Thursday, September 27, 2012

St Paul's School

Today we visited the school we tried to see last week - St Paul's Nursery and Primary School. We arrived as the younger children were leaving for the day (lunch time). The older students from Year 1 up stay at school until 4pm.
Below you can see the school bell which we just loved.

We met with Mary, the school's principal. Below is her office.
She and some staff members were busy filling out forms for all the children who sat last week's examinations, recommending them to high schools in the area.

Mary gave us a tour of the school and we looked into each of the classrooms. As we entered each room the students would stand and salute us, chanting "welcome visitors", or if they had not noticed Andrew at the door, "welcome madams".

Andrew and I were extremely impressed by the standard of the work written on the blackboards. The Math in particular we thought was fairly advanced for the age of the students.

We are hoping to be able to come and help out at the school once a month or so, maybe teaching some English, or just having conversations with the students in English - all the students are encouraged to use it as much as possible and so would benefit from a native speaker to practise with (that is our hope anyway). We will have to be mindful of our Australian accents and speak slowly and clearly!!
We also hope to be able to support them by taking out some supplies occasionally. Today we took a big bag of coloured pencils, but neglected to take any sharpeners. Next time.

Another weapon

Oliver went to the markets yesterday and bought himself another weapon.
I thought the slingshot was enough!

It is a Maasai knife - the handle and sheath is dyed goatskin.
I can't bring myself to touch it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A visit from the Campbells

We have spent a lovely couple of days with an Australian couple, Ian and Linda, who were visiting Arusha on their way to India and then the UK.
Ian and Linda have been very supportive of the school - they even gave us some amazing supplies when they visited the school house on Monday (including a laminator which I have been very happily using today).
They were also very generous in their hospitality.
On Sunday we had lunch at Karma Lodge.
 The views were great, as was the food.

After lunch we drove out along the Nelson Mandela Road, out of Arusha, to visit the Taylors at Munguishi.

We enjoyed some exceptional coffee on their front lawn.

And last night Linda and Ian asked us to join them for dinner at the hotel where they were staying.

The kids were particularly impressed with the dessert table.

Thank you Ian and Linda - we loved meeting you and certainly enjoyed the fine dining!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Visiting baby Michael

One of our askari (guards) is Yohanna. Recently his wife had a baby. Today we went to visit baby Michael and Yohanna's family.
Below: driving south along Mbauda Rd

Yohanna's house is a fair distance from us. He lives in Olasiti and rides his bike to and from Kwa Iddi each day.

It was a real privilege to spend some time in their home, and Yohanna's other children were so sweet.

We enjoyed cuddles with Michael. He is adorable.

Lauren, Oliver and William spent time playing with Yohanna's children and the children next door. There was soon a crowd of other children gathered to see the mzungus.

Ebenezer was excited to throw a rugby ball with them.

Joshua demonstrated a popular toy seen in Tanzania. His was made from the plastic lid of a bucket - a stick with a wire hook is used to guide/push the ring along.

Above: driving north along Mbauda Rd
Below: driving home along the Majengo Road at sunset

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I don't think I would ever get sick of that view

Taken from the verandah of a house owned by some new friends.

Further up the slopes of the mountain

Today we went for a drive to look at a primary school.
Unfortunately we unable to go in and visit as the Standard VII examinations were being held (we did not realise this when we set out). Standard VII is the final year of primary school in Tanzania, and the Primary School Leaving Examination needs to be passed if a student is to attend a public secondary school.
However, the drive was lovely. A short distance north, just out of  Arusha town, further up the slopes of Mt Meru.
Some of the farming is carried out on such steep hillside slopes.
We noticed the corn had already been planted and was looking healthy. The fields around our house are just now being ploughed ready for planting when the rains arrive.

There were great views of Arusha as we drove back down the slopes. I forget how hilly it really is when driving around the township itself.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scenes from the school house this week

I bought some cheap sieves and the kids have had fun sifting the rocks out of the sandpit.
 I spotted some termites - there were hundreds of holes underneath the play equipment, and on closer inspection I noticed the critters.
 Lots of work is being done inside the classroom.
 It is lovely to have some new students joining us this week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Food I probably won't eat...

If butter isn't your thing, there are lots of margarine spreads to try.
Often butter is impossible to buy so one might be forced to try something else.
Blue Band is a particularly hideous one.

Dagaa - a little dried fish that is often soaked in water before frying it to eat with ugali.

Dried Fish Sauteed with Tomatoes (Tanzania)

Yield: 8 portions

Be sure to check the saltiness of the dried codfish. It may need to be soaked overnight. If codfish tends to stick to pan in sauteing, add 1 to 2 oz. butter but avoid stirring. Browning the fish is the secret of the flavor of the dish. If the fish is still too salty, soak it in cold water after browning.
In a 10-inch Teflon skillet or pot:
Saute without oil 2 Ibs. DRIED CODFISH cut in 2-inch chunks until slightly brown. In a 4-quart saucepan:
Bring to a boil: 1 Ib. TOMATOES, cut in small wedges

1 cup ONIONS, chopped coarsely
1 small CHILI PEPPER, cut in small pieces (optional)
2 cloves GARLIC, minced finely
1 pint WATER
Add the sauteed codfish (desalted).

Simmer gently until most of the water is absorbed. Stir carefully to avoid breaking up fish.

Add 2 oz. BUTTER and allow it to melt over the DAGAA.


Sunday, September 16, 2012


Today I ate Mishikaki (yum!!)...

and bought some pretty bracelets.

Arusha street scenes

Below: leaving church the Arusha Vineyard Church near Chekereni. So dusty!

Below: brick making businesses in Moshono

Below: the Family and Friends restaurant's wall and  Coca-Cola depot near Kijenge

Above: a huge water tower near the Impala Hotel
Below: Arusha's post office at the Clock Tower roundabout

Above: quiet Sunday morning in Arusha
Below: travelling along the Nairobi Road

Below: our street corner, Kwa Iddi

Above: driving up our street

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scenes from the school house this week

The trampoline remains a favourite.

This week has seen an ever growing mound of dirt appearing in the back yard as some fundis dig a hole in the front yard for a very large rain water tank. We are not quite sure what we will do with the all the soil, but there has been some discussion about trying to grow grass over it and calling it Kilimanjaro.

Stephanie bought some second hand bikes in town and the kids have had fun riding during morning tea and lunch.

We introduced a construction challenge using Lego. At first the children were hesitant and not sure how to go about making the given shapes, but were really enjoying it by the end of the afternoon. Such a great Math and problem solving activity!

Oliver and William came to school in matching t-shirts more than once this week much to everyone's amusement.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Arusha street scenes

Below: one of the numerous Coca Cola signs around Arusha

Above: whenever we cross over the river that runs through the town I look at the little dark window - it is a kitchen

Above: approaching the 'torch' (Uhuru) roundabout

Above: a row of tailors

Above and below: Maasai Street - the newspaper pieces tell the story

Above: hardware stores
Below: Dar Express - many a visit has been made to send official documents off to Dar es Salaam

Above: everyone's favourite clean water company

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Oliver has been riding his bike up past Freedom Lodge quite a bit during the last week. It is about 2km from our house.
Today all the kids rode up there with AB to go for a swim.
I went to enjoy the sunshine and a pineapple juice, and to read... although I didn't get to do much of that.

It costs 2,000 Tsh to swim there (about $1.50).

Although everyone was very hot and sweaty after riding to the lodge, they didn't stay in the water very long. It was freezing.
As Arusha is 1135 metres above sea level there isn't the really hot weather to warm the water, although it may become warmer over January and February. And there is often a nice breeze blowing that makes it feel cooler too.