Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Old Man Is Snoring

It's raining, it's pouring, it must be the rainy season in Kilimanjaro....!!

I'm halfway through my second week back at school after my "Turkish delight" of a vacation and that refreshed, rejuvenated feeling still lingers.  But, though I'm happy to be back and ensconced once again in work, I am not totally feeling this year's rainy season.  Similar to last year, the months of April, May, and June are expected to bring buckets of much-needed rain to the area, but the cold and damp has a way of seeping into these old bones that just never really goes away until the seasons change again.  Which really means we're looking at August in New York when I will next be warm since here in the Southern Hemisphere, our seasons are flipped with that of the North, and July and August are the coldest months of the year.

Even the kids are feeling the wintry brrrr these days.  And they can usually play their way through any weather!  Now that we're working with the new group of Standard One students (more on how that's going to come), we're just starting to get used to their ways and eccentricities.  Peep Laura Leopold here who, like me, clearly has ice water running through her veins!  Freezing my mzungu buns off at school today, I soooo wanted to jack her for this fur-lined coat, but that would not have been very teacherly of me, would it??  Nor very mzungu-y of me either, come to think of it!!

In addition to the rain and cold, we have to contend with the copious amounts of mud in Msaranga.  In the dry season, it's dust up our nostrils and in our eyes; in the rain, it's mud at our feet, either making us slip and slide or caking to our shoes so that we walk like Teacher Terminators.  The kids usually just shuck their shoes and go barefoot, but I read too many guidebooks when I first came to TZ mentioning mud-lovin' parasites to even think about doing that.

So, walking is a challenge, but worse than moving by foot is moving by car.  Last year, I got stuck in the mud in my rental car, a RAV-4, which was actually much sturdier than the car I ended up buying.  Thankfully, luckily, and knock-on-wood it stays this way, I have not gotten stuck in my Suzuki (nicknamed the "Roller Skate" by my friends), and I have mastered the use of the four-wheel drive, but there have been a few touch-and-go situations where I've literally held my breath.  Today, Vumi, Yacinta, and I each prayed to our respective Gods to grant us safe passage from the dirt road up to the tarmac.  Our prayers were answered....

Anyhoo, all of this is to say, I am looking forward to complaining of the heat again rather than these frigid temperatures, which, let's keep it real, probably aren't really all that cold, but when you live in equatorial Africa, you do have certain expectations and none of them involve wool legwarmers!!  All righty then, enough of this; I'm working on a piece for next week about teaching the 2014 Standard One kids and I hope I'll have it ready for you all soon.  Until then, wherever you may be in this world: stay warm and stay dry!!

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