Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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Tanzania 2013

21/7/13: Tourist Tanzania

It's easy to forget, when working long hours frequently spread over six days in the week, that people from the UK spend thousands of pounds to come on holiday here.  So, last Saturday my friend and colleague Darcey and I took ourselves off to Sunrise Beach, on the other side of the Kigamboni Ferry.

Just to explain the ferry, as is clear from the map below:











there is a large inlet forming a natural harbour, with a very small opening. So the Kigamboni ferry has just a short journey to go, 24 hours a day.

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.

30/6/13: guest entry by Geoff's visitor Stephen

My name is Stephen Boustred and I am from London, England. I am a friend of Geoff's, from his time spent in London, but had not seen him since I was quite young. My studies (of International Development at the University of East Anglia) require me to go abroad to gain work experience, so I am currently in Tanzania, working with an organisation calledCheetah Development. Cheetah is an NGO based in the United States, and they are currently running three projects, with the overall goal of fixing broken value chains in the food market.

16/6/13: Lesotho, the Mountain Kingdom


Concerned readers from my last post will be relieved, I am sure, to hear that I'm back in Dar es Salaam starting to warm up a bit to what is normal - at least for the time being.

Have to say, once I got used to the idea as to how cold Lesotho is, it is a bit splendid.  A sparsely populated area of Southern Africa entirely contained within South Africa with a long history of independence, and a population of 2 million, capital is Maseru which is where the conference was.

Pleased to say that we took some time out to enjoy the scenery:

10/6/13: South Africa is CCCCCCOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDD!!!!!

Greetings from OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. Waiting to go to Lesotho, wearing two extra brand new layers hastily bought at extortionate cost (well, not too bad really) in duty free.  Presumably everybody in the world knows that it's going to be cold in Johannesburg in June except for idiot features here?

I'll be back soon.  But some traumas can't wait a week to report.

9/6/13: it's Wednesday so it's Nairobi - or was that last week?

Since Aga Khan is an international University it is no surprise that working for it involves a certain amount of travel.  So two weeks ago I was in Nairobi, among other things visiting two schools in some of the poorer areas in which our sister organisation, the Aga Khan Foundation, is active.  Children were absolutely fantastic, difficult to relate the smiling, laughing, eager to please, smartly dressed youngsters with the stories we were told about their living conditions.
 
I was asked to introduce myself, and as part of that asked, 'Look at my face, listen to how I speak, where do you think I come from?

26/5/13: I had a 'badge day'!

Like many organisations across the world, we have identity badges at the Institute of Educational Development and are expected to wear them.  Visitors are given visitor badges.  So, if I see anybody without a badge whom I don't recognise, it's my job - and that of everybody else in the Institute - to offer help in order to establish who they are and what they're doing there.

Of course, what sounds like a straightforward system isn't.  Our security guards wear uniforms but don't seem to have badges, and our cleaners don't seem to have them.

19/5/13: old age is creeping on

Because I've worn glasses for reading on and off since my early 20s I don't really associate long sight with old age.  However, what initially was a means of preventing headaches when reading for long periods of time has increasingly become a necessity to be able to read at all.  Since 2008 I have been wearing varifocals pretty well all the time, already gone through three prescriptions and pretty sure if I presented myself at an optician now I'd be getting yet another, stronger, version.

12/5/13: it's been raining!

People who have been out here longer than a year tell me that the rainy season is due to finish about now.  Have to say, it's been quite an adventure, at its worst the rain is torrential causing mayhem on the roads.  In my entry of 24/3/13 I described getting out of the church park when other cars looked as if they had got seriously flooded, on another occasion I was out driving when the heavens opened and I was seriously concerned as to whether I could get back to my flat.

Such heavy rain is, however, the exception to the rule.

1/5/13: brief visit to Uganda

I've written before about the joy of working for the Aga Khan University and the strong sense of being part of a worldwide family.  Last week a small group of us went to Kampala for a brief trip - left on Wednesday and back on Friday - and this really exemplifies the point: from the Aga Khan campus in an Aga Khan car to the air port, then on Uganda Airlines (take a wild guess who the owner is!) to an Aga Khan car from Entebbe Airport to the Serena Hotel in Kampala, owned once again by my boss.
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