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Monday, July 6, 2009

Mandaka

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009

Spent the week at Mandaka Teachers College at the slopes of Kilimanjaro, teaching LTP to teachers who teach how to teach. In retrospect, it was quite beautiful...large grassy fields, animals all around (chickens, goats, cows (and *baby cows!*), pigs, etc.) and the big blue (or black) sky visible at all times. The living condition was interesting in that it was quite a novel experience. Each room about the size of a small closet with just a bed, a clothesline, and a small window that allowed a sliver of light to illuminate the quarters. Oh, and a curtain for a door. Regardless of the size of the space, I actually really enjoyed myself (aside from not showering once for an entire...that gets irritating for the skin, but it was my own choice). The workshops went well in the end and we were warmly thanked with a huge banquet of food ~ chicken, goat meat, wali (rice), mchicha (spinach**my favorite), and many slices of machungwa (oranges!) [p.s. I think it is very "izu" of me to post about food~ grandma, I love you!!]. The hospitality you'll find in Tanzania is very welcome, the word being "Karibu" which I've found really means much more than just "Welcome." When I think "Welcome," I think of a worn welcome mat or a formal address at a ceremony of sorts. "Karibu sana" carries more of a "You are very welcome here," a deep acceptance, a "please feel at home," no worries,
pole pole.

We also had this really old broken down bus that seated about 15 (but we found out could
hold about 30). The seats were a dark red almost burgundy and the frame rusty. We liked to go inside the bus at dusk and take pictures or just sit and talk. You could barely see anything through the back window because it was so dirty and literally speckled with dark spots. There was always pretty light inside the bus, but also a ton of mosquitos so I could only sit in there for so long. It is a nice memory, so I thought I'd share it.

I am happy to sleep in a bed that won't squeak at the slightest movement tonight. :)

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