Fear and loathing in East Africa

I’ve had a couple of temper tantrums this week, rather out of character for me. I’m wondering what it was all about.

The first was on wednesday after doing a warm up and dancing through the shim sham song I asked who was going to join in and, despite a thick deposit of sudents round the walls, none were prepared to step into the middle and join the class. I turned off the stereo and took it back home.

The second was after a class on thursday, they had been typically quiet and uncooperative. When I got to the staff room a colleague told me that the students had complained that I spend too long explaining the simple things which would better be spend on the tough topics. I went totally ballistic and spat swearwords in a most culturally inappropriate way before storming off and lying on my bed without moving for an hour and fourty five minutes.

The reaction was totally out of proportion for the provocation, though I do get pissed off when my students seem to want to learn but blight themselves by being too scared to participate in their own lives, let alone education. I’m trying to find some reason for my short fuse and big explosions. Maybe its because I stood on another thorn last weekend and the poison on it has me still limping today (despite managing to do a dance class on monday and walking to Kingoti which is an hour away up some hills).

Maybe Im just a grumpy old man. I’ve been here almost a year now (anniversary comes on 7th Feb) and rather than getting used to it in that time, it seems that the aweful truth is just beginning to be revealed. Anyway I’m still crossing off the days until my escape on my home-brewed calendar, and not planning to extend my placement.


  1. will Says:

    Just saw your latest posting, not grumpy old man, just limping young man.

    It is snowing in New York. Quite beautiful in central park. I have my skis with me. So I will go skiing in central park tomorrow.

    Feel better!



  2. Mr Grumpy Says:

    Hey will

    Elizabeth was asking about you yesterday, she says her boys remember you from your leaving party and often speak of you. Apparently you made some joke with them which involved a neck-sawing motion with the hand and they reproduce this gesture with much commic effect, though the original joke has been lost.

    Ski safely and thanks for keeping in touch!



  3. Prof Mungbean Says:

    Hey, when you do finally escape on your home-made calendar, can you make sure someone videos it?

    Sounds hell of a lot more impressive than Steve McQueen hiding inside a vaulting horse to me…

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