Category Archives: Getting Prepared

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Songs of Christmas: Day 8 – Carol of the Bells

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my 8th offering:

Day 8

Pentatonix: Carol of the Bells

I came across this ‘band’ on Facebook the other day and was amazed by the sound. An a capella group with a rich layered sound. There are many good songs on their two Christmas Albums. This is one of my favorites

 

For another alternative version there is this dramatic version from the Film Score to the Nativity

Mychael Danna : Is There A Place For Us?

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Songs of Christmas: Day 7 – Real

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my 7th offering:

Day 7

Nichole Nordeman: Real

I bought this on an album last year, but for some reason I never heard it before this year. When I did I was amazed, such a hauntingly beautiful song, sung by a voice I didn’t know. Not a classic, definitely new but a firm favorite.

If you go to a Nativity this year think about this song and think!

Songs of Christmas: Day 6 – I Believe In Father Christmas

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.
Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my 6th offering:

Day 6

Greg Lake : I Believe in Father Christmas

Probably my favorite secular Christmas song. A rock opera of a tune. The closing line is chilling –

Hallelujah Noël, Be It Heaven or Hell, The Christmas we get we deserve!

 

 

 

 

Songs of Christmas: Day 5 – Little Drummer Boy

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my 5th offering:

Day 5

Bing Crosby & David Bowie: Little Drummer Boy

A surreal combination of 40’s Crooner and 70’s Glam Rock Star made for an interesting Christmas song. The kids are singing this one tonight as a duo at the Boarder’s Christmas Dinner Dance.

As with all Christmas songs there are several versions, this is one I particularly like

Whiteheart: Little Drummer Boy

 

 

 

 

Songs of Christmas: Day 4 – Veni Veni Emanuel

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my 4th offering:

Day 4

Mychael Danna: Veni Veni Emmanuel

The opening titles of the 2006 film The Nativity Story has this amazing version of the familiar Christmas Carol (O Come O Come Emmanuel) by Mychael Danna part of an atmospheric Film Score.

Songs of Christmas: Day 3 – Stop the Cavalry

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my third offering:

Day 3

Jona Lewie : Stop The Cavalry

A pop song written in the ’80s about the  (First World)War is an unlikely Christmas hit but it was. Apparently it was not intended as a Christmas song at all, but the line “Wish I was at home for Christmas” made it a success! A different sort of Christmas tune with a message in this the Centenary of the outbreak of WW1.

 

Songs of Christmas: Day 2 – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of some of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my second offering:

Day 2

Annie Lennox – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

This has always been one of my favorite carols and Annie Lennox is my all time favorite singer – so a winning combination. (Sorry about the ads!)

Two other great versions

Rascal Flatts – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Jars of Clay – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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Songs of Christmas: Day 1 – O Little Town of Bethlehem

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of one of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my first offering:

Day 1

Jars of Clay : O Little Town of Bethlehem

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs of recent years – I like because it is such a different rendition to the usual version of the Carol.

Wildlife here in Mwanza (video)

Most of these were taken in our garden!

Flute Fiasco

Last Wednesday, my flute was stolen from my bag whilst walking to my language class 😦 It was a stark reminder to me that I must not walk with valuables visible – seeing the flute case poking out of the top of my bag was obviously too much of a temptation for the thief. The irony is that there isn’t really a market for flutes here, so it was a useless theft.

The thief was caught and given a severe beating from the observers of the crime (many of whom attend the secondary school right where it happened). He was then taken to and held in the local police jail.

On Thursday morning I went to the police station, with one of the staff from the school, waited for about an hour and then was told to return the following day, as the officer in charge of the case wasn’t in.

Friday morning, I went back and together with two police officers, the thief and a local expat friend (who acted as my translator) we returned to the scene of the crime, with the intention of talking with the witnesses who attended the school there for information about the possible whereabouts of my flute. However, it seemed to be an inconvenient time at the school, and the police suggested we come back an hour later. Unfortunately, this resulted in us returning at probably the worst possible time – the children and their parents were all outside where a class of children were performing songs and dances! So back we went to the police station and I was told to return on Monday morning.

Later that same day, I was walking back the same path going to language school, and as I came to this school, many of the children surrounded me, and even with my limited Swahili I understood that they were talking about the mugging. Then several children took my hand, said “Njoo!” (come!), and led me to where 4 of their teachers were. They knew all about the situation, and I asked if they could help me by telling the children that the flute was still missing and to look for it, and if anyone found it then they would get a reward. I showed them a picture of the flute as most people aren’t familiar with a flute, so they would know what to look for. The teachers were very happy to help and encouraged the children to look for it.

I left the school to continue on my way to language school, and a group of 20+ children walked most of the way with me, as if to keep me safe, which was really encouraging.

Today I returned yet again to the police station together with another member of staff from the school, and as the flute seems to have completely vanished, and the thief isn’t able to shed any light on its whereabouts I agreed to drop the case.

Although the mugging was a shock, and I was absolutely gutted that my flute was taken – especially as I was due to play with 2 others at the school dinner-dance held on Saturday night – but I felt the theft was purely opportunistic by someone who hoped it was a laptop / camera or other valuable & trade able item, rather than malicious towards me. I still walk the route daily but do ensure nothing potentially interesting to a would-be thief is visible.

I was even able to play at the dinner dance as one of the teachers at Graham’s school lent me her flute 🙂

Many thanks to everyone who has emailed or commented about this situation. I’ve much appreciated your encouragement and concerns, during this difficult week.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Night-time Campfire

A submission to this weeks photo challenge on the theme of night-time.

Taken this summer on our fabulous break in Somerset at Petruth Paddocks where campfires are provided for campers for a small fee. Well worth a visit if you’re in Cheddar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Night Time Moon

A submission to this weeks photo challenge on the theme of night time.

Here is my first offering- the Crescent Moon over Lake Victoria at Tunza Lodge near Mwanza, Tanzania just last month.

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My second offerings are from Lyme Regis in Dorset, England – Taken in 2009. This time a Full Moon

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01 Lyme Regis 106

 

 

Amphibians,Reptiles and Insects

As part of a plan to catalog all of the animals we see here in Africa – we are starting small with Amphibians , Reptiles and Insects

Gallery

We might never return to the UK!

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Tanza-Longs:
T minus 120 Time to face the truth – this could be the last 120 days we ever spend in the UK! When we fly out to Tanzania we might not return….. United Kingdom – Union…

Loads of Lizards

There is a new section on the blog for wildlife of various sorts. Following our trip to Malaika Beach – the first of these pages to be updated is the Reptiles page – not just from there but elsewhere in Tanzania too. The page will update as more are added to the list.

Difficult Decisions

Getting rid off house workers was not an easy decision and was not taken lightly. Unfortunately the blog post has led to some negativity from people who have hidden behind pseudonyms. I have not and will not approve such comments which do not reflect the true situation on our part. Trust is an important thing between employer and employee. Our aim in employing local Tanzanians to work for us was always to give something back and provide a good wage for honest work. Our house workers had a good wage at the top of the range locally. Had they asked for extra food we would have been generous. Stealing stuff is not good, especially for workers with experience of working in such environments (Foil is expensive here). Writing in other people’s books is discourteous in the least). I am saddened by both the situation and the response from a small minority. Settings have changed and so comments require an email address from now on.

Swimming in a Pool … By the Sea … (Actually a Giant Lake)

More about today from Matthew’s Blog

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Tanzanimage Blog 20

So, as the title suggests, I went swimming in a pool next to lake Victoria. It was pretty cool as from a certain angle it almost looked as if it was part of the lake. Some other teachers went also with their families so we spent the day either swimming with the children of them or talking to the adults. As shown in the bottom right corner of the image, There was a small area within the pool where you could purchase drinks at a bar whilst still sitting in water. The pool itself was great as it was extremely deep (I would stand at the deepest point and have to stretch my arms to touch the side). This allowed me to perfect my diving abilities and manage to do more dare-devilish activities like diving vertically down. So far this is my favorite swimming pool of the ones I’ve been…

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The Heat is On!

T + 19

After a gentle introduction to Mwanza during the first couple of weeks. The temperatures are on the rise. We have had a hot and sunny week. The temperatures hitting a high of 30°C and not dropping below 20°C.
Working in a hot ICT suite is challenging and there is definitely no air com here. It remains to be seen how hot it will get, but the heat is on!IMG_8762.JPGIMG_8763.JPG

Staff Room Visitor

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Following from my earlier post. I came across this chap as I entered the Staff Room during a free period this morning.

 

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He didn’t stay long though.

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I wonder what the monkey thought as he  sat there – what was it that drew him – was the the chance of a free meal of something or other or just inquisitiveness. He sat for a moment in the tree gazing back through the window and then with a great bound lept up into the tree and was gone.

HELP!!! Animals are in my Wallet!

Interesting way of blogging from one of the family

tanzanimages

Tanzanimage Blog 12

As I get money for school days and whenever I’m in town, I now recognise what the notes look like. Most of them have a different African animal printed on it (e.g. a lion on a 2000 shilling note, a rhino on a 5000 shilling note and an elephant on a 10,000 shilling note). I think that the notes are more interesting than the UK notes because most of the people depicted are unknown to me. I also probably like them more because I have been used to seeing them for many years. Hopefully I’ll find some more interesting money whilst I’m here

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