Absence makes the heart grow fonder.......
So.... in my absence from my blog......I hope this is true for you of me!
Pole sana for the delay in writing but my precious time has been used overtime... well and truly lately! But hamna shida or hukuna matata....whichever .....NO PROBLEM because I love what I am doing!
Since I wrote I have certainly had many adventures and over the next few weeks I hope to fill you in with more detail as I remember funny little bits that happended inbetween the mainstream things!
During the week before Language school I met with The Foundation For Tomorrow from Arusha. Melissa is working with me to deliver a workshop for the SEGA teachers later in March/April. Upendo, one of our new students, has come to us through this organisation and they are offering to support us in any way necessary to ensure Upendo has a place to live and be nurtured. She is a wonderful girl and in the short time she has been with us has shown on many occassions, that she is going to be a postitive influence around SEGA. She sings beautifully and has a very confident command of English.
As the new VSO Vols were already here at Morogoro attending language school, they invited me out to dinner on the Wednesday night. Having met 4 of them earlier in January at VSO office in Dar, I was eager to reconnect as well as meet the others. Indian food at Oasis is always good for me so I enjoyed good food and good company. Saturday I joined them at Amabalis in the Tanzanian cooking session and enjoyed the results for lunch. Yes, they too had stuggled through the ordeal of buying various items at the sokoni the previous day! (Oh... I remember that challenge sooo well!!! 1 litre of cooking oil and what seemed like 20 touts trying to get my sale and me with no swahili to defend myself...thankfully, I can say I have mastered this challenge very confidently these days!!)
Pam and Jim (Ndanda near Mtwara.)
Zoe (Dodoma) and Mike.
Hanna stirring the pot!Sunday the others from my intake arrived at Moro but I had SEGA visitors to attend to. Together with Shalin and the Form 1 & 2 girls, we welcomed Judy and Stephen Smith and colleagues in true SEGA style. The welcome song, a grand tour then entertainment plus. Our guests were impressed with everything they experienced. It really was a beautiful evening topped off by the fact that our 7 new computers had been installed the same day!
Ann Wells and Judy Smith and some of our Form 2 leaders.
Subira and me.
The very beginning of our IT Lab!
Baba Yona....keen to learn but I will try and teach him how to write first...I think that might help!!
Shalin and the girls studying the health of the mchicha.
The head table delighted in being well and truly entertained!
Our drummer girls!
Wouldn't it be wonderful if they had real drums to create their music?
.....and so we all had lots of fun!
Rhoda...Master(?) of ceremony
Josephine and I unaware that Subira, our expert camera woman, was snapping us because we were so enthralled in our entertainmentWe wined and dined at the Morogoro Hotel. I'm still learning what is in my own town. I had not been here or to the golf course where Shalin and I went for sundowners whilst waiting for the visitors to freshen up. The gymkana club, hidden across the road in a secluded, grassy clearing was delightful. Later I was totally absorbed by the Smiths story. They had supported the establishment of a very successful community library in Arusha and were planning to establish several more in other areas of Tanaznia. SEGA had been selected as a possible site or supporting organisation in Morogoro. They were actively in the process of gaining as much knowledge as possible in their short time in Tanzania to support their quest.
Monday morning I watched 12 overcrowded daladalas pass by me in my attempt to get to Amabalis in time for classes at 8am. In desperation I hailed a pikipiki (selected the most careful driver I could observe and the only one wearing a helmet!!!!!) and experienced my first journey amongst the Moro traffic astride a piki! He was the most careful rider I have seen! I was sooooo grateful.
And so advanced language school began. Having put the ineveitable, exuberant greetings behind us we began the hard work! We had such a fantastic group and we all knew the week was going to bring laughter and fun....and hopefully some advancement on our Kiswahili knowledge!
Zoe and Benji, the best Kiswahili teacher ever!
Bettina 30,and Adrian's birthday celebrations...Yummy chocolate cake..thanks Caroline!
Birthday drinks at the bar beside the prison...we felt quite safe as our bargirl was a warden at the prison in her other job...she said that she would look after us (not sure wether that was ...if we ended up inside the prison or when she was getting the drinks for us....you never quite know when you have some conversations with the Tz's! )
Tusker Tom and Frazzled Fran (trying to do two jobs in one week was a bit hectic)!!
Wednesday I was truant from Langauge school to be Swimming coach as there was noone else able to do this role....I wouldn't have missed it because the girls are rapidly gaining confidence in the pool and, missing one week, would have been too disappointing for them (and me!).
Whilst Hazel and I continued to work even when we went for a drink and to relax at The New Acropol Hotel, others enjoyed a well earned pampering session.! (Note: Mama Kelly na mtoto Kelly. Hazel has a baby Kelly just the same as my computer, Kelly!)
Ok Wendy I wont tell anyone!
Saturday, 26 February, after much deliberation about reliable access to Skype, planning, a practice Skype to GT, preparation, fingers crossed, no electricity, uncertain amount of internet credit available..... Shalin and I successfully participated in The Nurturing Minds board meeting/Skype video conference in The US. It was great to see Polly who was concluding her month's visit there as well as see and talk to the people with whom I have been communicating, and will continue working with during my time at SEGA. Shalin is the Business consultant working for SEGA and he spent time working through his proposals with the board.
We were certainly relieved having sat in stiffling, humid afternoon heat...no fans or lights....whilst the others in US sat rugged up, defrosting their cold bodies as the heaters started up in the early hours of their cold Saturday morning!
Saturday evening...one last meal at Amabalis, one last visit for a night cap at the Elvis Bar then Sunday morning we said "Kuaga, kwa heri....safari njema.....Farewell, good bye..... safe trip".
SEGA....some teachers missing....cover classes...catch up...catch up....no electricity at home....no electricity again....then again.....then there was no electricity for 48 hours++............mmmmmmmmmmmm..........OOOOPs. I hadn't realised that my electricity was due to be paid and put it down to TANESCO just conserving the very little power they had. Oh well I suppose I was doing my bit by taking myself off their responsibility list! Lucky Polly and Warren got the extra defrosted Veggie lasagna and Kehawa was very happy with his bounty!
Warren, a photographer and brother of the girls who had raised the money to buy the 7 new computers, and Geoff, Polly's IT friend were visiting to share their skills and support us in getting the computers up and running. Warren not only experienced the magic of SEGA and it's beautiful girls but also the challenges we face as an all girls' boarding school. Karibuni SEGA, Warren....you have certainly taken away a greater understanding than most visitors experience! Thank you for your wisdom and acceptance.
I will revisit this story another time.
A weekend without my phone...I hope I left it at school...not something I am used to but easier than I thought to manage without!
Hongera! Leo asubuhi nili kuona mama mtemu na jamaa wangu ya Skype vidio....This morning I saw my darling mum and my family on Skype video. Nina wapenda. I love you all.