Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We drove back from Lushoto to Dar es Salaam on Friday  Most people left for their teaching sites on Saturday, by private car, bus, and plane, which seemed to depend on what their sponsor paid for.  Some had 16 hour bus rides, which could not have been fun.  The Member of Pariiament for Ngara region is sponsoring four of us.  He will be in Ngara but cannot go by car due to an old back injury.  His driver, Gigi, is taking the car to Ngara to meet him there so he took the four of us assigned to that region along.  So Lauren, Allison, Breana, I and our luggage piled into a Toyota Landrunner and left on Monday morning.

Ashley, our field director, had told us that we would see most of Tanzania on the way and that the scenery was fabulous.  There were some interesting rock formations and oak like trees with huge trunks, but for the most part, it was like 16 hours of driving through the Mojave desert.  The road was paved, but there were many detours on dirt roads due to road construction.  Also, they put speed bumps on the highway before any population cluster, no matter how small.  Ashley called to check on us and said, "Isn't the scenery stunning!"  Yes, Ashley, just too much of it.

We got to Ngara the next day around noon and were given tours of the secondary schools at Murguanza and Ngara, where Breana and I will be teaching.  Her school is built on a cliff overlooking Rwanda and Burundi.  It is only a few years old, but has no electricity, running water, library, or science and math teachers.  The teachers seem young and friendly though.  My school, just outside Ngara, is larger with 850 students and has more amenities, including a satellite dish with television in the staff room.  The one computer on campus is used by the administration.

We are staying in a Catholic retreat because our house "isn't ready."  Tanzania time again.  The other two volunteers, who will be teaching in Rulenge, about 45 minutes from Ngara down a dirt road, will stay at the MP's house for a month or so as their house is being worked on.  It is very luxurious for Tanzania, with a solar power, marble bath, stove, refrigerator, TV, and ceiling fans.  He has four bedrooms and will not be back until September, so they are living in luxury for now.

Allison, Lauren, Bree, and Mama Caritas, the head of secondary education in Ngara, at the MP's house

Rufege, the MP's secretary, Bree, Allison, Lauren, Gigi, and me at our new home

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