Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Well...the first week of classes has past and we have survived!  I met my class for the first time and had about 100 students.  I went over the course syllabus and explained the usual about importance of attendence, etc.
It was a strugggle from the start.  First, the power strip for the projector would not work properly, delaying class a few minutes.  Second, I have to learn to slow down and re-explain often due to their English as a second language. My assistant instructor told me I had an accent.  Like the British don't!  Third I made the mistake of trying to handout a one page correction sheet for the seminar schedule.  I was mobbed, pushed, and had the handouts taken out of my hands by the students.  I hope they got a copy in the chaos.  My assistant said don't hand out things but let them go to the copy shop a get a copy.

The second session went much better and I had 250 students show up.  I slowed down and repeated information from the PowerPoint and this seemed to help a great deal.  One of my goals is to get the future teachers to understand how to teach for understanding and not just memorize a lot on information to later forget.  On Monday, yesterday, I think they are beginning to understand what I am trying to do.

Charlotte's classes went pretty well.  She has only about a 100 student in one of the many smaller lecture halls and doesn't need a microphone.  However she has to write on the board which needs resurfacing.So she bought some large chart paper and is supplimenting with that.  She has three seminars later in the week. I have 13 seminars but my Assistants, both who have taught and have their Master's Degree or working to finish it, wanted to conduct the seminars and have me serve more as a mentor.  They both are very capable.

I went to church twice this past Sunday, once to the 7:30 a.m. on campus where Charlotte now sings in the choir.  Then at 9:30 a.m. at the Catheral where she teaches Sunday School for about 20 missionary and Tanzanian kids age 3-7 years.  We had Communion at both.  Wow, one more communion could make one begin to feel pretty good!  (Not really, but it was an interesting morning.) .   Later in the afternoon we went to Msalato to visit Moses and Ruth.  Ruth and little Grace have had a touch of Malaria and Typhoid, but they are better now. Charlotte had made baby Grace a sweater and it just did fit her.   Moses and Charlotte discussed her working at Msalato next semester.  What she is doing here at St. John's is a good primer for her to teach English there.  I will continue to teach here at St. John's.  All in all the week went fairly well for us both.


I remember reading a person's blog before we left about all the noise in Dodoma.  They were right!  Long before a normal person would begin to stir the sounds of the day come floating into our bedroom.  First there is the call to prayer which starts before the sun comes up.  I am not sure how long it lasts because I am dozing.  Then just when you think it is safe to fall asleep again here come the Catholic bells ringing loudly for a good three minutes or so.  Next the local dogs pitch their howls in with the bells.  Long after your head is left damaged a group of roosters down the street start to crow.  Last but not least are a small group of pigs squeling for food.  All this noise and it's only 6:00 in the morning!


Dry and more dry...water is in short supply right now.  Over the weekend we had a 24 hour period without tap water available.  Our buckets are now half full with water.  Everything needs water.  Once last week we actually had a small shower which lasted about 15 minutes as a storm moved through. It didn't even wet the sand.   The trees here are amazing though.  They seem to thrive without water pushing out their flowers for the spring.  Pink, red,  purple, white flowers all creating a canapy of sorts. Once we get our new camera I will provide some spring time pictures.  Right now the word on the street is that come early November the rains may begin.  Due to global warming and deforesting of the local trees  Dodoma has only one season for rain instead of the usual two.  With its population growing the results will be difficult in the future!  I hope and pray the city starts to increase ways to store water and to provide water to its people.


The local chapel choir I have joined is still very small.  Not everyone from last year has returned to practice I am told and we are too many altos or base to carry a good tune.  Oh well, it is still fun and close.  I just walk around the corner to another house for practice.  The couple that leads the choir have two very small children and are wonderfully dedicated to being missionaries.  I have enjoyed interacting with their children. They are so cute and sound so British! (Reminds of the voices in Harry Potter movies.) Speaking of children, the Sunday School experience I may not help at all.  The children really don't another adult since the activities are done in one large group with three other adults.  That may change so I was asked to come back in another two weeks.  David groaned and moaned about the two services but time went really fast at both.


Donna Gidley said...

We've got water...2 snow days for Jeffco and everywhere else in the metro area! It's Halloween and was up to 60 deg. Do they celebrate Halloween there?

Charlotte and David said...

No they do not. We have unfortunately still plenty of witch doctors who buy body parts from slain Abino children. Four men are going hbe hanged in two weeks for such awful acts.