Today started with teaching English to the community. It’s so great that after just two days I feel so comfortable and familiar with the students. There are students of all ages, young and old, the class welcomes everyone. Avril (another volunteer) leads the class and I, for the meantime, act as a support teacher.
One of the things I enjoy most about the class is everybody’s eagerness to learn. I think I’m going to really enjoy my role as a teacher and I can sense how much we are all appreciated.
Nursery was off today, as it is the Muslim festival of Eid (Marking the end of Ramadan). So, instead we gathered our paints and pencils and set out to paint the alphabet across the wall of the school courtyard. I feel very privileged to have been a part of the painting, as I know how much it will be enjoyed and I’m sure it will be there for a long time to come - A little sign of the impact I’ve made since, left here in Tanzania. I love it. I also had my second Kiswahili lesson today - Pole Pole (slowly slowly) - I am picking it up! Prosper our teacher is wonderful. He used to be a student in the tourism class and now he is a Project Co-Ordinator and also my Kiswahili teacher!
Yesterday I saw Kilimanjaro for the first time. It was late in the afternoon and the sky was a pale lilac. The snowy peaks of the mountain were highlighted by the setting sun. After three days being here in Moshi it feels like I have earned her trust, comfortable in my presence she reveals herself from behind a thick camouflage of clouds. It feels like a gift.
Moshi town was great, my senses were flooded with colour, sound and smell. The streets are lined with men and women sat behind a humming choir of Singer sewing machines. Piles of brightly coloured African fabrics sit next to them like loyal dogs. Shops spill out onto the road and despite the vibrant chaos the whole place has a relaxed feel. It’s called African time - pole pole - slowly slowly. I sat down next to an old man who had been busily sewing away. He ushered me over and was excited to ask me questions. His English was brilliant. I told him about our English classes and he seemed pleased.
A young boy walked by us, carrying a large orange vat, multi-coloured plastic teacups and a plastic container with a red screw lid. Carolyn had told me about the street coffee in town and I was excited to try some! Carolyn kindly offered to treat me to my first cup. The boy poured the rich brown liquid into well-worn plastic teacups, the aroma of the coffee rising to my face in swirls of hot steam. I burnt my tongue slightly, but I didn’t mind, the coffee tasted so good.
School is wonderful, my classes are engaging and I feel as though I am doing a good job. Personalities reveal themselves, hard faces melt into smiles, shy men wiggle and dance, students who sat apart move forward, pull their chair in closer. It feels really good. To lay something alien down onto the table and within days, see this thing absorbed, carried in and accepted.