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Trip Start Jan 13, 2010
Trip End Aug 19, 2010

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

As we walked in to the library today we were followed by loads of young children. They now seem to be waiting for us every morning even though today we were late. Mike looked like the Pied Piper as he walked along with a group of kids from the age of about 3 to 5 running after him. We still can't get used to this!

It was a clear morning so we had our first really good view of Kilimanjaro and got some lovely photos.

In the journalism lesson we acted out a scenario where a woman was rescued from a burning building. Six of the students were actors and the rest were journalists and had to interview them to find out what happened. We did this in the garden outside the library and some of the actors were taking it really seriously and writhing around on the floor playing the part of a burn victim!

Some of the students are taking both of our courses. But it means they have to be at the library from 9am until 4pm. The 'lunch' break is not long enough for them to go all the way home and back again to the library. We presumed people would bring food, but were told that is just not done here – the food is not portable, and people usually go home to eat. So some of them are staying all day without food or water, as well as making a three hour round trip to the library on foot.

This has put some people off staying at the library for the afternoon book keeping lesson – they already have a 90 minute journey home to contend with on an empty stomach.

However, there are a few little stalls near the library where you can buy chai to drink and some kind of cakes, which would be enough to keep them going for the whole day. But the students told us the stalls were too expensive. When we enquired, we found that two cakes and a cup of tea from these stalls cost the equivalent of 15p. But most of them are just going hungry as they can't afford it, or being forced to go home early.

Mike had another three students turn up in his book keeping class today. And while I was in the library waiting for Mike's lesson to finish two men came up and asked if they could join the journalism course. I said yes but am going to have to turn people down from now on as we are running out of space which is sad.

Some men also asked Mike if he would just talk to them some time, as they are learning English. They are all adults but are trying to pass their 'form 4' exams, which are the equivalent of GCSEs. They fear they will lose their jobs if the bosses find out they have not passed their school exams.

When we were about to walk home a massive rain storm started. The roof of the library is metal and it sounded deafening and the thunder didn't stop for about 20 minutes! The library was full of people sheltering from the rain.

We finally made a dash for it, and made it home in one piece.
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