin Dohry

We spent the best part of the trip in Mwanza for 4 nights. The Balleith's (Saleh, Nasser, Khalid, & Islam) in Mwanza were very hospitable and looked after me well. I managed to see some Hadhramis and attended wedding receptions in town, visited most of the landmarks, hotels and the town centre.

My brother-in-law, Dr Fuwad Hatayan, was also in town from Nairobi for the celebration of his daughter's wedding at her new home in Mwanza. I gave them a good surprise to join them.
 The groom's father, Abdo Bin Dhiyab and his family is a well-established, well-known and respected  Hadhrami family in town which was evident from the luncheon he hosted and was well attended by the local residents of Mwanza. I also met the Bajbeirs and others during the course of the lunch.

Salim Balleith, Dr Fuwad Hatayan and Muhammad Bin-Dohry

I flew back to Daresalaam alone missing the company of my friend Salim Balleith. I arrived at 10pm and was met by my good old friend Abdallah Bin Eifan who had a surprise waiting for me at my hotel. It was my close friend Ghusub Bin Thabit ( ex Aden & Saudi Arabia) at the hotel reception waiting for us. We chatted at the lobby for a few minutes as I was to catch my early morning coach for my lone return trip to Mombasa on 27th December 2017.

I missed my good old and new found friends in Tanzania. It was a trip to be well remembered in my memoirs.

Muhammad Bin-Dohry 
January 2017

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