Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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Tanzania 2013

29/12/13: 'frosty wind made moan'

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

OK, a few things here.  I wouldn't hold myself up as a poetry critic, but this isn't the finest example of the craft, is it? 'Snow had fallen'- sorry, folks, I'm not sure that you got that, so let me say it again,'Snow on snow'.  No, you look like a dim bunch, think you need to hear it again,

22/12/13: golly it's grey here!

It's not the things that I thought I would find difficult coming back which have, in fact, been problematic.  So, I've not been leaving a trail of wreckage on the roads as I've been driving, nor have I been scrunching the gears unduly - ie., no more than I did before I left.  I've not been shivering as much as I thought, but then people tell me it's been unseasonally mild.

It's been other things which I've found difficult to adjust to. I mentioned zebra crossings last time, and am still running across them, not fully believing that motorists will stop or stay stopped.

8/12/13: relearning to use these zebra crossing things

So, back in the UK!  But via Nairobi which I'd like to tell you about first.

Now, if you were told that you were going to stay in the Safari Club Hotel Nairobi, what vision would that conjure up?  I can answer for myself - a few miles outside the city, with giraffes posing majestically against the skyline.  Well, not quite.  'Safari' is simply the Swahli word for 'journey', so only in English is it associated with game parks and huge long journeys to see lions etc.

02/12/13: convocation at DUCE - and I'm coming home!!!

When Universities have convocation, or graduation, part of the routine is to invite representatives from other Universities.  So, on Saturday it was my turn to go to DUCE - the Dar es Salaam University College of Education - for their convocation ceremony.  Alas, no photographs this time, but wearing the same robes as for our Convocation in February:

Except that I now have a matching green and black striped tie - and even an Aga Khan University lapel badge!  Terribly grand being in a procession of about 40 academic staff being led by a 30 piece brass band into the grounds, and then, my first opportunity to sing the Tanzanian National Anthem for real since I learnt it.

24/11/13: the Joshua appeal is well underway! And backup generators...

It's been fantastic having so many wonderful responses to the Joshua Appeal so quickly, many thanks to family, friends, present colleagues and former colleagues for all your support.  Being in the UK soon - not counting but I believe it's now 11 days to go - gives a great opportunity to promote the cause.  Pastor Ahmed is uploading updates to his blog which can be foundhere, let's do what we can to help this family at this difficult time.

Of course, when seeking sponsorship to shave one's head, one has to put up with a certain level of mickey taking.

17/11/13: a dance in honour of the number 12!

Golly, it's fun working with primary school teachers!  On the course in Kilifi, Coastal Kenya, last week, we engaged in geometric art, made clocks, went outside the classroom to consider maths trails, did jigsaw puzzles, did various activities with timestables and shapes using people alone - and danced in honour of the number 12.

I can't now remember where I got this idea, what is needed is 12 people and some barn dance type music.  The dance starts with all 12 people linking hands, 8 steps forward 8 steps backwards.

10/11/13: I"ve been travelling a bit recently

Greetings from Kilifi, Coastal Kenya!  I'm here ready to work with a group of primary teachers on the learning and teaching of mathematics - hurrah!  So that's starting tomorrow.  Travelled on Friday - always such a joy, I think the airport at Dar es Salaam must rank as one of my very least favourite places on earth - and then yesterday was spent working with my co-facilitator, a former student on the masters programme.

A map of Kiifi helps to explain the pictures, I'm staying at Mnarani Club towards the bottom right of the screen just close to the bridge, then the inlet to the right goes to the Indian Ocean very shortly afterwards:

3/11/13: welcome to Crystal Towers!

Welcome to Crystal Towers, which has been home since the end of September.  Still walking distance from walk - actually, closer than previously - it's a jolly nice place to be.

Here's my balcony:

and here's the view at daybreak:

Just about possible to see the Indian Ocean from here:

The swimming pool and gym are directly below the balcony:

The showers are a bit 21st century, water comes out in 4 different ways, including horizontally from the nozzles which I trust are clear:

Perhaps the biggest selling point for me is what I call my 'miserable git' room:

28/10/13: Isimila Stone Age Centre

Feeling slightly shell shocked after my lightening visit to Arua, North West Uganda, last week.  Getting to Dar es Salaam at 0030 on Sunday morning, then to find that my suitcase wasn't there, was an interesting new experience.  Pleased to say was able to go yesterday to collect it - so this is a bit of a non-story, really, isn't it.  Alas, didn't get many pictures but would like to tell you a bit about it soon.

So, last blog for the time being about Iringa.  Isimila Stone Age Centre is a short visit from the town and well worth the visit.

20/10/13: the beautiful town of Iringa and surroundings

You may rememberthis postby my visitor Stephen some months ago on his way out to Iringa for an internship.  Well, he's with me again on his way back to the UK - or, to be more precise, he spent the night Friday to Saturday and is currently enjoying the delights of Zanzibar, flying out at some absurd hour on Tuesday morning, pretty sure that Heathrow and Gatwick wouldn't allow scheduled 3.30am. take offs!  So it seems appropriate that I'm ready to show you my pictures of Iringa whilst he's here.
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