Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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7/7/13: some American chap dropped by

























You may have heard that President Obama came to Dar es Salaam last week as part of his African tour.  Difficult to miss actually being here!  This poster / flag combination was absolutely everywhere, not sure that this picture quite captures the effect achieved:












Over the weekend before warnings were given about the traffic chaos to be expected, with talk of people staying away from work for that reason.  But when the time came, the roads were eerily empty, much easier to get places on Monday at 8.30am. than normal!  Strange world....  It was twice suggested to me that Mr and Mrs Obama could have had my spare room for their stay.  They would, of course, have been very welcome, alas, they didn't ask and I don't have their number to offer.

The President apparently brought 800 business people with him, one hopes and prays that initiatives resulting really are in the long term interests of the country, bringing prosperity and autonomy rather than dependency.  In many respects this mirrors the hope and prayer for my own job here.  As it happens I've just been reading a PhD thesis on the general area of help in the classroom: how does one give help in a way which empowers the receiver rather than makes them more needy than before?  These are not easy questions, but the asking of them is good, I think.

Couple of other things on my mind.  Hope you enjoyed Stephen's entry last week, having him here was great.  Just one point of clarification: we did indeed eat fish on the Sunday bought at Kunduchi fish market.  I would like to point out that for lunch, expecting a large dinner, I had a bowl of soup whilst Stephen had a huge plate of chicken and chips.  No problem in demolishing the fish later, however!  If memory serves correctly, I also had a high metabolism once....

t's an open secret that I impose on myself very strict editorial guidelines in writing this blog, with many 'good' stories lying on the cutting room floor.  For example, how is it possible to fail to stop for the Prime Minister's motorcade when at the time the Prime Minister was in Rome shaking hands with the new Pope?  But just at the moment I'm in a quandary - do I tell the story which culminates in a conversation between another person and me at 4am. on Friday whilst I'm behind a locked gate flanked by two security guards, holding his car keys hostage?  Or should that also hit the cutting room floor?  So this is what I've decided: if you'd like to hear the story, contact me privately, and then tell me what you think.

And finally for this week, was much amused to see this newspaper story.  As a statement on fashion I find it truly inspirational, a standard of excellence which I will never now be able to attain.

Thanks for reading, do stay in touch.

2 Comments to 7/7/13: some American chap dropped by:

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Pearl King on 21 July 2013 11:08
Is that you in the photo wearing the same outfit? I hope that teacher doesn't teach maths-we already have a reputation for not being cool! Where are his leather elbow patches like the ones that you sport on your rather fetching sports jacket? Great blog-I will be an avid follower (but not of fashion)! The beaches look amazing and I'm sure you forget to appreciate that wonderful scenery whilst working, so it's a good reminder to take a step back. Looking forward to hearing more....... best wishes Pearl
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Geoff on 22 July 2013 00:00
Great to speak with you yesterday, Pearl, and thanks for checking out the website. Alas, the teacher in the newspaper story isn't me, a PE teacher in Australia who kept the same job - and outfit - for 40 years. As I say, an example to us all! Keep well, Geoff

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