Happy Halloween From Tanzania!

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”
– Moshe Dayan

Happy Halloween!

Here in Africa there is no celebrating of this very festive American holiday. I hope everyone at home enjoys the holiday being on a Saturday. Ben and I slept in as it is a non-work day. However, the Form 2 students start their government exams on Monday, so they requested I hold one more mathematics class. On Friday evening, one of the students said they’d begin studying at 8 am and requested I teach at that time. So, I headed to class to find them all outside cleaning their desks and chairs, as well as cleaning the room where their exams will be conducted. All writing on desks, chairs, and walls needs to be removed. They do this by taking a piece of glass and scrapping the wood, their version of sand paper. We agreed I would teach at 1 pm to allow them time to finish preparing the exam room. However, on the way back to our volunteer dorm, I met Head Boy Arnold who recommended I teach after morning porridge/tea break at 10:45 am. He was to tell the students to change the time. So I returned to the bench where Ben was working on his tembo carving. At 10:45 am the students were just going to porridge. So I hung out at the bench with Ben and children from the area homes. About 11:45 am I walked to the class to see if students were ready. I was told by a teacher the students were now fetching water and washing their clothes so we would start ‘maths’ at 1:45. I had mentioned lunch break was at 2:30 and he said we would start and then finish after lunch (my gut said we would start after lunch). So Ben, General and I took a walk to the Catholic Church, which is down the mountain. We took the shortcut down, which is very steep. We passed the government clinic and Mr. H.’s home. We made it to the Catholic church in 30 minutes. Now we had 30 minutes to get back for lunch, but now it was going up the mountain. I went up pole pole sana…very slowly! Ben and General were very patient with me and Ben said Akuna matata when I said pole for going pole pole.

We arrived for lunch at 1:10, so not too late. We were both hot and starving. After lunch Ben went back to working on his tembo carving and talking to students and local children. I went to teach at 1:45 pm, to be told the students still weren’t finished washing their clothes so we should start after their lunch. I smiled (laughing inside) and returned to the bench to find Ben and Harran playing scrabble. I then spent an hour or so working with the school cashier, Faraja, to finish organizing the books in the headmasters office. These books were sent to the school, but never organized or put into the library.

Upon finishing, I came out to find a teacher looking for me to start teaching ‘maths’. I spent an hour and a half teaching from 4:45 to 6:15 pm. I never thought I had patience, but this trip taught me to be patient and live with African time.

Ben and I had promised Momma Tony we would teach her how to play scrabble, but we were both very tired after dinner. I had a bad headache that I think was from being dehydrated from the long walk and not drinking enough water in the afternoon. Thus, we went to bed about 8 pm.

– Pam

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