Helllo!! How is it? I am writing you from a stationary store in my village. The computer lab recently closed indefinitely, so I have been forced to relocate and find some new haunts. I cannot believe it is already midway through October! How time flies. I am starting to figure out plans for my month long break in December, then I have my mid-service conference and only one more year left here in this beautiful country. Crazy.
We have started preparing the schedule for the next term. Tanzanians are not so big on schedules. In the schedule for this year, half the time I am supposed to be in two classrooms at the same time. Where is Hermione’s magic hourglass when I need it?? I sat with two other teachers for 3 hours yesterday trying to fix the schedule and finally suggested that I just take it home and do it myself. They happily agreed, I did the schedule and let’s just say there will be no need for a magic hourglass next year. Schwing!
Yesterday, I finished teaching my Form IIs oxygen. After I finished, I decided to try to do an experiment to make oxygen. It looked easy in the book. Heat some manganese (IV) oxide; add some hydrogen peroxide, and poof, oxygen! My first mistake was not doing it myself before taking it into the classroom. I am still not 100% sure what went wrong, I think I added the hydrogen peroxide too quickly? Ha, I am awful at chemistry. Anyways, I am heating the manganese (IV) oxide in a test tube, all my students are crowded around watching, and I add the hydrogen peroxide. There was a small (emphasis on small) explosion and the bottom of the test tube blew out. I jumped like 20 feet in the air and screamed. It was really embarrassing, but my students thought it was hilarious. We are starting Hydrogen next week. Don’t worry; I am not going to even attempt this one.
A new health and environment class just arrived in country. I have been searching high and low for a house for a health volunteer to be placed in Madibira, with little luck. I finally found a place and Peace Corps is coming next week to check it out. It is a weird house situation so I am not sure it will be approved, but keep your fingers crossed for Madibira (and me)!
Speaking of Madibira, a person in my village recently opened a carwash—like a power carwash. No electricity, no water, 3 hours from paved roads, but we have a power carwash. They put it right by the river, and they use a generator to pump the water from the river to the machine. They have been getting tons of business. Tanzanians really like things to be (or at least appear) clean. Every time I go past the business there are at least 2 cars, motorcycles, buses, or dalas waiting to be washed. I wanted to experience this great, entrepreneurial service, but seeing as how I don’t own any of these vehicles, I asked if I could bring my bike. The man running the place assured me that he would make my bike super spiffy and clean. Rockin’. Taking into account that I am living in the arid wasteland that is Africa at the end of the dry season, it will be a glorious 2 minutes of cleanliness before it is just as dirty as it was before, but hey, take what you can get.
I am now taking Halloween costume suggestions. I need something that is culturally appropriate and easy. I think I am going to wear my costume on Halloween to school, hand out candy, and teach about the holiday. Fun!!
I miss you all, like always, and I hope you are enjoying the fall colors. It is the best time of the year!