Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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Tanzania 2013

14/10/13: the Sultans of Zanzibar

May I wish all my readers a very happy Nyerere Day, even if it is not a public holiday (we international types don't have bank holidays) where you are at the moment.  The founding father of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Baba wa Taifa - Teacher Julius Nyerere, Father of the Nation - is remembered here with great respect.  Even if people don't agree with his politics, as far as I can make out there's consensus that what he did he did in the fervent belief that he was doing the best for his country, with no thought for personal gain.

6/10/13: where do anchovies come from?

WARNING!  To any anchovy eaters of a squeamish disposition, please stop reading now and come back next week.

Some years ago  now I went on a church trip to Peru, and I remember reflecting how chickens being sold in markets actually looked like chickens running around, whereas when chickens are sold in Sainsbury's they're all neatly packaged, so that one can buy, cook and eat one forgetting that this used to be a living creature.  Tend to the view that the former is more psychologically healthy, if one is to eat meat, then better to face up to what one is actually doing.

29/9/13: bats in Tunguu caves












Life at work extremely busy at the moment, a little about that at the end of this post.  Meanwhile, trip to Zanzibar - and also Iringa - good for a few posts yet, even if the holiday does feel like a distant memory...

Whilst in Zanzibar took a day out with Yusuf, a great taxi driver and tour guide, looking to say some of the not-so-usual tourist sites.  One of the places we went to was Tunguu Caves. You could be very close and not see the entrance to them, they get used for ascetic religious observance by a number of different groupings.

22/9/13: my kiting lesson in Zanzibar













With apologies to my regular readers for not posting recently, I've just moved from one apartment to another - not very far but includes more space for visitors! - and we're currently working on admissions with a key colleague away on sick leave.  So a little bit busy!

Meanwhile, whilst on holiday (which seems a very long time ago now) gathered some great material for a few postings.  Would like to tell you about my kiting lesson with Ally.  Here's the two of us together:

3/9/13: a western tourist in Zanzibar - well, not quite...



A few weeks ago I wrotethis postentitled 'Tourist Tanzania', in which I described a day out at a local beach.  Well, I'm now back from a week's leave in Zanzibar, so have experienced more of the country from this point of  view!

I stayed at the Samaki Lodge in Uroa on the east coast.  This was my room for the week:























And the beach, two minutes walk away, was pretty good:














The quality of housekeeping was amazing.  Every day the bed was made slightly differently, petals which fell were put to good use:

24/8/13: my BlackBerry and learning Swahili

I was speaking to a colleague (using the word very loosely) recently, who was saying that her cardiologist insisted that she put her BlackBerry in a drawer not to reappear if she intended to last out the next five years.  Now, her job is somewhat different to mine, and also she was covering for a vacant post for an extended period of time.  So the constant expectation of being available 24/7, and the use of her BlackBerry to facilitate this, was causing her stress that was in serious danger of jeopardising her health.

18/8/13: I saw a lioness - but the photo is awful!

Just back from a week in Arusha as a guest of NECTA - the National Examinations Council for Tanzania.  This follows some work I did for them reviewing papers, my boss knows their boss is how it came about.  In fact, Stephen referred to it in his guestblog post- that was the reason we went to Kunduchi Beach Resort, as that was where the reviewing was going on.  Wonderful to meet so many people across Africa, and also some people from the UK, I hadn't previously realised that examination security in Africa, eg.

11/8/13: Kentucky Fried Chicken comes to DSM!
























Keen readers of this blog with long memories will remember this postwhen I said that two of the major things I miss about the UK are direct debit and Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Well, good news!  KFC is here in DSM!  Slightly to the north of town, just beyond the American Embassy - a huge, monstrous looking building which seems to me to be strangely appropriate....

Finally today treated myself to lunch there, very much the same as in the UK, except the price in absolute terms is higher than I remember.

4/8/13: Lord, teach us how to pray

A couple of months ago I wrote a little about the talk I gave to the Christian Fellowship at the University on peace, and particularly the value of the necessary preparation, not just to be able to talk but to think through the issues as part of my own walk with God.

Well, this morning I was leading the 9-10 year old Sunday School class at Dar es Salaam Pentecostal Church, and the theme was, 'What should we pray for?'  Previous experience working with the 5-7 year old group at Holy Trinity, Leicester, is that in preparing for such a class, there are three key questions to ask: firstly, what is the key learning point for me in this session?

28/7/13: thank you, Samson!























It is the nature of working as a University lecturer that there are three components to my work: teaching, administration and research.  As head of teaching programmes, I have a large administration role, some of which can be planned for in advance, a good bit of which can't be.  I like to think that I'm good at the teaching and administration, which in practice means that establishing and maintaining an active research role is difficult.

Alongside that, I have brought with me to Tanzania an interest in how children learn algebra.
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