Pole Sana

Sorry Guys. I’ve been a bad blogger, but I’m here to try make it up to you.

Tonight is the first time I’ve found myself with little to do. Since I arrived two weeks ago, there have been no dull moments. The people I’ve met here have been amazing. Lending me clothes until my bags arrived. Making sure I get around ok. I live on campus, so right from walking out my door in the morning there’s always someone to have a chat to. After work most nights we all end up at the waterhole (bar), conveniently located right outside the school gates, until we sit around and eat dinner together except on weekends when we pile into a dala dala (minibus) and go out to eat and have a few drinks. My first night I ate a fish at Nick’s pub. Which comes whole and is eaten with your hands. It was quite tasty. Most people expect to lose weight in Africa but with the amount of cheap beer and predominantly carbohydrate rich food, the result is quite the opposite. Such a variety of folks come to volunteer here. All varying age groups. Some you just wouldn’t expect.

With the office a quick stroll from my door, I get to sleep late. Which is a nice change from the commute into the city each morning. Although 3 times a week I work at another campus and spend an hour on a bus each way, on shocking dirt roads. It’s not uncommon to be bounced right out of your seat and return home covered in dirt. I found out shortly after arriving that I work six days a week. So I make sure to spend my spare time wisely. The work is challenging. Not particularly exciting all the time, but shooting such a large volume on a daily bases, it pays to be organised. I often have a Tanzanian staff member helping me out when I do class photos, keeping the kids in line and communicating in Swahili when necessary. So I get to meet a good mix of people, not just wazungu (foreigners).

In the middle of the grassy courtyard outside my room is a gargantuan avocado tree which frequently drops fruit on the ground making a reasonably solid thud. However, I was told that occasionally the avocados hit the tin roof of the laundry underneath, resembling a sound not unlike an explosion. I heard it for the first time tonight. It’s worth praying that it doesn’t happen in the middle of the night. It would make for a very rude awakening.

My first day here was a holiday which I spent swimming at a pool at a nearby hotel with some other volunteers, one of which has recently adopted a gorgeous little Tanzanian girl. Two years old, HIV positive and her family refused to take her back. She’s had it rough for her first two years in existence, but she seems very happy now. Coincidentally her name is Happy, or Happiness. She took to me instantly, allowing me to pick her up and trusting me to hold her in the water, but the very next day wanted nothing to do with me. I’ve seen her since, when I went with them to church, and she seemed to like me again, but in the same day, decided to keep her distance again. Ha! Women.

I’ve left it far too long to make a proper post. I’m sure I’m leaving a whole lot out, but I just can’t think of it all right now. I’ve posted some images to give you an idea of the work I’m doing here. I hope you enjoy.