lessons in learning

I am in Arusha. Where you can get your roots done. Where you can drink capuccino. Where you can speak to people other than your husband in English. But where, apparently, the sun has quite forgotten how to shine.

I drove up yesterday. I might just as well have flown in from another hempisphere: I left the glorious blue skies of the outpost behind (as well as all my warm clothes and an umbrella). Its not cool to arrive in civilisation looking like an unforunate hybrid of drowned rat/bag lady. Primarily because other people (women who never have tell tale roots and who know what a capuccino tastes like) will say ”gosh, she’s really gone bush hasn’t she?”. 

I am here because my eldest daughter is on work experience for the week. Teaching. She wants to be an actress or a psychologist. Teaching is her third choice. Or even her fourth of fifth. But seeing as neither Keira Knightly nor Freud operate workshops here, it’s teaching primary kids. She invited me to join her for lunch today. At the coffee lodge. If I could pay and pick her up, of course. I reminded her that teachers were more inclined to grab hasty sandwiches in the staff room than languish over linguine. She was most disappointed, she wanted to lunch out at said lunching joint as some of her peers are waiters there this week and she wanted to click her fingers at them and ask for a menu.

Hat is back in real school for the week (the one where she’s related to the young teacher who fancies lunch out). She told me on leaving outpost that she is not ready for real school yet.  I was elated.

Even I’m at school: alliance francais for two hours of french lessons every day.  The grey matter is being tested – certainly – but phrases and words and verb conjugations from twenty years ago are bubbling to the forefront of my mind in an encouraging way.

I’ve got a commission to file . And roots to tend to. And capuccino to drink. And french to speak.

But for the time being its rather fun practising my English.


12 Responses to “lessons in learning”

  1. nuttycow Says:

    Hey RM – I sometimes forget that there probably isn’t much of an English speaking social scene out in the Outpost. Don’t worry about looking “bush” – just dazzle them with your fluent French.

  2. carol Says:

    Glad you having fun – please tell Amelia that most of us teachers have to eat school lunches – and in school too as we don’t have time to go off galavanting! Though I’m sure it’s really important to see how your peers are getting on with their work experience. However, today I hadn’t looked at the weekly menu in advance and really did not fancy ugali and sukuma so went off to the tuckshop for samosas and bhajias.

  3. Expat Mum Says:

    Oh I love that phrase “gone bush”. I wonder if it will work for me in Chicago?

  4. janelle Says:

    hey! you in town!!! thanks for your kind comment on my blog! yay! love doing it…so? give me a call man???? lets get together for some um english and cappucinos!? lots love xx janelle

  5. Maggie May Says:

    You are really living it up these days in town, roots being done and gadding about speaking English! And French! Good for you!

  6. black mzungu Says:

    great! at last the taste of capuccino is like the first drop of rain in the sahara, good for you.

  7. ann Says:

    Have a good time. Me? personally I hate capuccino, but I get your drift.

  8. India J Says:

    Bonne chance pour le français !
    “gone bush” reminds me of my nickname at school (when I had to come back to the UK for school – “bush girl”..!
    A bientôt 🙂

  9. Mapesbury Mum Says:

    If you can have capuccinos – are there wine bars?! Hope Amelia is enjoying the work experience? Get that french going…..

  10. Tom Says:

    Have a wonderful time. Bring hubby back something nice

  11. guineapigmum Says:

    All those things and a commission to file – life must be heaven! Have you come across “20 chickens for a saddle”? I heard a bit of it on the radio the other day and it made me think of Hat.

  12. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    merci beaucoup, vous etes tres gentil …

    gpm: i am going to seek out 20 chickens for a saddle … je suis desolee but my french won’t quite stretch to that yet in any tongue other than English …!

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