Coming Home, Etc
My plane tickets have been purchased. I am officially arriving in Portland on December 20th, and will get on a plane to come back to Tanzania on January 20th. During that time, I’ll be staying mostly in Portland but will go up to Seattle for a few days. I would like to see and catch up with as many people as possible.
I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but we’ve gotten new solar-powered computers at my school. There are only 5 of them, but it’s a nice boost to the total number of machines in the lab, and their lack of needing the generator to be on has turned out to be much more useful than I thought it would be.
For the techie folks, the computers are specially designed desktops that consume very little power; I believe they use flash memory, have about 256 Mhz processors and 1 or 2 GB of RAM, and run Ubuntu. They all have WiFi and have been useful to teach my students practically about networking and IP addresses and so on.
The nonprofit that gave us the computers also has sent two computer trainers to the school, and they have supplemented the efforts of me and my replacement volunteer. Next year, when I am gone, it may very well turn out that these new trainers will teach computers and my replacement will teach English, which is what she was sent to Tanzania to do in the first place. I guess we’ll see.
Two chickens have gotten into the habit of coming into my house and raiding the cats’ food. The cats don’t mind, and the chickens are gradually becoming less and less afraid of us. I think they’re mother and daughter – one is a little smaller than the other, and follows the larger one, and I always see them together.
This last week, the students had a lot of downtime, so I taught them how to make paper airplanes, which they greatly enjoyed. I think a lot of them were shocked to see how well some of them flew.
When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of paper airplanes, and I still remember how to make several different types, which I’ve now shared with my students. It’s a dirt-cheap toy that teaches visual-spacial/geometric/physics skills, as well as procedure-following skills, so it seems like a good thing for this area. Or maybe I’m just rationalizing.
I only have two more weeks in my village! I’ve come to really love this place, and my neighbors and students, and am truly sad to go. (On the other hand, I’m also excited about the future.)
We officially closed the school two days ago, and the students have all gone home. I said my goodbyes and took some commemorative pictures and videos which I will try to upload once I’m in the US and have access to that amazingly fast American internet y’all’ve got.
My time here has been amazing and literally life-changing, and I’m sure that not only will I not forget it as long as I live, but I think it will have a major (positive!) influence on who I am for the rest of my life. If any of you are even remotely interested in joining the Peace Corps, I have to say that I strongly recommend it.