26 January.....AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!!!......And so SWIMMING 2011 BEGINS!

Alex and Florien left early at 7am with the aim to beat the heat of the day. They were going to be treated to Chapati for breakfast and a traditional Tanzanian lunch of Ugali and Maharage as well as a local’s detailed tour of a truly spectacular countryside.
I had unexpectedly been asked to start this year’s swimming program a week earlier than planned. Hamna shida! No problem.....!
We met Sablano (our bus driver) and the busload of Non-Formal girls as we descended the far side of Dodo Rd. We heard them coming. They were shouting out the windows and as we climbed aboard the bus they were all hugging us with excitement. This was their very first visit but there were no signs of apprehension at all!
Most of them entered the water easily and amongst the laughter and noise we managed to get some order and assess whether we had anyone with fears or concerns. What a fun way to get to know the new girls. As this was Elena and Camilla’s last Wednesday, we were so happy to have them share our first experience together!
Thanks Nic, my friend from Ballarat, for sending your swim suit and boardies. You gave two girls the opportunity to swim. Without your thoughtfulness they would not have been able to join in. When I gave them your gifts, their grave faces were lit with blinding smiles. Asante sana!
 Nic...Victoria says Thanks!
I am the last one out of the pool then I wash off quickly under the poolside shower, quickly towel off, pull my dress on then jump straight on the bus back to school and into the classroom (thankfully there are no mirrors!) However, our return to school needed to be delayed so we climbed back off the bus and spent a bonus hour playing in the International School’s playground. This was a treat for the girls and a chance for us to get to know the new girls better.

As the day ended, we returned to Red Gatie, all 5 of us had stories but very little food to share, so we headed across Dodo Rd to Mambo Club which has recently introduced a menu of Tanzanian food. We dined out under the stars eating Chipsie myai (chips cooked in an egg omelette!!) covered in chilli sauce washed down with a Kili baridi....(It was close to being equivalent to an Aussie pie and chips smothered in tomato sauce, washed down with a VB.....MY ‘HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY’ TREAT??!).... We really needed some salad but they forgot to bring that part of our order...Oh well...T.I.T.!
 Our African Family!


  1. Hi Fran!
    Just loved catching up all your recent posts! And I was SO excited to get a mention in this one and hear my bathers had been put to good use and made someones day! Tell Victoria is was my pleasure and I'm so happy that she was able to go swimming. It sounds like you are having a truly amazing time, experiencing a way of live so different to what we are used to. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and enabling us to experience it too!
    Loved the library and if it was more affordable I would send you boxes and boxes of books! I recognised they were reading a book about teddy "Corduroy" Mum still has my copy of "A pocket for Corduroy" which is a favourite of Millie's when we go there!
    Take care and keep sharing your adventures!
    Love Nic xox
    ps a wet wild night here in Ballarat last night! 70mm of rain and flash flooding, the weather is CRAZY this year!!!

  2. Just a little story to add: After their first swimming day Victoria came to me at the end of the day and told me that she had left her swimcostume at the pool! No probs cos I can easily go there when I get off the daladala. On collecting her suit....I discovered the whole class had given here their suits because she had my plastic bag...the other girls don't have things like that so....it was very fortunate that Victoria actually asked me to get hers otherwise all the other clothes would not have been rescued! Oh boy...I did laugh about that one! They are sooo funny in the pool. No shame or concern about boobs pooping out or tops coming off!! xxxxx


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.