WH Chronicle No. 1.43

July 6, 2011

The hydro-electric plant  is now only offering power in 6 hour intervals.  Everyone shrugs and says, “…at least it’s not as bad as the time when Zanzibar went without any electricity for 6 months because a ship destroyed the underwater cables.”  True, I guess.   

8° C (46° F) this morning, on our last day of class.   With our big concert behind us, everyone is preparing for finals and now “there’s nothin’ left but the cryin’” as Tom says. 

But that’s not really true.  Our music department will be touring in Dar es Salaam after finals.  We will travel to the coastal city to showcase our African dance program at an International Symposium as well as performing additional shows.  So at least three weeks of busses, group dinners, rehearsals, and performances, before the goodbyes (and the crying) commence. 

 750 people wedged themselves into our 400-seat auditorium to watch, applaud, laugh, and cheer at our most recent concert.   A fire marshal’s nightmare—good thing they don’t have those here.   But despite the sardine seating (and standing) the audience expressed their delight at our group’s performance of half western music and half traditional African music.  I forgot how the Tanzanians giggle with glee when white people dance across the stage.  I wish I had remembered this before the panic set in thinking that my costume might be showing more lilly-whiteness than anyone should see.   But, thankfully, our wardrobe malfunctions have been limited to the exciting time when one male student’s shorts burst open during an energetic dance.  He waved  goodbye to the audience (no hands) and exited stage left…

 The Halls, a family of five from our neighborhood, and Jacque Henninger, a friend and music colleague from the University of Texas, are currently here with us in Tanzania.  I believe they traveled here just to see our concert, the Makumira School of Music , and of course, us;  but I am willing to concede that Tanzania might have additional allure.   During a casual conversation, we learned that everyone had received their pre-travel vaccinations at Austin Regional Travel Clinic.    That travel nurse must now assume anyone going to Tanzania is visiting Tom and Daris.  
Hall's and Hale's in Tanzania.  A grand total of 10 Austinites on the Makumira Campus that day. 

Jacque and Daris enjoying some loshoro. 

Daryl has been attending a few of my music history classes.  The students fawn over her, but I think she’s running a translating business on the side.  Later the same evening I realize she’s spending the night in the ladies' dorm—conveniently before their music history test. 
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She seemed rather proud and mentioned the numerous benefits of carrying a pillow in your pants.

The students were reminiscing about our first few classes together and reflecting all the progress they have made within the year.  The confided in me that they thought I was speaking in French during my first lecture.   I have since congratulated them on their improved English skills AND the hard-earned talent of actually understanding me.  I'm particularly pleased because they now laugh at my jokes. 

A recent karate class discussion consisted of information about how to stretch one’s limited food budget.   As the end of the academic year draws close, the students are short on money which frequently results in sharing their one meal a day with 3 or 4 roommates.   It was offered that a glass of milk could help one feel full and is an excellent way to supplement an avocado or banana which is easily found in trees around campus.  If you have the luxury of eating a plate of beans and rice, make sure you pick your teeth afterwards so that you feel like you ate meat.
Hong Kong Phooey and his side kick. 

Next year we’re hosting an exchange student from Norway that plays the French horn.    Just for the record I had stated an initial, “No” but then the rest of the family overruled my vote--which made me proud of them.    But, perhaps it is part of Tom’s ploy to keep me distracted upon our return.

Tom currently vacillates between the elation of returning home and the guilt for taking me back. 

There's no place like home.  

Obligatory photo of the famous Arusha clock tower.  Half way between Cape Town and Cairo. 

Flat tire and a helping hand from a stranger--both common events.

"As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."  ~Henry David Thoreau, "Economy," Walden, 1854

"It is not down in any map; true places never are."  ~Herman Melville

"And that's the wonderful thing about family travel:  it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind."  ~Dave Barry

Still working to "Keep Africa Weird" with the help of our Austin friends,

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