Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, October 26, 2009

1920’s KILIMANJARO PART 9: AN EARLY SHOPPING CENTER ON KILIMANJARO

In Jade’s 1920 adventure, TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH, she stopped at the rail town of Moshi before moving on to the base camp. Once at base camp, supplies had to be purchased from the local Wachagga villages. Eva Stuart-Watt, who lived on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro for several years in the mid 1920’s, provided a model for such a village.

She wrote in her book, Africa’s Dome of Mystery, about the “miniature shopping centre” that sat on the eastern side of Marangu near the river Una. The village was approached by a make-shift bridge built up of unmortared stones, a bridge which fell apart whenever the Una ran full. The village didn’t consist of much, “four little thatched houses.” Two served as butcher shops, “one as a general store, and a fourth as a wayside inn, called by the Wachagga, ‘The Marangu Hotel’.”

In the general store, one could buy eggs, simple clothing, boots, and various ironware such as hoes. Other household goods such as tea, sugar, cheap blankets and hurricane lamps were also available. In the doorway was a picture of the Dutchess of York and handing underneath was a sign written in Swahili. It translated as “Flee from the wrath th come.”

Most of the butcher shops purchased cattle from the Maasai that lived on the plains farther down. But if you had your own animal and needed a place to transform it into meat, the shop owners would rent the shop and its tools to you for two shillings. Meat sold at the rate of seven pounds for a florin.

The quoted text was taken from Africa’s Dome of Mystery, by Eva Stuart-Watt.

NEXT WEEK: More Kilimanjaro lore.
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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