Friday, 30 November 2012

Is it a con?

Thursday November 29th

Many weeks ago I uploaded a video of the students singing a song they do regularly about their love for Tanzania.  This morning I asked them to do the other song they do, The Tanzanian National Anthem.  If you have Flash Player installed the video should work but my apologies for the last few seconds.  I have no video editing software out here so you end up with a lovely view of the ground.

Today I was due for my return journey to Mr and Mrs Masui’s for ‘breakfast’ so the first thing I did when I got to school was to paste the two photos of baby Debora, that are on yesterday’s post, onto a word file and printed them out on the school printer.  I had one sheet of card left so I used that and as usual Mrs Masui was delighted with my offering.  Pictures are by no means a rarity here because of the advent of mobile phone cameras, but hard copy seems still to be unusual and the reaction I have received to my little gifts has always been very positive.

Mr Masui’s Form IV nephew was there at breakfast so I asked to look at the phone that he was playing with.  I wanted to check what time system he used on his phone as wrist watches seem to be another rarity.  (To see my favourite Masai, Malele, reach inside his cloak and pull out his mobile phone to check the time still brings a smile to my face.) When I saw that the time was set for 10:26 and not 4:26, I joked that all the talk of Tanzanian time was just a ‘wind up’ (oooh!) to poke fun at mzungus and really they used the same system as everybody else.  I will have to get a look at Malele’s phone the next time he is round, although, to be fair, the 6 to 6 system is supposed to be mainly a coastal thing and Arusha is a long way from the sea.

After breakfast I had a little walk around the site.  Outside the boys’ dormitories their washing was already out, fluttering in what breeze there was.  I’d not really looked before but as I came close I realised why the items were able to stay on the line without the use of pegs; the washing line was ‘barbed wire’!  A good job I don’t cycle that way as I would have to remember to duck to avoid a rather nasty injury.

I asked Mr Mmari today when the students would be leaving as the exams were now over and there were to be no more lessons.  He explained that there was the cleaning and site maintenance to be done and the girls would most likely leave on Tuesday, with the boys following on Wednesday.  Obviously I asked, “Why the difference?”  Mr Mmari replied, “To prevent indiscipline.”  I don’t know what he expects to happen if boys and girls were allowed to mix unsupervised at the bottom of THE HILL, whilst waiting for transport to all points north, but certainly even having a cuddle on the back seat of a Daladala would require a contortionist.


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