Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So many people had told us they wanted to be invited to our house that we decided to have a party for our fellow teachers.  We decided to do it on Eid, a two day holiday that signifies the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.  We were told the holiday depended on the moon and that it would probably be Tuesday and Wednesday, so we did not show up for work on Tuesday.  It ended up being Wednesday and Thursday, so we are getting an extra day off.  Everyone supposedly knew this by listening to radio or TV, but since we have neither and no one called us, we pleaded ignorance.

Our party was scheduled for Wednesday.  We met Mama Caritas and three READ International volunteers for dinner on Tuesday night.  The volunteers came from England and were staying in Bukoba for about 7 weeks, but were here overnight to give out books to the schools.  Naturally, the power went out right before the dinner, and they had to find their overnight lodging by flashlight.

I got up to go the bathroom about 2 a.m. and realized the water was out but the power was on.  I stayed up to boil 2 kilos of potatoes for the potato salad we planned to have, knowing I could not count on being able to do it in the morning.  We used bucket water to prepare our whole buffet, which included potato salad, macaroni salad, cabbage salad, and fresh pineapple.  I made peanut butter cookies the day before using Rob's oven, but got halfway done when the power went out, so completed them the next morning.  That didn't taste quite like they do at home, since I had to use cassava instead of wheat flour, and had no brown sugar.  The water came back on about 12:30, about the time we finished our preparations.  We borrowed dishes and chairs from Rob.

All our teachers had been invited, which included about 10 from Bree's school in Murguanza and 20 from my school.  Almost all of Bree's teachers showed up, plus Mama Caritas from the District Office and Megan, Vanya and Kara from Womencraft NGO.  They stayed from about 1 to 3 p.m.  None of my teachers had come and we had lots of food left.  Finally 3 showed up about 4 p.m., the official end time of the party.  The teachers and students had apparently been at school all day getting ready for graduation on Friday, even though it was a holiday.  I am so out of the loop there, since all the announcements on the blackboard in the staff room are in Swahili.

Anyway, our party was a success, even though most of my teachers did not come.  We gave leftover food to the guards and the girls at the canteen, and still had a lot to feed us the next day or so.

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