Archive for Mara Johnson-GrohPage 3

Vroom! Vroom!

Driving in Tanzania is an experience in itself. Despite the overall laid back manner of people in Tanzania, they drive like maniacs. When driving in Tanzania, there are a lot of things to pay attention to. The most obvious is that to remember to stay on the left side of the road. Thanks to a […]


As part of our journey down the long path of Swahili fluency, we have been trying to master greetings.  Though this sounds simple enough, I assure you, it is no simple task.  Everyone tells us that Swahili is an easy language to learn, but I’m not yet convinced.  In English, there are a couple greetings […]

Type to Learn

A few days back, I headed to the Nsoo Secondary School for another day of teaching.  I was running a little late and once reaching the school, headed straight for the classroom.  Before I reached my destination, I was intercepted by the school’s secretary, Mary.  She said the headmaster wanted a word with me.  I […]

Got Water?

In the land of 10,000 lakes, we tend to take water for granted. We swim in it in the summer, it always comes out of the faucet and we water our lawns with it in the middle of the day. In Tanzania things are a little different. Water is a commodity. In a developed nation […]

And for everything else, there’s $10

The prices of food and other commodities in Tanzania continues to astound me. The other day I bought five tomatoes, two cucumbers and an eggplant for 38¢. On top of that, the quality of the vegetables is much better and fresher than any you would find in the states. Sending a text message will cost […]

A lesson for Kermit the frog

This year I will dare to be green.  I vow to reduce my energy consumption, conserve water and eat locally.  A year ago, I had to drive twenty minutes to get to school and back home, at least five times a week.  Now because I have vowed to go green, I will walk.  It takes […]

Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Rain

The weather here is annoyingly unpredictable.  The mornings when you wake up to a clear blue sky always seem to be the ones that end in a shower, and the days that start off gloomy, end up cheerfully sunny.  Yesterday, I awoke to a clear sky.  By nine, it was dark and dreary.  It cleared […]

Can you hear me now?

One thing I’ve noticed here is the surprising regularity of cell phones.  In a developing nation one thing you would not expect to see is phones.  But they are everywhere here.  At the college most people seem to have them as do many in the city.  And, as I’ve been told, the coverage is very […]

Close Enough

Tanzania is the land of approximation.  The lifestyles, products and mindsets of Tanzania are all very approximate.  What I mean is Tanzania proscribes a different set of ideals and protocol to its people and products. For example, if you happen down to the lumber store in Tanzania you’re bound to find irregular boards and sheets […]

Computer Science 101

While in Tanzania, I had a plan of volunteering.  I thought I might be able to do some promotional photography for the college and volunteer at a local school.   So last week I got started on finding where I could volunteer. Starting to volunteer is not as easy a project as I had imagined.  I […]