Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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Tanzania 2015

27/12/15: only a part-time control freak

Very pleased to say that the Christmas Eve Carol Service at St Alban's Anglican Cathedral went very well, the choir worked hard in preparation with a number of other commitments over the same period, very grateful to many people for making this work and enabling the celebration to take place. Bwana Yesu asifiwe- the Lord Jesus be praised!

In the end we decided not to print an order of service, and instead I put together thisPowerPointfor the running of the service. As you can see, nothing is left to chance with very clear instructions (commands?

20/12/15: is there a problem with the question?

As described in thisblog post, the maths team at work hosted a large conference somewhat over a year ago now.  One of the results of this conference is a publication which is currently with the publishers, so one of the things I've been doing recently is checking the proofs, which of course means rereading our work, which feels a bit like meeting back up with old friends.

One of the chapters I co-wrote with a colleague is about achievement in mathematics in East Africa.  Finding various statistics is straightforward enough, the issue then is, on what are these statistics based?

13/12/15: 'I show loyalty to royalty'

I've written a number of times before about language issues, particularly in this blog post.  There are a number of things which have come together which mean that language is again at the top of my mind: dissertation deadline has recently passed which means that we've gone from supervision to examining, also I've spent some time going through some project reports drafted by our former students and staff members before they are sent to the funders.  And the choir rehearsals for Christmas Eve - which continue to go well - have also thrown up some interesting issues.

6/12/15: thinking whilst stuck in a traffic jam

Over my adult life I've lived varying distances from work.  Most recently working in Reading I was driving about 1/2 hour each way from my house near Tadley on the Hampshire / Berkshire border.  I started working there in January, when of course the journey both ways was in darkness hours, with also a lot of rain, and I found myself thinking, grief, what on earth have I committed myself to for the next few years?  But as the rains eased off and the days lengthened, I found I quite enjoyed the drive, and liked the separation of work from home that it gave.

29/11/15: welcome to Peace and Tommy!





















Some weeks ago now my sister-in-law Wendy, who visited in August as recounted in
this blog post,told me that the ship Logos Hope, run by the Christian mission organisationOperation Mobilisation,is due to come to Dar es Salaam in January 2016.  Well, one thing led to another and I'm very pleased to say that I now have two house guests, Peace from Thailand and Tommy from the USA!  Peace and Tommy are two of the four members of the advance team come to establish links with churches and others, organise events and generally prepare the way for the arrival of the ship.

22/11/15: 'I have read and agree to these terms and conditions'

Perhaps the most unpleasant thing I had to deal with in my previous job (or maybe the one before) was discovering that members of my student group were signing in for each other to whole course lectures.  In many work contexts this would, of course, be a sackable offence.  And as we dealt with the aftermath, one of the things I was saying was, "Think what signing your name means!  Through signing your name you can get married, get divorced, take out a mortgage, guarantee a loan for other people, take on a job, agree to an operation, and much, much more.

15/11/15: still racking up firsts

I mentioned in last week's post that I ended up missing the choir rehearsal for the cathedral carol service last week because of confusion caused by the sudden announcement of the public holiday for the inauguration of the new president.

Well, pleased to say that I did make it this week!  So, my first choir rehearsal since I've been here.  After some negotiation we agreed 5.30pm on Thursday, the normal 5.30pm on Tuesday a bit of an intrusion into the working week really.  So, faced with a drive that takes 5 minutes on a Sunday morning into the centre of town, how much time to allow?

8/11/15: Tanzania has a new President

My congratulations to President John Magufuli, who on Thursday of last week was inaugurated as the 5th President of Tanzania, following Julius Nyerere, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete.  In the end the contest was not as close as opinion polls suggested, with President Magufuli securing 58% of the vote.  Elected on the slogan, 'Hapa kazi tu' - I'm only here to work' - I look forward to the next five years with interest.

Here in Dar es Salaam things have been incredibly quiet over the last two weeks.

1/11/15: Christian Jamaican dancers went to England! Guest blog

























I started this blog in February 2012 when I was privileged to be able to go to Jamaica for 6 weeks as a visiting scholar to the University of the West Indies.  Whilst there I worshiped at the Hope Gospel Assembly and met Omoro Griffiths, pictured above nearest to the camera, who led the dance group.  I saw them perform several times in church services.  They worked to the highest professional standards, and in a church setting brought a huge sense of worship and reflection.  As I was leaving I said that I would love to be able to get Omoro to the UK, and was delighted to hear that, through the

25/10/15: election day today - and Big Brother is watching me...

Today is the general election here in Tanzania, with voting for the President and also the members of parliament.  Slightly odd being in the middle of it all without a vote, I have a bright yellow t-shirt which was a gift from when I was in Jamaica which I wear from time to time, but not over the last few weeks, the colours coinciding with CCM, the ruling party.

A very good summary of the issues can be found inthis BBC News story.  Particularly, this is the first time that there has been a viable option to the party which, albeit with some changes, has been ruling since Independence in 1961.
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