Published: June 19th 2012June 19th 2012
We are settling into Africa. The rhythm is much like Hawaii . The people are sweet. The native Moshi folks talk about how cold it is and work in winter coats while we sit in short sleeves or perhaps wear a long sleeved shirt. We are not far from the equator so sunrise and sunset are both about 6:30.The roosters crowed and a monkey chattered to us as we fell into sleep last night.
The presentation from the tour company last night was awesome. There is such an abundance of wildlife in Tanzania – 17 National parks. We learned that we won’t make it to the Serengeti – it is a 7 hour drive just to get to the gates and at this time of year we would have to spend a second day driving to reach the migrating game. Three CCS volunteers who are at the end of their volunteer time returned from safari and had amazing photos to share. They were helpful in the decision making process. We signed up for a trip this weekend to the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake. We’ll leave Friday after work (about 1:00pm) and return just in time for dinner on Sunday (about 6:00pm). The following weekend we will do a trip to Arusha National Park.
We are also getting used to the money/exchange rate. For some reason that sent my head spinning for a few days. The thought of spending 6000 Tsc for hand lotion seemed mind boggling until I figured out that roughly 1500 TZ schillings = 1 dollar, so we’re only talking about $4.00!
At lunch today we met our partners from our work assignment. Syd and I will be working at AMKA (wake up) nursery school. Our teachers are Angel and/or Hussein. Tomorrow we will observe at AMKA and Wednesday we observe at Step UP another nursery school that is part of the same organization, then we jump in. We are lucky because the language of instruction at these schools is English, so our challenge will be to figure out appropriate activities that will help the kids learn English for colors, shapes, body parts and numbers.
Today seems like a long day. Our last day of orientation was today. We sat and listened to important but somewhat boring information from breakfast to lunch. We learned that ½ our group is under 21. The energy and noise level here are high. We also went on a little treasure hunt today. We were split into groups and given tasks. All three of us had a different tasks which included visiting shops in Moshi homes, talking to locals, and trying to find out Swahili names for plants. Then we discussed how it was and the challenges we experienced (mostly the language barrier). After we talked to our placement partners at lunch, we went into town with a new driver, Dan. He was sweet and funny. He kept playing Waka Waka by Shakira and singing along. He told us waka meant light or sunlight. While in town we exchanged money, went to the market to buy shampoo, and took a little walk by the arts and crafts made by locals.
Now we are relaxing and are about to hear the cow bell call us to dinner. There are at least 6 vegetarians here, so we’ve had lots of wonderful vegetarian foods. Best of all, we had hot water for showers today!
Kwaheri for now,
Sharon, Sydney & Dave