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Africa » Tanzania » North » Arusha
October 11th 2007
Published: October 11th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

Well, despite changing post codes etc, it seems I couldn’t avoid the big day, so am now finally 30 - thanks for all your warm wishes. It was a pretty quiet day, almost managed to pretend it wasn’t happening!!! Jane cooked dinner for Louis and me, and we had a bit of local liquor - tasted much like you would expect paint thinner to taste! Didn’t go too hard though as I had to teach on Friday (getting responsible in my old age!) Louis and I managed to go out for a few beers at a local tin shed on Saturday night - avoided the locally brewed stuff though!
Things here are settling into a good pattern - it’s amazing how quickly things begin to seem normal! I am now teaching 12 hours a week (sadly, that is almost a full load here!). I am only teaching grammar though so it’s a constant challenge to keep things lively. The kids are lovely and really responsive - they will work really hard just for a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ to be written in their books! When they get stickers they go nuts! I always have kids offering to carry my books or bag for me also - seems a little unreal! They are struggling a bit with my accent, so I have to write just about everything on the board - most days I come home covered in chalk dust. They have always been taught by locals and a lot of the teachers’ English is not flash, so that is a bit of a battle, especially on pronunciation. It is also a bit of a balancing act between teaching them ‘proper’ English and teaching them what they are likely to be marked on (i.e. Tanzanian ‘English!)
I hope all the students back home are studying hard for their exams. Our 4th Form began their national exams on Monday and I was very surprised to see a number of armed guards around the school who are here to supervise the exams!!! Things are incredibly strict - there are separate classrooms for boys and girls and they are all searched as they go in, they even have to take any keys or money out of their pockets - freaky!
I am managing to fill my time in quite well. Most weekends Jane, Louis and I go into Arusha - mainly to just get out for a bit, but also because there is the most amazing iced coffee on offer (and no, it doesn’t make me an addict if I drive for an hour to get a proper coffee!).
Jane and I are probably heading to Lake Manyara this weekend - it is famous for its tree-climbing lions so I am hoping for some awesome pics for the blog. I will be saving the rest of the parks for when the folks get here though - I have booked our 10day safari so hopefully it will all work out well.
No other news, sorry, will maybe try making some up next time!!
Love to all,
j

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