I promised the Valley View kid’s I would walk to school with them today, so I was at SWIWSCO for 6:50. They were feeling the Monday morning blues, and many were not dressed and some had just woken up… We should have left at 6:55/7 and I left with the last few at nearly 7:15. I was worried about what might happen if we were late so we set off at a fast pace and occasionally ran. We got to school just after 7:30, which was a great achievement.
I stayed to watch Monday morning assembly, as I have never seen it before and to ensure the kid’s’ didn’t get into trouble for arriving late. A ‘bell’ rang (a metal bar on a tree hit with a rock) and they all lined up in front of the senior class rooms. 6 kids came from round a corner, marching, with one leading/being the ‘drill master’. They sang a song which was nearly word-for-word the Scouts promise. The kids at the front then followed the instructions of the ‘drill master’ and went from attention to at ease. They did other things such as a ‘gun salute’ (like soldiers would do) but just acting as if they were holding rifles. They finished by going along the line and tugging at the shoulders of the other 5 to make sure they were standing strong and straight. After this slightly strange routine finished, one of the teachers gave some notices and told them all to read more at home. Assembly ended with the children singing the national anthem, before being dismissed and singing another song whilst marching back to their respective classrooms.
I arrived back at the house and talked with the girls, before taking them into town. I showed them where the useful shops were located, before with drawing cash and heading for a drink and Wifi at Fifi’s. After lunch at the house I skyped with Jen. I had discovered that the signal outside was up to 500kb, where as inside it doesn’t exist to around 50kb. In the afternoon I wrote some postcards.
Annie came round at just after 5. The four of us were meeting Amber at the Moshi Golf club for an exercise class at 6. I misjudged how far it was and how fast we would, so arrived 15 mins late, but the instructor was also on African time so we didn’t miss much. The class was in a ‘squash court’ in a rickety looking building at the back of the clubhouse complex. The class was what I think is a step/yoga and names of classes I don’t know what they are. I believe being uncoordinated, white and male gives me a severe disadvantage, but I think I did ok and it was good fun for $2.50.
The next morning, I walked with Maria and the kids to Valley View. I returned home after introducing her to the teacher of P-Nursery. I read some Swahili and sorted out my room, before returning at 10 to get Maria, as she doesn’t know the way yet. The mountain looked magnificent when I returned home earlier, so I bought my camera back with me, however clouds had appeared by 10.
After Melina returned home & we had lunch, we went to Memorial Market to buy some pillows. Godfrey, the oldest boy at SWIWSCO, only had a half day so he came with us as he is the self proclaimed ‘best purchaser at SWIWSCO’. Between the two of us we managed to half the prices we were quoted and get some good pillows that were really quite big; I felt a little stupid walking around with a large pillow under my arm. We also bought some fruit and Godfrey couldn’t believe the prices we were being quoted.
On my way home I stopped at a bar to ask what channels they have so I could workout if they would show the England game. As I was trying in Swahili to establish this a fire engine flew past the bar on a dirt road. Around a 100 people ran after it on foot. I decided to also follow. When I arrived at the house fire there were close to 300 people there watching and some helping. The only distinguishing feature of the firemen from the masses were their yellow hard hats… Anybody who could was helping. Luckily nobody was seriously injured. I got lots of comments and stares, not sure if this was because I was a Mzungu or because of the large pillow still tucked under my arm!
Melina and I went with the boys to football training at Memorial. We both ran round the pitch and extended area whilst they practised. I added in some sprints and ran nearly 4 miles in total. It was hot but the mountain was in full view, and it was a fantastic backdrop to run to. We got a fair few shouts, but I don’t think anything was malicious.
Just after we arrived back we had yet another power cut. Annie was going to join me to watch the game and we were concerned, but decided to try and go anyway as the power cuts can be one house but not the neighbouring house due to how the power lines are setup. The coverage was in typical African time; The coverage started 30 mins late and the TV information for the various games were all mixed up. As the game started about 25 Brits walked in, which felt slightly strange as I’ve only spoken to one other Brit since being here! The game was poor but it was nice to go out and watch it. Sebastine, who is an Uncle who lives in Annie’s house, accompanied Annie and he really enjoyed watching the game – and was more excited than all the Brit’s in the bar.