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After one week orientation and training in the town of Moshi, the group of 12 was reduced to 10 and everyone was paired off and allocated a house and a school by the World Challenge representative, Kevin Lawler. Jennie and I were placed on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in a village called Kishumundu. The village is situated approximately 3 hours from town by foot, although the daladala minibuses provide transport for those who can afford it. Kishumundu village has a butchers, a small market, a Catholic Church, a medical dispensary, a primary school and a secondary school. However, it has no reliable water supply, electricity or telephone lines. As the only 'English' speaking white faces in the vicinity, I anticipated some hostility, however, I was accepted immediately into the open arms of the community. I lived on the school grounds in a simple breeze block building which was by far the best accommodation around for miles. The views from my house were magnificent, the peak of Kili, an expanse of jungle and wildlife. My job at Kishumundu was primarily a teaching post, nevertheless, I was also responsible for establishing a library and running extra-curricular clubs. Mr. James Kiwara was the head teacher and my direct boss. He became a source of constant inspiration and a valuable friend.

Main School Thoroughfare
The school secretary was called Salome. Salome was also my next door neighbour and my best friend. I worked with the headmaster and office staff in addition to my teaching slots. English was my main subject, however, I was drafted in to teach Biology for the reproductive system module! I also taught music on an individual basis and participated in extra curricular activities such as sport and debating club.
School Photo
The basic school day began at 8am and finished at 3pm, however there were out-of-school requirements to be met. Before school for one hour, the children were expected to clean the school from the day before. There were three lessons in the morning with a mid-morning break, where nuts were sold rather than packets of crisp and chocolate bars.
Lunch lasted for 45 minutes and ugali with beans was served daily. Ugali is a traditional African dish of maize flour and water heated and made into a thick paste. There were two lessons after lunch and then various extra curricular clubs until 4pm, after which the children had a journey on foot of up to 3 hours.

Edward's Homework

Edward's Homework

With limited resources and stationary and a very significant Kiswahili - English language barrier, lessons had to be simple but effective. I thoroughly enjoyed my work at the school and made life long friends at Kishumundu, my second home.