"Sir?" - First lesson!

"Sir!" - First lesson experience

I think it's going to take a lot longer than 1 week to get used to students, only a few years younger, refering to me a sir. Who knows though, maybe I'll become more accustomed to the title as the weeks go on!
It really wasn't long at all till I took the centre stage of the classropm; Delasi, the teacher I'm co-teaching with, threw me straight into the deep end on the start of the third day of having 'teacher status'. I was to teach form 3A, the highest ability kids in their third of 4 years  in secondary school. After observing him in the morning with the 3B class (mid ability, with C the lowest), I was impressed by his clear explainations and structure to his lesson; it was concise and equiquent, but it was hard to judge how many of the students were going along with what he was saying or simply agreeing. Nevertheless, the quality and pace seemed relatively good compared to the U.K public education system. 
So after …

First day

First Day!

With a 06:20 local time alarm set the night before, getting up in the morning was always going to be tough for a uni student who's not used to getting out of bed till at least 9am at the earliest. Nevertheless, I was down in time for a quick plate of beans on toast (What a way to feeling at home!) and out the door with the rest of the group by 7:20. 
The drive through Morogoro showed the city at the busiest we've seen so far, despite the surprisingly early rise. It only took around 10 minutes until we arrived at the first school, Mafiga, were 3 members of the group are helping. I and the 2 others, however, had another 5 minutes to go until we reached Sua Secondary School.
Once there, we were welcome to the friendliest of greetings from a number of the teachers at the school. Yesaya, an English teacher and also the aim to be, in his own words'a billionaire by 25', gave us an extremely warm introduction and also took us for local at a nearby farm shop for youg…

First Impressions of Tanzania!

Our first real taste of Tanzania was the drive between Dar Es Salaam to Morogoro and it's a much different environment to whatever I could have imagined! Seeing numerous little stalls, small one storey buildings crowded in dense areas and different driving norms made it an somewhat 'one edge' 4 hour journey to finally reach our destination!
It was also a unique experience listening to the England vs Sweden World Cup match in Kiswahili, although devastated to miss the match, surprisingly it wasn't that hard to pick up that we were sailing through to the semi final.
The first full day in Morogoro gave us a chance to catch up on sleep, relax and even a quick chance to get out the market. Getting out of the car was an interesting; we seemed to have eyes on us from all angles, as well as one person asking for a photo...! 
It absolutely was a bustling environment to be in with calls from traders asking for us to check out their items on sale, ranging from fake gucci t-shirt…

Bubbling excitement!...

On the whole, I'd say I'm a fairly relaxed person, even arguably too relaxed. Given that by Monday morning, I'll be stood in front of a black chalkboard, looking ahead at over 50 kids not even that much younger than me, all eyes and ears paying attention to my words and the algebra that I scribble down on the black chalkboard, I'm still feeling fairly lax about it all.

Maybe in 24 hours time, while I'm sat in Heathrow Airport watching Belgium pull off a shock victory against Brazil in the Quarter-final of the World Cup (Heard it here first), will the jitters and nerves finally kick in.

So, now that 85% of the packing and preparation is done, perhaps it's a perfect time to reflect on why exactly I decided to spend 6 weeks 6000 miles away home.

Ultimately I was left with a huge block of time from mid June to the start of September in which I had zero plans. After spending last summer on an internship in London, I really wanted to do something a bit different fro…

Travel plans, adventures and expectations!

I've always enjoyed writing; there's just something that helps me to process information and create a clearer perspective when it's written down in clear text. Over this past 2 years, I have found myself regularly writing private posts to gather my thoughts, fears, successes and failures, capturing souvenirs on paper to look back on with reflection in the future. Now, post some rather stressful exams, I've finally had the time to create and start fresh with a public space to talk about issues, opinions and events that I want to save not just for myself but for a wider audience of friends and strangers alike. 
This also gives me a space and chance to talk Warwick in Africa, a project aimed at helping to improve education in some of the poorest parts of the Sahara continent. After hearing about the project, there was an instant click of excitement and opportunity which made me want to use my summer to help and use my skills to try and make a small but meaningful differe…