Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jan 19th, 2010

“After the verb “to love,” “to help” is the most beautiful verb in the world” –Bertha von Suttner

Happy day 17! We were served a feast this morning from the kitchen of master chef Mama Toni! Donuts, French toast, ugi and bananas graced the breakfast table. Greg spent the day at the Headmasters house – the windows now look awesome! The painting and most of the window pane installation is complete. Jennie, Marcia and I went to the kindergarten in the morning. After endless games of London Bridge, handclapping games and “attack the mzungu” (a popular game among all African children under the age of seven), we were more than ready for porridge time. Kindergarteners have so much energy! We were very impressed with the teachers unlimited energy and patience.

Marcia taught a bible studies class on the story of Sampson and Dahlia. She regaled us with tales of the resulting class discussion during lunch. Hopefully she set one form V boy student straight that not all women are deceitful like Dahlia and Eve J

Kayli and Danielle drove with Neema to Kitowa for a mother and baby clinic. Highlights included:
- teaching Neema how to dance ‘mzungu’ style.
- Giving polio, MMR, DTP shots and vitamin A pills
- Talking about family planning with the patients

They later spent the afternoon in the clinic with Dr. Godlove.

Jennie and I ventured to the primary school to teach a short English lesson on “why” and “because” to standard 5. The students were so welcoming and brought us chairs – so thoughtful! We went to the secondary school looking for work in the afternoon. We typed up several letters in Kiswahili for Shadrack with the assistance of Dennis and another student. We then spent the next couple of hours in conversation with Dennis (a form V student) and Hakim (the Kiswahili and civics teacher). The conversation was certainly enlightening and entertaining to say the least. We were impressed with Dennis’ knowledge of American pop culture and both Dennis and Hakims progressive anti-wife beating views. We learned many things about life as a Tanzanian student. Dating amongst the students is strictly prohibited as the students are supposed to focus solely on their studies. We also advised the boys not to refer to a mzungu woman as “huge” or “wide and good” as weight is a touchy subject among us wazungus. We are confident our Tanzanian acquaintances now have all the necessary skills and knowledge of American social customs to successfully date a mzungu woman.

Marcia and Greg spent the evening at Mr. and Mrs. Songas’ house. They enjoyed a lovely supper and watched a video on their son’s wedding under the light from solar panels. Mr. and Mrs. Songa were excellent examples of Tanzanian hospitality as they warmly welcomed mama and baba into their beautiful home.

We are looking forward to tomorrow but as it will be our last full day we are beginning to realize how much we will miss this place, its people and our time here.