Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14th, 2010

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive!”

As I’m sitting down to record today’s events, I am realizing that our time here in Tanzania will be coming to an end a week from today. It seems like 2/3 of our trip has just melted away and I pray that the remaining days we have here will be spent in learning and giving more of ourselves.

After a breakfast of the usual porridge, bananas and toast (where Greg opened up the 2nd jar of Jiff peanut butter – truly a momentous occasion J), we headed to our assignments. Marcia, Kayli and Danielle headed to the primary school where they taught a standard 7 class the phrase “enough too.” Jennie and I ventured down to the secondary school and participated in Haran’s history lesson to form II. Greg once again labored on the headmasters house, installing and plastering around the windows.

It was truly a privilege to sit in Haran’s class. He is an excellent teacher and involves the whole class in the lesson – something that is very rare in the teaching style here. Jennie and I frantically prepare an English lesson on articles (a, an, and the) which we quickly realized was very challenging. We were very impressed when one student, Joseph, asked us why it is “an hour” not “a hour.” Ahh! He caught the teachers a little unprepared but Jennie valiantly attempted to explain the intricacies of phonetics. We are all truly impressed with the form II students – they seem lightyears ahead of form I.

After the requisite tea in the teachers lounge, Marcia, Kayli and Danielle taught a form I class. Lunch was my favorite – chips mayai with salad! Jennie and I then made our way to the Roman Catholic Church to use the internet and make a few copies for our lesson tomorrow on reading comprehension. After being held hostage for 15 minutes in a very odiferous choo – I was unable to open the door from the inside – I once again joined the land of the living. I don’t think this will be an experience I will soon forget.

We all relaxed on the porch which seems to be a common occurrence here – those lazy mzungus! We devoured Mama Toni’s dinner on rottini noodles with all the fixing, plantains, veggie soup and popcorn! (Truly sorry you are not here with us Ben). Haran joined us to give a brief presentation of Tanzanian history. Tanzania is comprised of 122 different tribes. Takagana (sp) was under German and then English rule until its independence in 1962. Today there are 13 political parties but only one has significant power and as Haran informed us, is corrupt. Hopefully Tanzania will continue to make strides towards peace and self-reliance in the years to come.