Hujambo (how are you?), that is what we say here if you are greeting someone that is not older then you are otherwise you say Shikamoo (I give you my respect).
Always expect the unexpected I was told upfront so when on the first day they told me I would not go to the Presbyterian Nursery school as I was informed before but go to the Amka Centre I took it with the hakuna matata way like you learn here in Tanzania.
Amka Centre is a little ‘pre-school’ for from 3 to 5 years. They have two teachers, Olivan and Louise, for fifty children, one covered classroom and one half open classroom. It takes me 40 minutes to get from the home base of Cross Cultural Solutions to the school every morning at 07:30 (back home I only start to wake up at that time). This is mainly as I am the last volunteer to be dropped off and we stop at three other schools before arriving at Amka Centre and also the roads are so bad as for the largest part they are unpaved and in a very bad condition so the driving speed is slow. The mini van cannot even go until the school due to the road condition so the last part is by foot. The bumbs in the road however are largely being compensated by everything you see when driving through the streets of the outskirts of Moshi. The daily life here is fascinating to watch and so different as we are used to.
Primary school in Tanzania is completely in Swahili but secundary school is only in English. This creates quite some problems as you can imagine therefor and 40% of the children do not go to secundary school. Therefor there are a lot of private primary schools where they teach English already. Amka Centre is a private pre-school where as much as possible is being done in English. The parents pay 20.000 Tanzanian Shilling per month per child which is about 8,00 Euro.
After two Swahili lessons of an hour it is of course still struggling enormously with the language but the second lesson proved to be very usefull and practical as we learned classroom terminology. Very useful if you have a group of excited 3 to 4 years old children who all want attention from the foreign white teacher and who do not understand much English yet. ‘Subiri’ (wait), ‘sikiliza’ (listen), ‘nyamaza’ (quiet), ‘andika’ (write), ‘umeelewa’ (do you understand) and also ‘acha kupigana’ (stop fighting) were some useful words to learn.
The kids are absolutely adorable but more about that later.