15 October. Sikoni & SEGA

Kwenda sokoniI.....I go to the market! Shopping at the market...very daunting! We had spent all morning learning the vocabulary to help us shop at the market and cook with the food we had to buy! I still didn’t feel confident but practise makes it easier...so off we headed!
Nenda sokoni nunua mafuta ya kupikia lita moja halafu uliza bei ya ndizi.
Go to the market and buy one litre of cooking oil and after ask the price of bananas
Having searched the market for somewhere to buy oil, I discovered honey and coconut oil and had to ask for cooking oil. Big mistake! Some young African guys leapt to my assistance and rushed off in three different directions to quickly return, each with one liter of cooking oil. Shilingi mia saba!!! WHAT....7,000Tsh...Habana, Habana!..No, No, Mama J had told me that I should only pay about 2-3000 Tsh for one liter!
Then the three guys started an intense discussion as to who was going to sell me the oil and what price they were going to ask for it!!!...I was lost as I couldn’t quickly pull the vocabulary I needed out of my brain. I tried by saying “Habana, ghali, shilling mia mbili!” – “No, expensive, 2000 Tsh!” their discussion was too intense for me to have any impact on their decision so, thankfully Hazel stepped in with her more advanced Swahili and sorted them out! I ended up paying 3000 Tsh but I have learned so much in having gone through this encounter! The older sellers at the market don’t approve of these young boys as they are too aggressive. They follow people, especially mzungos (white people), hassle them to tell them what they want to buy, rush off to the vendor, collect the goods then set the price so that they can get commission! These guys followed me for the entire time I was at the market, hassling me to buy something...anything! We got some hints on how to handle these pests from some of the older vendors, especially the ndizi (banana) man who was so generous, caring and helpful. (I remembered to ask his price for ndizi...shilingi mia mbili) They took a genuine interest in us. I certainly know who I will be patronising when I do my shopping in future....Big mistake young guys.....HUGE!
Next adventure took me to SEGA. Polly rescued me from the market and drove me the 10 kms out the Dodoma Road to Mikundi. The further away from Morogoro we got the quieter the road became and I realised that I would be able to cope with the traffic and the road on the pikipki....I will need to negotiate a very rough dirt track into the school but there wont be any traffic along it so I should be okay!
Half the girls rushed out to greet us whilst the quieter, shier ones slowly joined us and introduced themselves. Introductions over, the girls were asked to take me on a tour of the school. Wow....by the time I left I had met everyone, seen everything, been shown each girls bed and sleeping quarters, met the cook and watched her preparing ugali for their dinner, had nearly each girl hold my hand....as soon as one let go another would take hold and excitedly tell me something about herself. The form one girls, the boarders, speak quite good English but the year 6 girls, day girls, have slightly better command over English than I have over Kiswahili! We have agreed that if I help them with their English they will help me with my Kiswahili....I think we both have our work cut out for us! The new school building which will house the form 2 students next year is well under way as is the larger undercover eating area. The girls proudly showed me these buildings. Our last stop was the vegetable garden which was wonderful as I was able to identify many of the plants in Kiswahili. The girls fell around laughing when I got the names wrong and worked hard to help me correct my mistakes. Timely revision for me and a fun time for all of us!
Before we left I met the teachers and spent a short time with the Headmistress with whom I will be working closely.
I felt as though I had been there before! It was very easy being with the girls and I know it is only going to get a whole lot better as I get to know them.
On our return to Amabilis, Polly took me to the International School and showed me the 25mtr pool. It was crystal clear and inside the grounds of the school so that usual African dress code doesn’t apply. I couldn’t believe it! My house was about a 15 minute walk away directly across the Dodoma Road! Not only will I be coaching the girls at SEGA to learn to swim but I will be able to finish off a hot day at school swimming laps instead of running the dusty roads of Morogoro!!! Much better for my recovering shoulder and foot too! I couldn’t have planned it better. To top it off, Polly has offered to ask for a deal on the entrance fee so it that it won’t cost me too much!
Dragonaires, a local restaurant/bar does pizzas on Saturday nights so we walked there, celebrated Fredrique and Elizabet’s 7th wedding anniversary, Aidan’s 24th and the end of a successful first week at Language school!

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