The first three
days of in-country training will be spent in Dar es Salaam (east coast of Tanzania), including training about money matters,
safety, essential shopping places and other house-keeping issues, embassy registration, and meeting various important officials.
We will then
spend about three weeks in Morogoro (a town 189 miles west of Dar es Salaam) where we will be trained in the local language
(Kiswahili), culture, health and security and more motorbike training for John!!! We then head for a town in the north west
of Tanzania, off the shores of Lake Victoria, called Bukoba.
We will be placed
at Hekima Girls’ Secondary School and the on-site accommodation is “suitable for a couple”! The most appropriate
means of moving between schools for John is by motorbike which will be also useful for the weekly shop – we are researching
the location of the nearest Sainsbury’s!
John will be
working with Physics and Maths teachers in a cluster of four schools around Bukoba. He will be helping the teachers develop
their teaching skills and developing their computer skills including their use of the internet. In common with all VSO placements
there is a major emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness which we will be promoting during our two year placement.
Babs will be
teaching Home Economics, also at the girls’ school, but as yet has no idea what this might entail although she does
know that the facilities are very basic! At present she is frantically researching what can be cooked using Tanzania’s
staple diet of coconuts, bananas, rice and a cornmeal porridge called Ugali. The list is endless…!!
We hope that
we will fit into the new culture and community comfortably and will try to avoid catching malaria and bilharzia (worms wriggling
around our veins). Babs is looking forward to an interesting new diet and the likely possibility of losing weight in time
for Eve’s wedding on 5th April 2007 in Sydney! John is looking forward to all the many new challenges, and especially
to being involved with students who appreciate the opportunities that education provides. We are both looking forward to keeping
in touch with as many friends and relations as possible. However, since we have no idea what communication problems we might
encounter until we get settled, which could be the beginning of November, please be patient!
Our VSO homepage www.justgiving.com/johnandbabs
Our school website www.beforemytime.org/hekima