It’s that time of year when Christmas is approaching fast. Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas and each year as part of the anticipation of this most important event we put up decorations in early December. Even though the glitz and glamour could be said to overwhelm the true meaning of the season- it is nonetheless a great way to signal that this important event is on it’s way.
Living here in Tanzania, a long way from family it is a touch stone to the life we lived before we came here, even if the equatorial heat makes Christmas a bit different to a British Christmas.
Mwanza has changed in the last few days. The Christmas Holidays are upon us and with international schools having broken up last week the ex-pat exodus has begun.
Not all ‘Wazungu’ have gone of course, but many have jetted off to their homelands or else to explore foreign parts within and beyond Tanzania’s borders. Some local Tanzanians will travel too in the coming days as they visit family across Tanzania.
A few like us are staying put and like us are having visitors to stay. Soon we will welcome family to our Tanzanian home, two Mums Jetting Off from their homes to foreign parts (Mwanza). We’e looking forward to receiving our first house guests, though in actual fact we have secured accommodation in a vacant house next door.
Before they arrive here in Mwanza they will meet us in Moshi – we’re holding out for a view of Kilimanjaro- though this may be a vain hope beyond a glimpse from the aircraft flying in. So we too will be jetting off from a wet and rainy Mwanza, in hope of a dryer Moshi and a more leisurely return through the Serengeti in the days ahead. We are looking forward to visiting the animal park again and introducing it to our visitors, as we will Mwanza. Mostly we’re looking forward to the relaxing time and conversations you just don’t get with Skype.
It has been a mixed holiday. We have enjoyed ourselves here but the frustrations of slow (exceedingly slow) network connections and a faulty mic on my iPhone have combined to make contacting home a nightmare. This has been particularly true of my mum. All this leaves me somewhat cross and annoyed. There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution – the mic issue seems to affect FaceTime and Skype as well as video recordings and whenever I try to use Speakerphone, but is intermittent. The connectivity since Christmas has been ridiculously slow (see below). At times my 3G has been faster than WIFI. Changing from
Vodacom to Airtel has made no difference.
It’s not just calls, the use of the network for school work and social networking is restricted to one computer with a Zantel dongle. This is also the only allowing us the option of downloading our iTunes Christmas Gifts.
Before Christmas things were fine but now we might just have to bite the expensive bulletin and return to using the TTLC landline. 😦
A return to Malaika Beach Resort was our Christmas treat yesterday. Having postponed this from Boxing Day, Having looked at the weather we headed out of town. Malaika is on the coast of Lake Victoria and we were looking forward to a day in the sun. To be honest our initial experience was none too promising as we arrived to thick grey cloud and spots of rain. Thankfully after an hour or so during which we had some lunch we were able to enjoy some good sunshine and fun in the pool.
Finally we’re here at the end of Term One and The holidays are here and I feel ……exhausted.
Today we had an awards ceremony for the first three hours. Sadly Zanzibar (my house) were pipped to the Sports Day – winning more events overall but losing out on coming third more often than Pemba who one overall. The children won awards for outstanding (English, History and ICT for Bex) and most improved (PE for Matt). They also won awards for the school production. In dispersing the awards were musical and drama pieces from various groups of students.
Assembly was followed by two lessons and the ubiquitous Power Cut. Then tutor group parties to complete an early finish of school at 2:15. Three weeks break including a week in Zanzibar to come and a somewhat different Christmas / New Year to usual.
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