It’s about time we saw some photos!

Living in Africa has had its ups and downs for me, certainly its not something I’d expect everyone I know to want to do, or even enjoy if they did. Plenty of people come and go, and it still amazes me how different the attitudes of the many can be, given how ultimately similar our backgrounds and home countries are no matter where in the western world they come from. Indeed, it’s also true that I would not really enjoy the many other facets of life that others enjoy themselves, I very much feel I have found ym place in all this, and hopefully the fact that I’m now 18 months into my life here in Tanzania shows my commitment, and my continued enjoymentof it all helps me to know that I have done the right thing in giving up my life in Bristol to come here and work.

Kili is always beautiful, and when you see it covered in snow like this, it begs to be snapped!

After a full four month stint in the UK where I explored my fun-loving experimental attitude last year – then returned here with no camera charger – another unintended trip home for family and work, followed by the most recent return here, and have been working flat out for the last six weeks… I now finally have some new photos to share, some new experiences and triumphs to explain, and a new life among the people of the village of Mshiri.

The sun brings out the best colours up here

it was a lovely day for taking photos

The computer centre, is now no more. It is now the Guerba Community Centre, and is in full swing with new students, new customers, new computers and a full programme of activities to keep the people here entertained and connected to the world. The arrival of the container of computers in February was put on hold until I returned from the UK, but now I am proud to say that I have unpacked, refreshed, rebuilt and redesigned the entire system and I’m very proud of it. We now run a fully managed infrastructure; robust and reliable, save only for the power problems; and its being used, daily, by more people than ever before. What was a room full of essentially old, cast-away computers, has been transformed into the system we now run.

Server internals are nowhere near as simple as PCs, it took me an hour to find the jumper that enables SATA drives to work

once I found the jumper, it took a further 15 minutes to get the damn thing working!

The inherited mess of a rack cabinet

Domain Controller, Terminal Server, new photocopier and rack cabinet… that’s better eh?

Wraps ready to be taken off the new teaching room

Neatly co-inciding with my birthday weekend, the two weeks I spent sorting all this out ended with a big party, and grand re-opening and re-launch of the centre for the community. 100 litres of mbege gone in just two hours, music all day, and of course, a full-day power cut just to throw thigns off. That didn’t stop us though, as we carried on regardless, and partied on till late at night with all those who came along. Old friends and new customers, we drank, sang, and danced all day, and I really hope that it has helped to bring us all together again for a fresh start.

The VEPK crew enjoying the afternoon sun!

well, yes, Mbege (banana beer) and no, I didn’t like it!

He shouts Samson whenever I see him. Neither his or my name is Samson, maybe I’m missing something?

The American’s didn’t like it too much!

Mbege all round!!

We partied into the night, cementing the community centre at the heart of Mshiri Village!

These guys know how to dance!

As for the opening of the centre itself, well, no power means no computing, so we extended the offer of free internet onto Monday, and hoped that things would pick up for us. It did, and now we are busy to full every day, with new students, new customers, and a range of programmes in the evenings to help with our relationship with the locals, and provide a real use for the building going forward, that isn’t just a four hour a day learning centre for the few who choose it. We now offer everything that any self-respecting secretarial service provider would offer, and once we reach the early evenings, we play computer games, show movies and recently have moved into showing the Euro 2012 football matches live on the big screen. It’s going well, but more can and will be done. At the moment I’m being stretched to the absolute limit, working long hours with little break, but I’m loving it, loving being around people every day, and beginning to get more and more people on my side to help out and to be part of what will hopefully be the centre of the community.

Here are a few more photos from the last few weeks, I’ll try and keep this up to date more often now I have a charger to keep my baby snapping!

Oh to be born in the 90s…

Facebook overtook porn as the most popular thing on the internet a couple of years ago, and here is proof that Africa is part of that revolution

Mama Sandi, our government school attendant who works here with us at the community centre

Who’s lost some weight in the last few months?

The lovely gardens outside the VTC

Mr Jones, and what is he about to do next…

The as-yet incomplete accomodation for the VTC trainign school… watch this space for what we do with this

Marangu Mtoni, with Kili loming over to guard us

Dave and I outside the Gentlemen’s Palace. Yes, knocking shops are that blatant here in Marangu

Friends old and new… Tselane has now left us, but we hope she returns soon


About graigchq

IT professional come travelling hobo.... i'm of to the new world to find out who i am, and leave all that i hate behind, including my negativity!!
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One Response to It’s about time we saw some photos!

  1. kilijenks says:

    Hi Craig!

    Fabulous to read all of the news and to see all the photos. Great to see how the GCC has come on, through all of your hard work, and glad that we can still call it ‘The GCC’!

    Kath has not visited this year – the first year in (I think) 10, so she misses it desperately. There is still a chance she might come out later this year though. She is so happy when she is teaching the children there. Although I didn’t think I missed it quite so much, reading all of this has made me realise how much I do miss being there and spending time in that lovely region, with lovely people.

    Finally (for now) – and I’ve told you before – stay off the mbege!!

    Best wishes to you and all of our friends.


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