Monday, November 16, 2009

The Race: Update

Stakes were raised today as a new top speed score was reached in Iringa. 54, set by 10-year old Frieda at IDYDC, is just one jump short of the Tanzanian record (55). This is her second day ever jumping speed, and she's using a plastic freestyle rope. Expect another update in a few days.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Race is On

Last Monday (11/09/09) marked the beginning of an epic battle of speed in Iringa. There are now 12 or 13 kids after the title of "Fastest Jumper in Tanzania". The record at Iringa International School stands at 47 right-footed jumps in 30 seconds, but the bar was raised on Saturday at IDYDC (Iringa Development of Youth, Disabled, and Children Care) to 49, just 6 jumps short of the Tanzanian record. The scores will continue to rise, and I have a feeling that the current record will be shattered by the end of this week. Most of the kids are still developing the timing between their arms feet as they increase in speed, but once they have that figured out - the sky will be the limit.

I continue to be amazed by the speed at which kids are learning skills. Buddy bounce, caboose, inverse toad, frog, various wraps and releases, you name it. I'll post a video later this week.

Frequent power outages (as often as every other day for 5-6 hours) can make it difficult to keep phones, computers, and cameras charged, but it definitely makes me appreciate the electricity more when it is working.

Iringa is a really nice place. It's a quiet, small town, but there are a lot of really cool craft stands with beautiful handmade jewelry, cloth paintings, and wooden sculptures. There are some really nice restaurants (check out Hasty Tasty Too, Sai Villa, and Mama Siyovelwa), and the hills are covered with huge boulders, the biggest of which is Gangilonga (Talking Stone).


Sunday, November 1, 2009


I just arrived in Iringa! I'm very excited to explore the town, and begin teaching here. I'll definitely miss Morogoro, though, and for many reasons. Here are a few:

The Mountains: This is what I see every day as I walk to the bus stand. They're beautiful. The picture just can't capture the view, so you should come see for yourself.
The People: All of the teachers, the volunteers, the people in town, and the students are amazing. The kids (especially from Primary) are so enthusiastic and excited about jumping. They run over to the banda during break for Double Dutch or a game of Don't Miss a Loop. It's been fun spending time with other volunteers and teachers. Several of us got together for a fun night of Halloween festivities, and we recently attended a fashion show at a local restaurant. It was a night to remember.

The Mix: I talk often about the food in Tanzania for a reason - it's amazing. There's a stand in town that serves what is known as "Mix". It's a type of soup with different seasonings, tiny fried dumplings, and other assorted things. It's a whole lot of delicious, and I will miss it dearly.

The Teaching: Teaching here has been amazing. The kids at M.I.S. love jumping. One of the students, Andrew, has mastered most of the basic skills, and is now working on combining them into a routine. He jumps every day, and has blisters on his hands from practicing the frog and pushup so much. There are several kids at Faraja and St. Francis who can do the toad, inverse toad, crougar, double under, and 360. The boys at St. Francis must be jumping every day, and teaching each other, because every time I visit, they've learned what I taught them the last time, and taught at least one other kid how to do the skills. They're learning at a remarkable speed, and improving steadily as a group. Morogoro will have a strong group of jumpers.