Government School

Every once in a while the School of St Jude will organise a visit to a government school to emphasize to new volunteers the distinction and need for a school like St Jude’s. Upon arriving, the contrast was apparent. Dirt for the floor, no doors or windows and most importantly the students are taught in Kiswahili and only learn English as a subject. At first I thought “what’s wrong with that, this is Africa after all?” but most universities in Tanzania teach in English. So to experience the majority of their education in Kiswahili, the transition to university would be rather difficult. Also, as Arusha is the hub for tourism in Tanzania, practicing English is paramount.

As St Jude’s bases itself on the structure of a private school, not dissimilar to the private schools in Sydney, the environment at St Jude’s can be quite proper. Although the wanafunzi (students) at the governemnt school were fairly disciplined and maintained a certain sense of self control. Once the teachers were out of the room and busy with other things, the fun began. Delighted to be photographed and even more excited when we would show them pictures of themselves on screen. Thus far the pictures I took at the government school (of which there are many, culled to only the few below) would have to be my favourite. Along with the positive vibe exuding from these kids, filled with enough enthusiasm to chase the bus as we drove off.

Using my new favoured lens, 50mm f1.4, it doesn’t offer a particularly wide perspective, which obviously the kids didn’t understand. So I found myself constantly gesturing with my hand to keep a certain distance between them and the lens to fit them all in. Instead they proceeded to imitate, as seen above.

The gorgeous Hana, and Tiff, letting the kids have a play around with their cameras.

Hana left her camera with the kids for quite a while. Resulting in a myriad of unusual images on her memory card.

Photography by Dave Houldershaw