It really does not seem like a year. In many ways it seem like a lot less – the fact that we have been able to FaceTime /Skype family and keep in touch with friends via social media means that distant as we are geographically we have felt close. The world has truly got smaller in the last few years.
In other ways it seems like we have been in Tanzania for ever. Life is so different here. It’s not just the weather – an eternal summer – whether dry (as it is most of the time) or wet (as it is occasionally). Generally a more relaxed lifestyle a more outdoor life and a more sociable life. Eating out is cheap and much more part of life here. Wages are low but housing comes with the job so money goes farther. It has enabled us to travel: Serengeti, Zanzibar, Rubondo, Uganda earlier in the year and our recent journey south through Tanzania,Malawi, Zambia and Botswana have given us great adventures and amazing experiences.
Teaching here has had it’s share of frustrations (what job doesn’t) but I don’t regret a moment. The work-life balance is so much better than the UK, the students polite, respectful and hardworking in the main and I work with a great bunch of colleagues.
As we reach this milestone – it is a time of transition here – new colleagues are arriving this weekend – just as we did a year ago. Many old colleagues return this week, but others have left for other jobs across the globe, so school will change. I wonder what colleagues were thinking a year ago as we and a bunch of others arrived!
Power cuts, low water pressure, poor roads, a lack of reasonably priced quality chocolate, cheese and bacon are major negatives but actually day to day life is fairly normal and you can get quite a lot here if you look. We are lucky compared to some that we get relatively few power cuts.
No one can predict the future and certainly the sliding Shilling and upcoming elections cause concern in some of the local ex-pat community. For us the lack of a job for Anita, following a chance to do some maternity cover this past six months, makes it difficult to imagine as much travel in the year ahead. We will just have to see.
Looking back it’s been a great year and I am confident whatever happens year 2 will be just as amazing – even if it’s different.