1964-1972 > Peace Corps Tanzania> Fifth Term
Leopards at My Door: Fifth Term
Wednesday, May 3
Back at school after four days at Ukiruguru, an agricultural training center on the other side of town. About twenty teachers gathered to learn techniques for teaching field biology. For our first exercise we caught giant grasshoppers, abundant on the grounds, then killed them with chloroform and mounted them. You put the little body on its back on a cork board and hold it while you use a very fine pin to pull one wing out to the side and pin it so the wing dries in that position.
The wing is really beautiful. I never paid attention before to this surprising feature of such a common insect. Once the wing has dried, you spear the body with a very fine pin. Mounted right side up for display, the wing is out on one side, and the other tucked in. Such fun! We caught and mounted butterflies as well, and pinned both their wings out. Pinned half an inch above the corkboard, they look like they’re flying.
At the school I stayed with a couple just married in January. She’s from New York, and he is a Tanzanian who studied in the U.S. for six or seven years. He is quite americanized and is now second in charge of Ukiruguru. She’s never lived in a small town but is adapting quickly. It is quite refreshing to meet a university-educated African. He has a self-confidence that’s lacking in many of the schoolgirls and silent Ester, the Swahili teacher.
Ester took over teaching Swahili from Miss Triplow, another quiet Tanzanian. Esther is very small and creeps in and out of the staff room only when necessary, like for staff meetings. We volunteers are a rowdy bunch, and I’m sure it intimidates her. She does speak some English, better than my Swahili. She her house is about as far from us as is possible and still be on the grounds. No wonder we hardly ever see her.
|Butterfly on Mirror, After 44 Years (and many moves).|
Many changes. Two new staff arrived during the vacation, and we had two marriages. Kay's ex-boyfriend caused an emotional upheaval here when he visited (that is an understatement.) I don’t think the “ex” part is quite clear between them, especially on Kay’s part.
Two days of teaching have worn me out, and the general disorganization with a new headmistress is exhausting. Sister Jacques Marie is not up to speed yet, but should be soon. Thursday I return to Ukiruguru to finish the field course.
Freya’s pups are becoming more German shepherd everyday. They lap up their water now and they cry, so we’ve put them in the old kitchen next to the carport.
Tuesday, May 9, 1967
Now I must settle down to the term. Mary Brimcomb, the new biology teacher, is very nice and quite enthusiastic, like Ann Bernie, the woman I replaced. Until now, the other biology teachers have been teaching it as secondary to their primary subject. They taught the lower forms while I took the uppers. Apparently biology wasn’t their favorite subject. I love biology.
The big news is that Kay is going to marry Steve Sterk, the guy in my group who teaches at the boys’ school down the road. The wedding won't be soon. Kay leaves in August, and Steve in December, when I do. I guess when her ex visited there was a lot more going on than I knew.
I think Kay is trying to convince herself that she wants to do this. People are saying, "They will be very good for each other," but what a reason to get married! They aren't exactly from the same mold. After the dust-up with her ex, Kay said, “Better to have a slave than to be one.” Very Kay. I don’t think that’s how Steve sees himself.
|Mary and Me (AF)|
A confidential report on me written by Miss Inkpen was returned to Sister Jacques Marie, and she let me read it. Miss Inkpen recommended I stay another year or another tour of two years. It’s not a compelling idea. Flattery, however, works miracles. I really do work hard, I'll admit, and if she had said anything else I probably would leave right now.
Miss Jeavons, who teaches typing and shorthand, is being her usual bitchy self. The Regional Education Officer is sick and tired of her, and we heard she was shipped out of Dar es Salaam to get rid of her. They can’t send her any further away than Mwanza. Joan Freeman, a new PC volunteer teaching commercial subjects with Miss Jeavons, almost quit because of difficulties working with her. A few days ago, she was close to tears in the staff room because of something Miss Jeavons said. Later I overheard Miss Jeavons tell Sister that she thought she'd finally gotten through to Joan! What a sweet person.
After one more trial week here Joan can ask for a transfer. I hope she doesn’t but we all avoid Miss Jeavons as much as possible. I can't imagine having to work with her!
I got my vacation pay, $150 in American currency, so I can take it with me when I leave the country. In Cairo you get 125% on your money in exchange, and more on the black market. Maybe I’ll have to stop there.
Monday, 15 May 1967.
I heard from Outward Bound, just after I'd written asking if they had forgotten the application I sent over a year ago. They asked if I’m still available. Yippee! Sister Jacques Marie walked into the staff room as I was reading the letter. I asked her if I could go and reminded her that I'd have to leave school early. She said, “Oh, what is one week? Do not pass up these opportunities." I love her attitude.
|Sister Jacque Marie (center) (KS)|
When she heard that Ketty, our Danish volunteer, was marrying, she said, "Oh, how marvelous. Yes. I think everyone should get married. It is a very good thing." It's all in a heavy Danish accent. What a kick. She is about 50, short, fat and jolly. Another very young nun, maybe my age, lives with her. She doesn't teach. She just keeps Sister Jacques Marie company and tends their garden. Other sisters visit from around the area. Quite a social group, that sisterhood.
Housing is a bit tight right now. A new teacher arrived to replace Fanny, but Fanny hasn't left. Another teacher showed up whom we don't need, but she needs someplace to stay while her future is decided by the Ministry of Education. Miss Jeavons keeps pressing for a large house for herself. Fat chance. We all share houses. Mrs. Berry had a house for herself, but she was loved by all and had huge seniority. Miss Jeavons may have arrived just as Mrs. Berry was leaving and got the idea that she could have her own house, too.
Joan has settled in and decided not to leave. I can’t tell if her threat to leave has simmered Miss Jeavons down. I doubt it. Miss Jeavons may fall into the category of Brits who can’t make it at home and “go out to the colonies” to be somebody. Only she hasn’t done very well at that even here. She’s a little late since the colonies have become independent. Sad case.
Sunday, May 21, 1967.
I’ve been letting my hair grow. It’s long enough to hook behind my ears. Kay decided it would look better if the back was shaped, so I let her work on it. Now it looks rather strange, long on the sides and short in back. When she finished with the cut, she mentioned in passing that she’d never cut hair and said what she really wanted to do was something like a pixie but hadn’t realized that at first. I guess artists need to let their masterpieces emerge. When it is out of control, I have wings on both sides. I've taken to running my fingers through my hair to keep it in order. My hands get clean, anyway. No one has made any disparaging comments so I guess it doesn't look too strange.
I've been accepted as an instructor at the Outward Bound Mountain School for the girls’ session in August. Two of our girls may be going also. The climax of the training is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Last night I saw pictures some other climbers took of the same climb. All they could talk about was how cold they were, how they vomited and how exhausting it was, et cetera.
Mary sat quietly listening to their story. She told me after that she made it up Kili with no problem, smoking all the way. She must weigh under a hundred pounds. She said it really has little to do with physical fitness, but rather how the altitude affects you. One of our PCVs stationed right at the base of the mountain has tried several times. He was a football player, fit as anyone, and keeps trying, but he’s never made it to the top.
Kay is really smitten with Steve, but it can be a bit annoying. When they are here I feel like a fifth wheel, which I am, but since it’s my house, too, I don’t always want to be finding excuses to leave. Either Steve is trying to get Kay to help him choose a graduate school near one she likes, or Kay is reading passages out of various books supporting her "equal rights for females" theme. Kay is wrapped up in theories of marriage. I wonder how close to reality hers will be.
Last weekend was a bit much. They were here Saturday noon to Monday morning. I couldn't find enough excuses to stay away. So I laid down the law, and most of this weekend I've been blissfully alone. Any time the temperature drops below 72 we complain, and today was chilly. There is no way to heat the house so I bundled up in sweaters and slid into my sleeping bag on the couch... I read and played classical records on Kay’s phonograph or gazed at the lake and listened to the rain. Toasty. Cozy. Bliss.
Two of Freya’s puppies have been adopted, one by Anita and one by Joan and Lindsey Freeman. Now three are left, and Freya has become very protective. She nipped the school nurse last Sunday. Maybe she can count.
The lovebirds have returned from dinner, so I’ll stop and get off the couch.
Tuesday, May 30, 1967.
Dear Mom, Pop and Carol,
The regional women's athletics meet was held last Saturday. We won, hooray! The girls practiced three times a week this term, and it showed. They earned 48 points (five points for a first place, three for second, two for third and one for fourth).
|Yea, Bwiru Girl's SS Team!|
They set two unofficial records. Naomi ran the 220 in 27.3 seconds; the best recorded in the last year was 29.5. And my 880 girl ran it in 2 minutes 38 seconds. A legendary girl runner in Dar es Salaam did it in 2 minutes 41 seconds, and they've made her out to be "the best prospect for the national team." Ho ho! Going by the results in the paper, my girls alone could beat the composite team from the coast region, supposedly so great because they have university coaches.
Rosary Girls Secondary School is our big rival. They have a good coach, but it’s funny to see a nun in a flapping habit shouting at her girls. Excuse me, coaching her girls. We jump and cheer together even though our teams are competing. During a break, she told me that in a few months the nuns will abandon their habits and dress in civilian clothes. All the nuns are on diets in preparation. What a hoot.
Last week the “Great” Mal Whitfield, an Olympic gold winner in 1948 and 1952, holder of the world record in the 800 meter, came to Mwanza to coach sports clinics. My goodness, he does work hard. He coached 80 kids in all events for six days in town, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the evenings, he showed sports movies in the schools.
Whitfield was not at his diplomatic best when he visited Bwiru. I couldn’t be there when he arrived so I arranged for someone else to host him until I could get there, about 20 minutes late. He was miffed because he had to start his own film. I offered to show the rest of the films, but he stomped out.
On Saturday, Tom McPhee, the Peace Corps rep, said to me, "I hear you were late for his films last night. He was rather upset." Humph. He was lucky I came at all.
The girls learned a lot from him, so I forgive him. Now we’ll see if they will practice every day, as he told them to do. The best ones from this region go to the national games in September in Dar es Salaam. A national team will compete in Kenya at the East African Games. The Olympics will be in Mexico City, but I doubt any of my girls will get that far. I’m not that good a coach.
An inspector is due from the Ministry of Education and we had to hand in our work schemes. I wonder what he'll think when he reads my Form III biology outline on reproduction, including contraception, venereal disease, heredity and evolution. None of those are in the official syllabus.
I have started to exercise for Kilimanjaro, and my thighs are very sore. At a fast walk I can climb the hill next to the lake in four minutes and jog/walk down in three. The paths are quite rough, so I can’t really run up them, but it’s up.
Tuesday, June 13, 1967.
Dear Carol and Family,
I started climbing rocks with Tabitha and Dorah. They are the two girls from Bwiru headed to the Outward Bound course with me in July. Only 80 girls from all of East Africa are accepted, so two from our school is great. I had no part in their selection, and I quite like both of them. Today we ran to Dancing Table Rock for the third time in a week. The first time we ran there and back by the shortest route, which is about twenty minutes each way. Next time we tried a more challenging route and got lost. We had to climb up a pile of rocks to figure out where we were. From the top it all makes sense, but even though we might head off in the right direction, the paths still wander and we can get lost again.
Today eleven girls joined me in this pioneering effort. Halfway there we split up; my half followed the long route, and the others took yet another path. When my group arrived at Dancing Table we yelled out to locate the others. They emerged on a rock quite far away. After thrashing about in the brush, we finally got together just after six o’clock. The girls were worried about dinner, so we dashed back to school in 15 minutes on the straightest path.
I am getting used to the running and can keep ahead of most of the girls. They enjoy it, too, especially getting lost. A few days ago we were finishing our run on a new path. As we approached the school, we came upon Anita, hiding behind a rock. Her Bwiru Girl Guides were "stalking" her, some sort of tracking exercise. When we passed the girls, they were having great fun, but Anita was still in hiding when we left them all behind. I wonder if they get their badge if they don’t find her.
At least six of my athletes will go to Dar es Salaam, possibly more. They are chosen for the scores from the meets. I've been watching the results of regional competitions in the papers. The information is incomplete, but none have bettered our times and distances in practice and competition. I wonder if our stopwatches are synched.They should be in great shape if I can keep up the pace, practice with them on the field three times a week and run two to three times more. I shall come home an Amazon (haha!). Perhaps I'll try out for the Olympic team, maybe in rock climbing or double kayak.
|Student and Dogger (AF)|
I'm really doing exciting things in biology now, using an experiential learning text book I got in my field biology class, as opposed to the one from the Ministry of Education. The model to date has been rote learning. I talk. They listen. They write down what I’ve said on a test. It is not very exciting for any of us, so I’m trying the new method with my Form II classes. I know it won’t teach them what is asked in the Cambridge exam, but they’ll have time to catch up. Until then, they might learn something valuable beyond memorizing notes.
For example, I have the class surveying grasses and plants in different areas, mostly on the playing field. They throw a hoop, count the number of species inside it and compare notes. On the first day, all the girls did as told. They returned to the lab with their data, and gave it to me wanting to know if they had the right answer. The book has some exercises on how to deal with the data, but there is no “right” answer. It was quite a foreign concept for them, to do all that work and not have “an answer.” Who knows what doors this twist might open for them?
The Form IIIs are studying evolution. To get their attention, I asked Anita to introduce the units on reproduction, heredity and genetics. As a devout Catholic, she has more credibility than I do in that field. If I tried to just launch into the topic, the girls would turn me off because: a) I'm not religious and b) I'm a scientist, which also means not religious. But I've been reading the Bible and can quote it better than they can. When I do, they clam up.
The girls are required to take a “Dini” (religion) period on Fridays, and I’m sure they bring up my radical ideas about evolution with their Dini teachers. When I asked if they believed me, one of them said with a sad face, “Now, Miss Dainsone, our Dini teachers tell us that evolution does not happen, and you tell us that it does. If we believe our Dini teachers we may miss a question on the Cambridge, but if we believe you, we will not go to heaven after we die.” A dilemma indeed.
Even Anita had difficulty overcoming this resistance. I’m fine with it as long as they give the best answer in the Cambridge Exam.
We've had some staff changes. Miss Jeavons finally left, to be replaced with a man and his family. They will take a house for themselves. The ministry wants Ken and Kathy Simpson to move into town. Kathy teaches here, and Ken is a town engineer. Kathy rates a house, but they don’t like Ken on the grounds...but they will assign a man to teach the girls? It’s nuts.
Marilyn and Sid Cooper, here for two terms, were transferred to the teacher training college on the other side of town, where they are so overstaffed that one man only teaches six periods a week, and another only teaches physical education! The ministry seems to have trouble placing couples. Grumble.
Misc: The Outward Bound course is July 31 to August 23. The address is Loitokitok, Kenya, on the north side of the mountain.
Lindsay Freeman, who is Jewish, took three days off to listen to the BBC reporting on the Israeli Arab conflict and gives us updates. Will they ever stop fighting?
Sister Jacque Marie is jolly, willing, and eager but a rather scatterbrained administrator. She lost the instructions for the Cambridge biology practical, which I need so I know what to prepare. It's confidential and I haven't read it yet. I do hope they show up.
Thursday, June 22, 1967.
Dear Carol, Mom, Pop and Al,
A memo from the Peace Corps arrived. The new policy from the Ministry of Education is to not allow us to extend our contracts. I happened to mention this within earshot of Sister Jacques Marie, and she turned around quickly and said, "Oh, I'm sure we can do something about that."
I was a bit taken aback, since I wasn't planning to stay anyway. Later, she told me she had some friends who could fix everything. But now there is more news. Recently, a committee of TANU, the national party, recommended, among other things, the immediate removal of American Peace Corps. So I may be home sooner than you think.
The Peace Corps will pay for my plane ticket at the end of my service from here to Portland. It has unlimited stops, no time limit, and I can use 150% of the miles from here to home. Pretty generous. Since I’m halfway around the world from Oregon, I‘ve decided to go east and dawdle home. If I come across a place I like, I might stay for a year or so. Most big cities have English-speaking secondary schools, and science teachers, especially ones who can do all sciences like me, ahem, are always needed. One year is not so long in a new place, and the local pay rates can't be worse than Peace Corps. I am not enthralled with teaching, but it’s a practical job.
|Harriet and Student and Bird (KS)|
Misc: We had another beach party Saturday.
The dogs have demolished our garden.
The cats have demolished my letters.
Kay will leave in about a month.
Carol’s letter took 5 days to get here, and Pop’s took 13 days.
And now my brain is empty.
Wednesday, June 28, 1967
Dear Mom, Carol, Pop and Al,
The fiancé of one of our teachers works for the Ministry of Education and made an official visit recently. I was doing a triple class on electricity, not one of my most outstanding lessons. I thought he was just going to inspect maths, so I was quite unprepared for him to sit in on my classes, but he said it was very good. He liked the relaxed atmosphere. I can tell you, three solid classes of physics about relaxes me to sleep! The inspector who came with him was not so nice to the teachers he inspected.
|Storm on Lake Victoria|
Last weekend, some men drowned off our beach. The story is that six or seven men went out in a tiny metal motorboat to shoot birds on the rock islets. The boat overturned and sank, and the current carried them away. One Asian and one African made it back to shore. An Asian body was recovered after an hour, but I haven't heard about the rest, assumed drowned. The men who drowned were married. Shops closed and streams of people came out to watch the rescue operations. I hope all the bodies have been recovered. I don't fancy finding a body on the beach.
I just chased away a hyena from our front porch. When Freya eats out there, she leaves bones all over, and the hyenas know it. She really raises a ruckus at night when we forget to collect the leftover tidbits, but the hyenas pay no attention to her. They know she can’t do anything but bark from inside. When they've had a good gnaw they amble off. I fear she'll get ulcers.
We only have one puppy left, the cutest one. Anita has one, and she and the puppy will move in with me after Kay leaves.
After Outward Bound I hope to meet up with the Athletics girls and chaperone them at the meet in Dar -- but I don't know if that will work out.
Saturday, July 8, 1967.
Happy birthday, Pop!
|Tanzania National Flag|
Fourth of July was uneventful here, but the seventh was Saba Saba, Tanzanian Independence Day. Actually, it commemorates the founding of TANU, the national party in 1954. Tanganyika and Zanzabar were both under UN trusteeships administered by the UK. Tanganyika became independent in 1961, Zanzabar in 1963 and they joined to form Tanzania in 1964. So they are still working things out.
On the sixth, I took a group of Bwiru girls to a competition of singing and dancing at the fairgrounds. After they performed, some of us went to see the exhibits at a stadium. The booths, decorated with flapping fabric, held lots of local crafts, baskets and carvings, like a country fair.
Several stages were set up for dancing demonstrations and I joined a few of our girls to watch. Most dancers were Sukuma, the largest tribal group in Tanzania who cluster in this area. The new dances were all about self-help, the turn to the socialist model of economic development, so the younger dancers mimed using hoes to plant and harvest crops. Every one is supposed to work hard. If they do, then everything will be fine.
A few old men did traditional dances. Most wore their street clothes, but there were a few chicken feather bonnets and beads. The most exciting group used a de-fanged cobra to “revive” some men who, the girls said with a laugh, had had their heads cut off. I don’t know why, but they thought it was hysterical. The old man with a peg leg who begs in front of the hotel was helping the dancers.
People get dressed up for this national celebrations. For women, formal dress is a two-piece outfit with a relatively tight skirt and top of the same material, cloth from bolts, bright and busy, but not rectangular. A broad ruffle flares out at the waist.
After a while, some other Europeans arrived, and I realized how my white face must stand out. When I returned to the competition stage, the awards were being called. Our students received first prize in singing and third in dancing. Hooray for Bwiru Girls! They created the performances themselves. Some of the older girls are very good organizers and made everyone practice. It paid off for them. I was pleased to see them be recognized for something good after the school's recent infamy.
I still run with the girls to Dancing Table on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Last Saturday we competed in the last track meet before the competition in Dar. I think five to eight of my girls will be on the Mwanza regional team. This week we rested for the holidays. Then we start serious athletics practice again on Sunday.
At the meet Saturday, I met some of the students in the Crossroads Africa group, the volunteer program I did in Malawi while I was in college. Their project is in Nyegezi, not too far out of town. They're shocked that Mwanza has no hamburgers in the greasy spoon! (Why would there be? It’s run by East Indians). The Crossroaders said they came to all the Saba Saba events. Do you remember that we participated in the Malawi Independence celebrations? We rode to town on a lorry bed, dressed in our finest. National holidays are a good way for the Crossroaders to see the community, learn some history and meet the people.
I can see tension developing in their group. When they arrived, no one quite knew what to do with them at their site. Their make-work projects don’t seem important to them. The dormitory we built at least required a foundation and lots of bricks...and an experienced mason to rip out our mistakes. Too bad no one asked me for a project. There are lots of things they could have done around our school.
The Crossroaders ate with the students where they were living at an upper primary school, so everyone thinks they are "starry eyed idealists!" What next? Crossroads is on a tight budget. They want the students to have the most intense experience possible. Of course they ate with the students. People here don’t realize that Crossroads is a great tour of Africa.
When I was in Malawi we met some Peace Corps Volunteers, and they seemed so mature and responsible, doing such an important job. Now it’s funny to be on the other end of that formula. I went on the program to check things out in case I decided to apply for the Peace Corps. My question to myself was: can I go to Africa and return? I did and here I am again. It must have worked.
|My Crossroads Group, Dressed for Independence|
Misc: Freya leads the pack of dogs that wander around here, and I watched seven of them swim the lake today. They were having so much fun, I was jealous. I wish I was a dog. I guess it would be hard to tell if a dog got bilharzia, they scratch and sleep so much anyway. And who is going to tell them they can’t swim in the lake?
One of the girls is cross-stitching a Greek key design on a tablecloth and napkins for me. That will cost me 21 schillings in labor. Pretty good price.
Tuesday, July 18, 1967
Last weekend, Anita and I stayed with Kathy and Ken Simpson, who had to move into town into a large house with a strange design, not the standard box like ours. It was a nice change of scene anyway.
I spent most of Friday and Saturday making batiks. You wax a pattern onto cloth and dye it. The wax resists the dye, so when you iron it off, a pattern emerges from the non-waxed areas. It’s fun, but I got so much flack about my lack of artistic talents that my enthusiasm faded. They were right. I just like to try things out.
On our Dancing Table run Sunday, I let one of the girls lead the return trip. She loves fruit, so we wandered from tree to tree. Eating as we went we weren't watching where we were going and came to a very steep drop-off, eight or ten feet. Three of us climbed down, but the other two froze up on top. Too steep for them. They laughed hysterically, nervous I think. Eventually we talked them down and we finished the run.
Monday, President Nyerere came to town for a meeting with teachers. We three Peace Corps Volunteers from Bwiru rode to town on the lorry, a flat-bed truck with short sides, as a demonstration of something that evades me now. There weren't enough cars to take everyone, anyway. And, a miracle, he arrived on time! Everything was in Swahili, but I could understand some of it. Nyerere is a very good speaker. He said the Peace Corps was doing a fine job, but "some people in Dar es Salaam don't think so." I hope that means I’ll stay to the end of my tour.
|Girls in the Lorry|
That evening, Marilyn Cooper was hosting a dinner for the Crossroaders and invited me to join them. They say they feel restricted, afraid to walk where they would like. Their leader wants them to be careful when they wander around the village. Trouble could erupt if they mosey into someone else's property without an invitation, or take a photo without getting permission. I don’t know how sensitive they are to the local culture, but common courtesy helps. I wonder if we were intrusive in Malawi. I felt that way sometimes. I did sneak a few photos when I was reluctant to ask permission.
Exams have begun for Forms I, II and III. Since I organized them, everything is going smoothly. Sister didn't even know they started today. I worry she will be in deep trouble when Anita and Kathy and I leave. We have been doing a lot of her work, and I don’t even think she is aware of it.
Essentially, the term is over even though the girls haven’t left.
Tomorrow I find out from the regional athletics committee who will go to Dar es Salaam for the national meet. Right now I just don't care because only two or three practice regularly. They don't seem to remember that they are supposed to practice events three days a week, and run the other three days. I am on the field five days a week, usually working with half of them while the others run. One day a week they are all supposed to be on the field, but they aren't. Pretty frustrating after such a good showing at the last meet.
Kay is having trouble getting her boat ticket home because of the problems near the Suez Canal. Now she doesn't leave until August 19.
|L-R: Harriet`, Jake, and Anita (AF)|
I go to Loitokitok a few days before the end of the term, so Anita will be able to move in before Kay leaves. I told her to take Kay’s big room since I only have another term here.
I’ll miss Kay. We get along well together, though I get along with Anita as well. I’ll especially miss Kay’s stuff. Anita and I together don’t have many things so this house may echo a bit.
Wednesday, July 26,
Dear Carol, Al, Mom and Pop etc,
I'm exhausted. I’ve been grading Biology Form IV regional exams and my own exams that I gave the lower forms. Now all the bloody forms to fill out. Bureaucracy!
Last Friday, a rumor went around that there was to be no vacation at all. New policy from somewhere. “Secondary students are now required to help with the census.” Major panic. We (staff) were up in arms. First they shut the girls in with guards at the gate, and then they tell them to go out into the villages to count people. Madness. Today the word is that they can go home. I'm leaving tomorrow for the Outward Bound course and once I get on that bus, I’m gone. Bwiru is on its own.
The results for the Mock Cambridge physics-with-chemistry exam were disappointing, but students had bad luck. We, the local committee, told the examiner to have them choose five questions out of fifteen. He had them choose five out of ten and they were the most difficult I've seen, far more difficult than the Cambridge itself. And this exam is more important for their futures. I don’t even know why they have to take the Cambridge in December because by then they know if they will be going on for more education or not.
Kay's replacement, Judith, who lives on the hill next to Anita, saw the leopard last night about 6:30 p.m. He walked across her front steps. Cheeky bugger, as Kay would say.
We just packed up Kay's refrigerator to go to Fanny's. Anita will bring hers with her.
My next letter will be from Loitokitok. Outward Bound here I come!!