Monthly Archives: February 2014

What you leave behind.

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One of the biggest challenges we face in the coming months is what we’re actually going to need in Mwanza and what we will leave behind in the UK. We will be provided with a furnished house in Africa, which will be great – though this will be basic and will need to be added to. Some items will need to be sourced locally. Apparently even though it might seem difficult on first impressions, you can get just about anything if you look hard or wait long enough. Even so some items which are cheap in the UK will be expensive in Tanzania.

Deciding exactly which items to keep and which to sell / give away is going to be a conundrum. Anita and I have always had a tendency to hoard and in common with most people in the West we have probably had an excess. One look in my wardrobe tells a story.

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We’ve not been extravagant by western standards but we have far too many clothes. I have loads of Vinyl which I never play (though some has been converted to mp3), an old video recorder and a DVD player – that’s just one cupboard. We will really need to trim down the quantities – some clothes will never be worn so it should be easier but then there’s sentimental value.

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How many versions of Monopoly and Scrabble do you need? We have loads.
Then there’s the book-case.

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Anita was into scrapbooking for a long time and we have so many albums which would fill our luggage allowance. These will probably be digitised.

When it comes to DVD’s there’s a lot to filter out. Probably keeping the box sets and the series but even so…

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Apparently there are no copyright laws in Tanzania so downloading is common practice. Added to which there is a community library among the expats.

So what to take and what to leave behind?

This weekend we’re making an inventory of everything we have. A long job that needs doing. Wish us luck!

From Milton Keynes to Mwanza

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When we leave we will obviously be flying. Looking to squeeze all our remaining possessions into all the bags we can take and still keep to luggage limits. The next few weeks and months will be spent disposing of much of our possessions via eBay, car boot sales, jumble sales, charity shops etc. This will be a challenge but one we must continue to work through……..

On a lighter note believe it or not there is a website which plans out a road route for you should you wish to take it.

dateandtime.info/drivingdirections

I must stress we won’t be doing this but nonetheless…..

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They even provide road directions.

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I would not recommend this route given the 11 countries and the areas of unrest through which you would have to travel. Let alone the petrol for the 10000km trip over 6 days (non stop!)

UK –> France –> Spain –> Algeria –> Niger –> Nigeria –> Cameroon –> Chad –> Central African Republic –> Democratic Republic of Congo –> Rwanda –> Tanzania

Only for the truly adventurous I imagine. 🙂

A thousand views :-)

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Wow! I started this blog 12 days ago and in that time we’ve had over a 1000 views from all over the planet.

Thanks for taking an interest in our ramblings. It’s very encouraging. Some may recognise who they are, based on the country. Interestingly people have viewed us from every continent apart from South America.
We’ve also been followed by some interesting people and (to be honest) some more unusual ones.

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This blogging lark is quite addictive you know. 😀

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Mwanza, Tanzania’s almost undiscovered city on Lake Victoria

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on ATC News by Prof. Wolfgang H. Thome:
MWANZA THE (ALMOST) UNDISCOVERED CITY ON LAKE VICTORIA (Mwanza, Tanzanias Lake Victoria lake side city / source: ExoticExpeditionsTanzania.com) Even for East Africans, Mwanza has an exotic ring to its name…

Speaking the Lingo!!

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Thought it was about time I (Anita) had a go at ‘blogging’ so here goes…

20+ years ago I was living in Malawi and was speaking and teaching in the local language ‘Chichewa’.

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Teaching a health prevention class
“Mwana ku mwana” (Child to child),
in a rural Malawian village (1992)

In Tanzania, it seems that another Bantu language ‘Kiswahili’ (ie Swahili) is spoken.  “Great :), having learned one it can’t be that hard to learn a 2nd one surely!”, I naively thought, until I started studying a Learn Swahili book and then the confusion set in.  I thought the way to approach it would be comparing the 2 languages but I ended up getting very muddled, there seem to be more noun classes (though I haven’t counted them) and some of the words have very different meanings eg the ‘na’ prefix in Chichewa indicates the past, but in Swahili it means the present!!

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Me, teaching a health lesson

So I went to plan B which has been to forget the Chichewa and learn Swahili using an audio language learning programme.  It takes just 30 mins a day, and today will be lesson 10.  This seems to be working much better and I now know how to order 2 beers and say useful phrases such as “I would like to buy something” “Where would you like to eat?” and “I want a cup of tea/coffee with you”.  This way the Chichewa knowledge seems to be helping as some nouns are similar eg the word for house is “nyumba” in Chichewa and “nyumbani” in Swahili.  Of course the test will be when I try it out with someone who can actually speak Kiswahili!!

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Hopefully once I’ve gone through the oral lessons, I can then go back to the book and it’ll then make more sense – well that’s the plan!!!

Not forgetting Swahili Bubble Bath 🙂 (edit – Graham) and your cousin Helen!!

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Venezuela, here is my voice.

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Originally posted on bvgonzal:
A very close SU friend from Venezuela told me one of her friends from home was murdered today. I have been preparing for some days to write this post, and I have asked many fellow SU…

Changes

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Back home after a busy working day today.
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In a sense today was more about life in the present rather than life in the future. Getting up at ridiculous o’clock for morning commute, travelling in the light (for a change), then assessing, planning, carrying out break duties and bus duties, sorting out emails, meeting with colleagues, drinking filter coffee! The usual daily mundanity of the routine of a teacher/ Head of Faculty. It is strange to think that some this well practiced routine will soon be changing – not the tasks themselves but the location and the routine, and definitely the commute where a 50 minute car journey will be replaced by a 10 minute walk!

I am still very excited about this change and what it will mean,
it is difficult to concentrate on the present when the future looms large ahead, but I need to. Tomorrow night is Year 9 options evening, a new experience for me as ICT has hitherto been a core subject. My team and I will be aiming to recruit as many as we can to both ICT and Computing. It is strange that I will not be teaching them, whilst thousands of miles away, in Mwanza, other students have been or will be making a similar choice, students I have yet to meet – such the nature of change!

More changes.You may have noticed the countdown (T minus ??? ) has gone up. It’s not a time warp as the date for flying has moved back. This still to be confirmed and complicates things a little as my sister in law’s (Fiona’s) sister (Janet) gets married on the same day – meaning it probably will not be possible to be seen off by family sadly 😦
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So the new date for flying will be the 23rd August – which will be after Matthew’s GCSE results which will be good 🙂 Hopefully good for him too!

I keep promising not to post and wasn’t going to today but who knows what will grab me next?