well I’m at the internet cafe instead of sitting in my families courtyard doing laundry today, and while I’ll probably be regretting this decision later on this week, it seems like a good way to round out a vacation weekend. We visited Mikumi national park yesterday and got to play typical American tourists in Tanzania. We went on safari and saw hippos, wildebeast, zebras, giraffes, elephants, gazelle, baboons, possibly some rhinos and various other animals that I am unable to name distinctly. The Tanzanian savannah is much more a place of beauty than I ever expected; long greasses and immense trees fill the land and there is pretty much the sense of wild that one would expect in Africa. The sunset was gorgeous over the mountains, and it was a wonderful opportunity to take a break from the crazy training schedule we have been on.

We are officially more than half done with training, and after taking our mid-training tests I have been told that I am doing better at speaking Kiswahili than I thought I was. I’m also nearly done with my internship teaching, which has been very informative and a lot of fun. I even completed my first successful demonstration in my form 1 class this week, which seems to have helped them understand how light moves at least a little more clearly. They were all very excited to hear that I had a demonstration of an experiment for them, which suggests that they frequently just copy down a description of the experiments, never getting to see how they actually work. I hope that I can utilize my materials and show them as many demonstrations as possible over the next two years. I may be asking for suggestions.

The education system is loosely based on the British system, which is also heavily test based. I guess no matter where you teach you are teaching for tests. While I am less frustrated with the system this week than I was last week, I know that this, among other things, will be an ongoing struggle as I teach in Tanzania.

My health is still holding strong, despite the fact that my liver is pretty much swarming with malaria parasites, but the drugs have been doing their job thus far. Unfortunately my dreams are starting to get more boring, but such is life. My Tanzanian mama has taught me to cook all sorts of Tanzanian food, and has promised to teach me how to cook rice bread before I leave, so that’s exciting.

Oh, and I finally bought stamps, to letters are on their way stateside. If you want to be one of the lucky ones to receive one you need to a) send me your mailing address and b) write to me.
Ha. until next week/sometime in the next month depending on our ever changing schedules.

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