A new job.

I just recieved this email from the country coordinator:

Hi Ladies

Hope you are well

Just wanted to write briefly & tell you I am after moving you guys to a different teaching placement - hope you dont mind. We have a community centre in Kiomoni where many volunters are working, doing community development, building & conservation projects. Here we have a nursery, pre-school and class for disabled children, we will need teachers here to help teach these children - who range in ages from 4 - 8 years. This would be in the mornings, there are over 80 children at the centre. This would be VERY basic beginners English.

At the same centre teachers (you) will be teaching adults English, again quite basic in the afternoons. Adults are very keen to learn & is a very fulfilling polacement.

Also depending on how many volunteers we have to teach, we need someone to teach our soccer team English - this team consists of boys ranging in age from 14 - 14 years who are schol drop outs & are very keen to learn english. Hope these projects are of interest to you.

Any type of teaching aids you have would be well appreciated as resources are VERY limited. Also if each of you guys could fit in your bag / get your hands on a pair of football boots/ sneakers/ trainers/ these can totally be cheap 2nd hand shoes, the soccer players would be really pleased - as many play barefoot.

Mail if you guys have a question. Hoep information is clear.

Regards Jennyb

Besides the few spelling errors, I am THRILLED!!

I love kids, I love teaching and I love....soccer?

Ok, maybe I've never played soccer but it really can't be all that hard.

5 days to go!!


It's finally real...

Everything has become official. I got my placement last week, meaning I now know exactly where I'll be, who I'll be with and who/where I'll be teaching. In that order:

Where I'll be:
Chuda Hostel

There's 6 bedrooms, kitchen, common area and a couple bathrooms. Amenities include electricity(most of the time), running water and flushable toilets - woo-hoo!! Oh and one ceiling fan in the living room. I have a feeling its gonna be hot. At least a can shower in frigid water. (I'm picturing showers like the ones in the Amazon: painfully cold for the first minute, then you get numb)

My address:
PO Box 1021
Tanzania (remember this)

You're welcome to send letters, though I'm told the mail system isn't great. I love mail though, just so you know. Butterfingers or gifts are always appreciated, though you might want to get on sending them now so I'll get them before I leave.

Phone:++255 27 2644066

I'm not sure if the phone comes directly to me, but as many know, I just about live on my cell phone now so I might be going through telephone withdrawals.

Who I'll be with

1: Number one of course, my travelling companion, Jenny Spencer. We hadn't really talked since about 9th grade and she decided Tanzania and I were irresistable enough to drop school, work and a boyfriend to come join my on my adventures. I'll see if I can find a picture... although I'm sure you'll meet her soon. She might be supplying the digital camera for the trip.

2-6: I got names and emails of the 5 other people who I'll be living with in Tanga. Most of them are from the UK! One's name is Bertie, if that's not the cutest name ever. I haven't emailed any yet, but I'm sure we'll get along great...

Mohamed Yasin: No, he's not a terrorist just because his name is Mohamed. He's the guy who will *hopefully* be picking me up from the airport. I got an email from them saying basically "if you've been waitin for hours and no one shows up to get you, you might have to find your way to Tanga." Forget that it's a 5 hours bus ride in a foreign country, no big deal. We'll just cross our fingers that Mohamed will come through for us.

Anna Mronga & Paulo Jackson: My contacts at the school.

Who and Where I'll be Teaching

Kiomoni Secondary School
PO Box 2369

I'll be teaching Junior High and High School kids so hopefully they don't mind having a 20 year old teacher. We'll also be training the English teachers to speak better English.

Kiomoni is about 5 miles outside of Tanga. We'll probably bus there.

Sorry, no pictures this time.


Things I hate

...about preparing to leave for Tanzania:

1. The Tanzanian Embassy.
Completely useless in every way! Besides the form to print out and send in, the website offers no help. The phone numbers are *always* busy. I've tried over 50 times on each number with no help. Oh and the comment system online? The link doesn't even work.

2. Cleaning/Packing
No thanks. Can't it just be done by someone else?

3. Work.
It's a love/hate relationship. Since I know I'm leaving I kinda just want to be done but I really do have a hard time letting go of the reins. It's not a hard job, but its my job and no one can do it as well as me. I'll be ok giving up the 50 minute commute.

4. Being asked "So what do we need to do to get you ready for Africa?"
Every day by my Mom

5. Polio, Tetanus/Diptheria, Yellow Fever, Tyhpoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Meningococcal Meningitis.
One of you gave me a dead arm for 2 days.

6. Not being gone already!
I don't think this last month could be going any slower.


What?! You've never heard of Tanga?

Most people have either never heard of Tanzania or know little about it. So, I have compiled a rough guide so I don't have to see any more blank looks when I say I'm going to Tanzania. No more embarrassment.

Rough Guide to Tanga, Tanzania(my future home):


  • Located right near Kenyan border on the Indian Ocean

  • Or, for those of you who need the zoom out photo:


  • About 200,000 people (I picture Puerto Vallarta: port town, some richer lots of poor, dirty but livable... Tanga will probably have less resorts and no Mexicans)
  • The city is lined by mangroves on the coast

See, its kinda like PV


  • All the guide books describe Tanga as a city of "decaying decadence"
  • Was a booming port city, specializing in sisal (what they used to make rope from)
  • Economy collapsed around WWII because nylon ran the sisal farms out of business


  • African, Black, Adorable

I can't wait!


Testing.... Testing...

So as it turns out, I'm a webgeek. I tell people my brother convinced me to start a blog. If I remember right, he mentioned it in passing and I grabbed right on. It's okay though, I have embraced it. I think it's fun. Hopefully you will enjoy it as well. Let's just see if I can figure it out...