Learning the Language

Trip Start Sep 08, 2003
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Having made my first impressions of the area I was to live in, it was time to meet some of the other volunteers involved with the Changing Worlds program. Elliot has been out here for about 4 months teaching at a primary school a little way out of town and had invaluable knowledge to help the us on arrival. Our fresh faced look made us easy targets as we wondered around town. Elliot was very good at getting us to toughen up... and fast. He reminds me of Phil Mitchell - Shaved head, big shoulders, but then he surprises me when he laughs. He taught me two very important words:

Hapana
Asante
No Thank you!!

Everywhere we walked our colour made us the honey for the selling bees. We were flocked around - being pulled in different directions to look at this and that. It would have been very easy to be rude, but as Elliot pointed out, these street sellers are always around - and one day we may need a few witnesses. It doesn't hurt to keep smiling and saying Hapana Asante - but firmly.

And the other reason Elliot was good - he knew the only place the England Game would be shown that night!! I might be a continent away in Africa and most of the kids I teach will not have the luxury of TV - but I haven't started teaching yet and there is nothing like being away from home to make you suddenly patriotic!
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