We have been here almost four months (I’m not quite sure if it seems longer or shorter. Perhaps both.)
There are eight working day left until the end of term and in many ways our UK life seems a distant memory.
Life has a different pace here both in and out of work. There are frustrations for example things can take a long time to get sorted so you have to plan ahead more. No car means you can’t be as spontaneous and drive off at a whim, you can’t really go out at night on foot at all – the furthest we have walked is 200m to the bar at the bottom of the road. So life is lived in daylight or you grab a lift or you take a taxi.
New routines replace the old ones. I still get up at the same time (6:30am) and leave for work at the same time (7:30am), but a 10 min walk replaces the 50min drive. School starts at 7:55am and there are 7 x 50min lessons each day. The smaller classes (3- 14 students) do mean marking is less onerous and class behaviour means work is more pleasurable. The day finishes at a consistent 3:15pm and is followed by clubs or meetings most nights.
The lighter marking load means I can afford to go out during the week (something I rarely did in the UK).
Computer club after work.
In the evening Anita and I both go to play Bridge at the Sport’s Club. Here a mix of teachers and other expats along with some Tanzanians play for a few hours.
Alternate Tuesday evenings I meet with fellow Christians (mainly NGO’s) for Bible Study at La Kairo Hotel.
After school meetings.
Early evening I go to the Language School for an hour long lesson.
Running club after school.
A second language lesson of the week at Language School followed by Boy’s Night. This is a weekly meal out with male teaching staff at a variety of different Hotels, Bars and Restaurants across Mwanza.
Occasional Friday’s we go for a swim after work, often followed by a drink at someone’s house.
Into town shopping, while children go to rehearsals for the school production. Then the afternoon at home – generally a quiet day. However, every other weekend there is a Youth Group for the children of the various Christian Ex-pats from across the town.
Church in the morning. We have tried out two this Autumn. MICC in the Gold Crest Hotel in the centre of town and NCLC at Isamilo Lodge up the hill. We hope to have settled on one in the New Year – more news then.
Sunday afternoons are quiet and might include a swim or a walk or maybe nothing at all.
These are the new routines and by each one the week passes by. Throw in school work (there is some, honest!), impromptu celebrations and events (both in and out of school) then the weeks fly by. No wonder four months have gone by so quickly.