Friday, 9 September 2011

Shule (School)

I had a really great week at site this week. It was a nice change for feeling like I was constantly struggling to find things to be excited about here. I wasn’t too keen on coming home after my adventures in Singida and such. But the day after I got back, I went to school for my first full day there. I didn’t want to start teaching yet since we are going on break next week and I have a meeting for PC in Dodoma the following week, so I just hung out with the teachers and studied some Kiswahili. I found random things to do like helping some of the teachers teach, shadowing others and proctor the Form 2 mock exams. It was a nice relaxing way to see how the school day progresses and to form relationships with the people that I’ll be surrounded by for the next 2 years. And I think that this really made all the difference in me being truly happy at site. I really liked all the teachers that I got to talk to. They were super welcoming and kind spirited. Two different ones paid for my chapatti at chai and another brought be these type of beans that I’d mentioned loving. I came home each day feeling so happy and productive (despite not teaching…). Also, a while back, I’d asked one of them about getting a couch made and they found out the price, which was really expensive. When I said that I couldn’t afford it, she said that I could use one of hers for the next two years. Yeah, that’s Tanzanians for you. The idea of community permeates their lives and, while its more time consuming to do simple tasks, like buying eggs, it’s a lot more wonderful to know that they have your back in any situation.

Another bonus of being at site this week was getting to know my neighbors. I talked to Mama Tom, the one right next door to me, a lot and she visited me to see how the house was coming along. It was really great and made me super happy. My first Tanzanian visitor! Sounds dorky, but, if I didn't revel in the little things, I'd have nothing.

Oh, and the super bonus part was going running 4 of the 5 days that I was here. I explored the path that I take even further and, every time, I always pause at the top of this little mound (Kilima) and just take in the view because it is super beautiful (in its own Manyara-esque way). There are just rolling hills and Mt. Hanang is always in the background and yesterday actually, I laid on my back on top of this water resevoir thing and watched the clouds pass by and it was awesome. The moon was even out, despite not being sunset yet, and I watched the colors fade from yellow to green to blue and it was really soothing. Because I'm a procrastinator, I don't run until the hour before sunset but it turns out that this is the perfect time because this when the sky is most beautiful. So great. Makes me super happy...if you couldn't tell. : )

This week I also went to Katesh to open that bank account and spent the entire day with my mkuu and second headmaster. It was long and tedious for lots of it, but also fun at times. I got to meet some more of their friends and even a fundi that told me he'd sew up the hem on a khanga for free if I brought it to him. Also, I was STARVING by the time that we ate lunch and my mkuu was super cool and ordered me like 2 servings of food (rice, beans and mchicha) of which I ate both. Yum.

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