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August, 2009:

Home alone

Just heard a BBC item on the Banana conference in Arusha that Hein attended this week. The conference still goes on for a day; Hein’s on his way home though. I managed much better than last time when he was gone. Tarek not needing to go on antibiotics and work being less new probably had a lot to do with that. That, and the fact that the freezer was full of microwavable dishes. No matter how well it went, I’m happy Hein’s on his way back – it’s just much more fun. Before Heins’ plane lands though, I should get my food out of the microwave and enjoy an episode of a TV show Hein doesn’t particularly like

A swim but no nap

Tarek has not yet given up his vocal protests against my idea that now is a good moment for him to nap. He should be tired. He spent some time waiting by the side of the road for our rescuing angel with a wheel spanner so his father could change the tire. Then Tarek got to wear his brand new bathing suit in the pool at his mummy’s work, his first time in a swimming pool. At first he was a bit bewildered but after his father showed him how you can make funny sounds in the water he thoroughly enjoyed it. After a late lunch of pumpkin and potato porridge and some of his tailor made milk an afternoon nap should be just the thing. Both his parents would love a nap. But that probably has more to do with a late dinner in a Japanese restaurant with some lovely people. Talk was about Pipi Longstocking, breastfeeding (too many mothers in the company) and the question if male circumcision is a form of mutilation or not.
As an experiment Hein and I did not give Tarek a late night feeding yesterday. One of us had to get up very early this morning. Hein of course. I have no mercy now that he’s packing once again. He’s off to Arusha until Thursday. Maybe I should take Tarek out of bed now. He probably feels more like practicing pulling up to standing than lying down in bed.

Afternoon in the pool
Afternoon in the pool

Saturday afternoon

Lunch at the beach
Lunch with Jonne, Hawa and Tareks’ new friend Kees on the beach at Dar Alive, formerly known as Malaika.

Goat races

Once a year some members of the English community in Dar es Salaam organize goat races. It is a substitute for the horse races, I guess, and is really a gathering of mzungos. It was quite amusing although I lost all my bets. Several times we were reminded of Maya’s new job by greeting colleagues and students. Later we learnt that Tanzanian caterers are carefully excluded from vending.
goat races

Wanted to go to the hairdresser almost three months ago. At that time it took little effort to convince me it was not necessary. As hair grows and as the surrounding temperature increases, it tends to become itchy. So I went to the hairdresser and quickly found out differential cutting was not the hairdressers’ specialty. Fortunatly, Tarek still recognized me.

Hein before and after the hairdresser

New job

The first week of teaching is behind me, haven’t managed to update the blog at all. Some random thoughts on the past week:
I’d forgotten how much I can enjoy teaching. I love seeing students make an effort, see how they want to learn. And to the occasional cynic reading this: most students are actually eager to learn new things.
I’d forgotten how tiring teaching can be. Having worked in business for a few years, then enjoying some time off and then starting life as a mom I am now convinced that teaching –combined with raising a breastfed baby- is probably the most tiring job I’ve had.
And in a funny way, teaching is energising too. Just to see the light in a student’s eyes when it dawns and they understand how we’ve divided up the earth into different time zones. So there, teaching can be a very rewarding job and I had not forgotten that.
Let’s see how I feel by the time the school year really gets going; when I have to combine grading tests of one group with writing reports for another, and Tarek decides the moment his father has gone on a trip is a good time to get sick. For now though: TGIF, I’m going to put my feet up and have a little snack. Hein brought some very nice chocolate from Uganda and Tarek has just fallen asleep.