Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd August 2009
Long journey now complete. Two planes, one hostel, one scary bus (people tried to get on without paying and would argue!), one taxi and thousands of miles later I have arrived in Kibaya. On the coast at Dar it was very warm. Here it feels cold. This is due to the fact we are so high up in the country. Anna who has been working at KCC (kiteto Christian College) showed me around the school. A lot has changed since 2006 when I was last here. Found my room and had a poor nights sleep because I was so excited about meeting the children again the next day.
Tuesday 4th August 2009
Thee years ago, I trained two older students as teachers. Today I had the privilege to sit in their English lessons. They have turned into confident and effective teachers which is really good to see. I taught two phonics lessons to the infant children today. They were learning ‘ch’ and ‘th’ sounds. Got a really nice video of a few boys trying to pronounce those sounds. Lunch was rice and goat meat. We are planning on a small tea today after such a large lunch. I gave the children my supply of balloons and bubbles. They loved it. A few nice pictures of this also. Tea was a pancake with plenty of Golden Syrup. Lovely (although not very healthy).
Wednesday 5th August 2009
This morning I taught ‘standard 2’ (the equivalent of year 4) English. They were working on putting the correct verb into an English sentence. All of them worked really hard. The two teachers I trained three years ago came to sit in on the lesson to get ideas and help improve their own teaching. I also did a games lesson with the infant class. We played ‘Duck, duck, goose’ and ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf’. This afternoon we walked the two miles into town and hired a cart. We loaded it up with school resources. The school was given:
* 4 hoes for gardening
* colouring pencils
* pencil sharpeners (as the children were using razor blades!)
* enough exercise books to have one each
* staplers with staples
* calculators (expensive)
* sticky tape
* plain and lined paper
* blackboard dusters
* blue biros
All of this adds to the resources I brought out with me including laminating pouches and a CD player for use in the school. We have now spent nearly all of the money. We donated £2000. £1500 has gone towards sponsoring two children for three years each at the school. That left me with £500 to get resources and make donations to families and local people who clearly need support. I have spent £300 on resources for the school. With the remaining money I will donate it to the families of the two children we are sponsoring and school fund. I am yet to find out which two children we are sponsoring, however I have requested one boy and one girl. I was also asked to be a postman and deliver some gifts. Tony, Katie and Jan Gough asked me to pass on their donated gifts to Neema, Peter, Michael and Daniel, who are local pastors and teachers.
Thursday 6th August 2009
Busy day. We woke at 7, in time for school at 8. We have had no electricity for the last 24 hours, but that seems to be sorted now. I taught a phonics lesson to the infants on ‘oo’ and ‘tr’ sounds. I gave out some donations on behalf of Laurie Brown, Yoland Watson and Lorna Hopewell. The recipients were all extremely grateful. I have some nice pictures of these people receiving the donations. Each evening since arriving, I have played football for an hour with the boarding children from 5pm until 6pm. They really enjoy it. After football tonight I am hoping to make marmalade and play scrabble with a few of the other volunteers. There are two art students from the midlands, two people working in the clinic, and a volunteer called Anna who has been in Tanzania for nearly two years and recently came to help out at the college. See my football pictures from today.
Friday 7th August 209
We’ve had electricity for some of today, but not now. Enough to make an omelette for lunch and have a cup of tea. My laptop is running on battery power and I won’t write much as I’m not sure when we will next have power and I’d like to save the battery! Great day at school. Helped the teachers with next weeks planning. Sporty afternoon. I taught hockey to the girls in standard 2. They seemed to like it. Got a great video of the children singing the national anthem at the end of the school day. Well worth watching.
It’s 9pm and the electricity has just returned. I have found out that we are sponsoring two girls from Standard 2 (that will make them 8 or 9 years old). I’ll bring you more information as I have it.
Saturday 8th August 2009
Early rise today as I was going out with both bishops (old and new) to villages and towns around the diocese. The diocese is roughly the size of a third of England, but without tar-mac! I lost count of the number of churches and pastor’s houses we visited. They all made us feel welcome and gave us food and drink. I have eaten a lot of chapatti today, and it is very filling, but somehow I found room for a boiled egg and three bottles of soda. It has been a long day, but a memorable and unique experience to be welcomed so warmly by people who do not know you and do not speak the same language. There are five other volunteers helping here. Two are medical students and go off to help at the clinics. The other three help me at the school, although they aren’t teachers. Tonight, four of them have gone camping. I passed on the opportunity. I prefer my mattress, especially after the long day travelling I have had.
Sunday 9th August 2009
Church this morning. The bishop asked me to introduce myself to the congregation and explain what I was doing here. After that embarrassing affair, I was shocked to see a man asking for some of the money from the collection. He said he needed the money for medical treatment. He pulled up his sleeve to show us why. His right arm was dangling and the bone had clearly been snapped in half below the elbow. For the remainder of the day I made a marmalade cake, had cheese on toast for tea. The electricity has just gone off AGAIN and I’m running on battery power.
Monday 10th August 2009
Taught four English lessons today. Tiring, but rewarding. Some children are really improving their basic English conversational skills. I gave out some Sacred Hear uniform to children who needed it. Got a nice picture of children wearing this uniform beneath the school flag. In the evening we put on a video of Tom and Jerry for the children to watch. They loved it. I have never seen 100 children around the same television before, and not one of them was talking. Being able to watch television is a novelty for these children as they do not have their own television at home. In the evening I sat doing a crossword, until that became boring and then I decided to make more cake for the volunteers. I never make cake, but I’m certainly getting better at it! There is no moon in the sky at the moment, and with no light pollution you can see so many more stars than in England. It really is like being inside Starlab, only real.
Tuesday 11th August 2009
Two English lessons this morning. The children were learning about the sounds certain letter stings make, such as ph makes an f sound. Mary the cook is boiling up some kidney beans and potatoes for lunch. One thing I’ve got to say is that I’m not going hungry! The new bishop came by earlier to say hello. He was with the prime minister yesterday, who was on a visit to the region. He said he got a lot of attention and had a lot of photographs taken. He has offered to give me a lift back to Dar Es Salaam, where I catch the plane from the day before my flight. This is something I’m happy about as it would take two days if I were to take the bus. I will need to arrange a hotel for the night before my flight now, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
Wednesday 12th August 2009
Another trip out with the two bishops to local villages to visit the churches, schools and pastors houses. We got lost on more than one occasion today. Have a look at the video to see the sort of terrain and conditions we were dealing with. One of the volunteers is leaving tomorrow so we had an evening meal together and celebrated the good work she had achieved.
Thursday 13th August 2009
I have been working on the infant teacher’s planning all morning trying to put together a syllabus that she can follow until Christmas. The infant children receive a good education, but it needs to be clear on paper what they have, are and will be learning. During the afternoon I put up the sign to show that both our school and KCC (Kiteto Christian College) are linked together. I have also planned for my science lesson tomorrow and prepared resources. One more school day left. I is amazing how quickly it has gone!
Friday 14th August 2009
Taught final lesson on the differences between living and non-living things. It went well. I gave the children balloons, bubbles and sweets. They were made up to receive these things! We played hockey with the children before settling down for an evening meal of goat meat and mash. Yum.
Saturday 15th August 2009
It is my last full day at the school. The children are here because they ‘board’ (or live in). The other volunteers and I decided to go to the maasai market. Our night watchman was there (he is maasai) and he sold us some meat from one of his cows. It cost 8000 Tanzanian shillings and we cooked it in the oven. I managed to buy some kangas (sheets women wear) and maasai blankets as well as a maasai knife and spear. I leave in the morning at 5am to go to Dar Es Salaam (where the airport is)
Sunday 16th August 2009
An early start today so we could get all of the way to Dar in a day. The new bishop, who is Tanzanian was going to Dar on business and offered to take me along. I was grateful as normally it is a two day journey. We made it in one piece, although a bus did hit the 4-wheel drive and damage the bumper and smash off a wing mirror. I’m just glad God was watching and looked after us. I eventually arrived at the airport (although I don’t fly home today) to greet the next group of volunteers. I passed over some cash they would be needing and other vital things before setting off again to my hotel. I wanted a good nights sleep to prepare for my long journey over Monday and Tueday.
Monday 17th August 2009
We left the hotel at 11.30 this morning. We didn’t arrive at the airport for ages as the traffic in Dar Is a nightmare. I’m writing now as I wait to board the plane (EK726 to Dubai). I have been given a voucher for a drink and snack as I have been told that the plane is already delayed. I have wandered around the four shops and had a bottle of fanta with a sausage roll. Nothing left to do now but wait. And wait. I am expecting to arrive home in time for Coroation street tomorrow night!