Thursday, 27 September 2012

Electricity. Wow!!

Wednesday September 27th

Hurray, the electricity has been on all day.  Well, until 15:00 but school had finished then anyway and it came back on at dusk.  With a chance to use the laptops (the batteries are not brilliant on either machine) and Form III unsupervised without a teacher for nearly three hours.  I was able to pull pairs of students out, and now everyone in the Form has done the first introductory exercise I have written. 

The work on the computers obviously requires a lot more one to one contact and it soon became obvious that although English is supposed to be the language of lessons in Boza, there is a tremendous range of understanding among the students. Some like Peter, speak English almost as if it were their mother tongue, as usual, he informs me, learnt from the pop culture of DVDs and music.  Some though really struggle to understand me (pause for laughter from Chez) and in some cases I have had to resort to asking the other student in the pair, to translate my instructions into Swahili.  Presumably a lot of this goes on unofficially as I ramble on at the front of a maths lesson.

One troublesome object is the Shift key on the laptop. Trying to explain to someone with a limited English vocabulary that the key must be held down whilst pressing a letter with the other hand and not just touched and released, has proven almost beyond me on numerous occasions.  I have had to resort to actually holding their hands to produce a capital ‘M’ on more than one occasion. (The exercise starts ‘My name is…..’)

Anyway, the day went well.

Having risen before 4:00 to ensure I had enough electricity and Internet to upload the church magazine for printing (it took 35 minutes), I was, to say the least, shattered by the time I got home from school.  A phone call from Denis to join him on a 2km walk up the coastline to where some turtles were hatching was to be honest the last thing I wanted.

In the end though I was glad I went as we saw about twenty to thirty turtles racing or rather waddling down the sands and into the sea.  An old Tanzanian man removed the sand over the eggs so even the weakest didn’t need to dig themselves out, the way was clear to the sea.  I don’t know how Darwin would feel about that. 

Walked back and needless to say bed called early.

Finally, has anyone got an old nokia or equivalent that does nothing clever except text and phone.  If it has a sim card in as well could you give it my wife, because she has the only phone in the UK that will not receive my texts. I'm sure she thinks I am doing it deliberately, but not a single text I send to her gets past some unknown filter in her phone.  For the sake of marital harmony, help!!

Asante sana

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