Friday, 20 July 2007

Time to celebrate

Ten weeks of language study over - cause for celebration indeed. I am the only one, of our class of four, that will be returning for the final six weeks of class, so we took this opportunity to say thanks to our teachers by taking them out for a meal. We went to a cafe in town that serves fantastic American style pizza and cinnamon rolls (and for those of you who like them, it's also meant to do the best doughnuts).

Visit the village

Learning to cook mandazi at Mama Zaina's. Mandazi are delicious things - basically deep fried bread dough. They are so good when fresh and warm, coated in sugar.

Maize plants glow golden in the sun. The harvest is in. People's courtyards are full of dried corn-on-the-cob to be turned into flour (or maybe local beer!)

Village houses.

The Little Ruaha River - the weir is the beginning of an irrigations system for the coffee plantations near Riverside Campsite. This little 'waterfall' and the rapids around it are a beautiful place to sit and dabble your feet in the water (about a half-hour walk from the campsite).

The rocky landscape of Iringa region

Language lessons

Here we are, in one of the classrooms, hard at work.

Life at Language School

It's amazing to think that I have been here for over 2 months, and have completed 10 weeks of language study. For this evening only I have access to a speedy internet connection as I am in Dar es Salaam, en route to Kenya for a conference, so I am taking advantage of it to pop one or two things on my Blog, which I have sadly neglected until now.

So what is life like at language school - you've seen the pictures, my home (the tent) and the surrounding countryside. As you can see it is a beautiful spot. The only downside is that it is the cold season at the moment, and when I say cold, I mean COLD! Mornings and evenings require several layers - I've even seen woolly hats and hot-water bottles around!

Meet lots of interesting people passing through the campsite, and others that are also doing language school there. Of course, the sad thing is that you make a friend and a few weeks later they are moving on. I guess that's the missionary life - constant comings and goings.

Well, I could waffle on for ages but most of you who are looking at this blog have probably just got my newsletter, so I'll call it a day.