Saturday, September 22, 2012

Morogoro: Part 2

We have been in Tanzania for two weeks now and we are settling into a rhythm.

Our Weekday Schedule
6-6:30am      Wake up - Depending on whether we need to study or shower
7am             Breakfast - Usually it is a buffet of yogurt, bread with butter and jam, uji which is a type of porridge, some kind of fruit, and sometimes eggs.
7:30am         Head back to our room to take our malaria prophylaxis and other meds and grab our books.
7:45am         Morning Prayer with the other students and teachers. We will sing a Swahili hymn and hear a scripture reading in English and Swahili. Then, someone will offer prayer (usually in Swahili) and sometimes we all say the Lord’s prayer in Swahili. After one final Swahili hymn, the day of classes begins.
8am             Class - We meet in small groups based on when you arrived and how long you are staying. Eric and I are together with our own teacher. The teachers rotate every week so we have a new one each week. This helps us get used to different styles and different ways people speak Swahili
10am           Tea Break - They offer tea, coffee, hot chocolate and some kind of snack such as popcorn, banana chips, fried dough, etc. Usually by then our heads our about to explode, so the break feels amazing.
10:30am       Class
12pm           Lunch - A typical lunch buffet is rice, beans, potatoes, a vegetable sauce, greens and some kind of fruit.
1pm             Break - This gives us a chance to rest, study, write emails, etc.
2:30pm        Class or Lecture - We will either continue working on our Swahili or hear a lecture on a specific topic. So far we’ve heard lectures on “Tanzanian Beliefs about the Spirit World,” “Malaria,” and “The History of Christianity in Tanzania”
4pm             Tea Break
4:30pm         Free Time - Usually we will go for a walk, go into Morogoro, or try to get online. Our favorite walking destination has been a baobab tree that is climbable. Trips to and from Morogoro require us to ride on a daladala (a 15 passenger vehicle that Tanzanians manage to fit 26 people into with a combination of sitting and standing.)
6pm             Dinner - Similar to lunch. Sometimes we will have noodles instead of potatoes. Other options may include chicken, fish, goat m, hot dogs, or occasionally pizza (though the toppings are a bit different- light on the cheese because it is so pricey, cut up hot dog, onion and pinapple)
7pm             Free Time - Usually this is when we do our homework and studying.
8:30 or 9pm  Internet - So far this has been the best time to get online, though it is still very slow. About all we have time for in an hour is checking Facebook and all of our emails. Twitter thus far has been impossible, but we are still working on it. Right now we use the school’s wireless internet and pay by the hour.
9:30-10:30    Get Ready for Bed - Shower and possibly some for-fun reading or a MASH episode (We brought the series.)
10:30-11pm  Bed Time

Field Trips and Extra Activities
The last two weeks the school has had a big group of college-age German students (about 25 students), so there have been a lot of extra activities. One evening we took a field trip into Morogoro so we could find our way around. Another night we had an International Dinner where everyone was asked to prepare a dish from their home country. We had dishes from Germany, the U.S., India, the Congo, Korea, and Tanzania and it was all delicious! One day we went for a 6-hour hike in the Mountains of Morogoro. The views were incredible! One night they brought in Traditional Tanzania Dancers and Musicians. And then yesterday we went to Mikumi National Park and saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, hippos, impalas, etc. in their natural habitat. It was absolutely amazingly unforgettable! For pictures of all these events, go to You don’t need a Facebook account to see the pictures.

On Sundays, we get up and go to the English worship service at 7am and sometimes to the Swahili service at 8:30am. Otherwise the weekends are pretty low key and unstructured (with the exception of meals. No sleeping in if you want breakfast). Almost all of the German students left today, so it has been pretty quiet. There has been a small short term mission group from Oklahoma staying here the last few days and we have enjoyed their company.

We have spent the day cleaning our dorm, washing our underwear by hand (we can pay to have everything else washed, but having someone other than family wash your underclothes is taboo), and organizing life. Last week, I (Linda) successfully cut Eric’s hair for the first time and it turned out really well! Power goes in and out. However, we were able to get this post up, so obviously the power has come back on after being off most of the day.

So that’s a little taste of our life right now. Thanks for your loving support and we learn to navigate this new world!

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