As the Non-Formals were not at the school for the remainder of this week, the school bus wasn’t running so I was transported on Wednesday by Peter on the usual teachers’ route to and from school.
I was ready for school, and at about the time Peter was due to arrive, Solome, our Head Mistress, called in. I thought I must have been going to school with her instead, however she was only delivering my pay and then driving up the country. I returned inside, anxious that it was after 8am and Peter hadn’t arrived! So I tried to ring him only to discover that ...Oh No....I only had 15 Tsh of credit....not enough to make a phone call! It was 20-30 minute walk to get Zantel credit and by the time I actually got it sorted out and was able to make a call it wasn’t worth dragging Pete all the way back to my p[lace then out from SEGA for 12 hour or less because by the, the exam which I was supposed to be supervising would nearly be completed!! Having had arranged to return home after that exam in time to meet Mae off the bus, I made a decision not to go to school, hoping that Stephen would have handled the situation.... I couldn’t ring anyone to apologise or explain as I didn’t have the relevant numbers and I knew Solome was driving and couldn’t answer my call! Monday I would do all the remaining supervision to make up for this unforeseen predicament!
I have learned:
- To always have at least some phone credit in my wallet.
- To put all relevant phone numbers into my phone and diary.
- Not to presume anything....Always clarify arrangements with those concerned....atleast twice!
Having some time to spare, and knowing that our house was going to swell with visitors at times during the next few months, I set about making the two spare bedrooms functional instead of store rooms! This was an intense physical workout! By the time I had moved heavy, bulky furniture, rid the rooms of layers of dust, mouse dripping, spiders webs and spiders, etc..etc....mopped, wiped, dusted, arranged, rearranged to accommodate mosquito nets...etc..etc... then dusted, cleaned both bathrooms, swept the entire house, then mopped the whole house.......
I was ready for pumzika kidogo na kehawa when finally Mae arrived! We relaxed at Hambo Club for Kili baridi and to catch up on chat. We were both excited, as we had just purchased our tickets for our adventure to Dodoma the next day!
Ready to his the road at 8:30am...our bus didn’t pull out until 11:30am!! During our wait the sandal salesman came into our little shed, spruking his wares. Having decided my birthday present to myself was going to be sandals, I had been looking during the past fortnight so, with time to fill in, I indulged myself, trying many pairs and actually discovering a light, simple but sturday pair.
“Elfu thelathini na tano”
“WHAT!!!...Hapana! No....35000 Tsh....Mzungu bei!!”
At this stage I had lost interest as I didn’t really want to drag them all the way to Dodoma and back. I had packed lightly and wanted to stay that way. However the salesman would not go away.....
Elfu kumi mia tano?...15000Tsh?... Oh...Ndyio!!!! OK, I couldn’t resist; It was a good price; I did intend to buy some; I liked them; I didn’t need to talk myself into it!......
I did laugh when I realised that my first really competitive bargaining purchase (even though I wasn’t actively trying!) was a pair of shoes/sandals. (Back home I loved having lots of nice shoes to choose from in my wardrobe!!)
Although late leaving, our bus was comfortable and the trip was easy. Our visit to Renee’s deaf school was delayed as we missed the stop, resulting in a taxi ride back along Morogoro Road to Shule ya Viziwi Dodoma.
The purpose of the weekend was twofold:
- Networking/sharing experiences so far with the other VSO volunteers in the Dodoma area;
- Socialising/reconnecting with friends!
We spent time: Walking the quiet streets getting to know Dodoma; Enjoying meals together at both Renee, Fredrique/Elizabet’s compound as well as at Susan’s home further out of Dodoma; Eating good wholesome, homemade food with some produce grown in their gardens; Enjoying a pizza night shared with Clare; relaxing with a movie night at Renee’s...
Much fun, laughter, sharing and networking was achieved throughout the entire weekend!
It is so easy now for me to visualise each of the volunteers. A wonderfully, giving, caring group of friends.
Asante sana rafiki yangu!