Monday, September 5, 2011

A Dane, Croatian, Candian, and American walk into an Indian Restaurant in Tanzania…

A good start to some joke, ay? Well, Alison pointed out the humor in this scene when it occurred just last Wednesday! We were very lucky to hear a delightful performance by Croatian pianist Vatroslav Vudjan that night. He performed a number of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic works on the piano at the church where I teach each Saturday! People make quite a big deal out of this piano, too, seeing as how it may very well be the only working, in-tune baby-grand piano in Arusha! It was so nice to hear some Bach in the midst of this Arusha craziness! After the concert, one of the women who helped organize it took me, Alison, and Vatroslav out to dinner at a terrific Indian restaurant! It was great talking to the pianist and hearing all about the interesting ways of the Croatian music education system works. Sounds pretty great! I then asked him if he was familiar with some pretty famous American composers—he had not heard of quite a few of them! But, he then educated me on the famous Croatian composers that I aught to know: Dora Pejaoevic, Iva Zajc, Fran, Lhotka, Boris Papandopulo, Blagoje Bersa, just to name a few! (check them out for yourself and let me know!)

Another great work week interspersed with our first couple of Swahili lessons and more running in the coffee fields! I feel like we will get to be pretty good with Swahili in not too long! Maybe by the end of the year I’ll do a blog in Swahili?? Haha... only being hopeful!

I’ve been hearing some interesting and new excuses from students concerning why they haven’t been able to practice: no electricity. Seeing as how it’s quite difficult to get a piano here, most parents buy their kids electric keyboards. Yuk, not ideal, but I can understand their reasons. BUT, it’s quite usual for houses here to have only a few hours of electricity each day, so when the power’s out- no practicing can be done. One student came in and told me she didn’t practice on her piano, but she did practice on hermoms Ipad….!!! Oh, technology will save us or kills us, I swear.

The only thing that’s really kind of bugged me about Tanzania so far is the amount of dust that’s here during the dry season! I keep sneezing, and when we go running, the dust seeps entirely through my socks and shoes!! My feet after a run-- is this totally gross?! haha! its only dust I swear!

Life could be worse, I’ll tell you that much! It’s a beautiful Saturday here and Alison and I are going to a friend’s house for dinner (a woman from Tennessee, no less!), then out for fondue with some friends!

Here, I'll leave you with a prettier picture than my feet: Mt. Meru on our drive home!


  1. Vatroslav is quite adorable. I envisioned an older man. I'm glad that you are getting your music fix...and your Indian food fix. Thanks for the beautiful photo of Mt. Meru as the lingering image. I recognize those pants.
    Usiku mwema. Lala salama. moma

  2. Hah, I recognize those cute feet...I used to tickle! Lovely posting. How would you compare the "craziness" of Arusha to that of Port au Prince, I wonder. On the map, Mt. Meru looks so close, but in your photo it seems so very far away, so I am getting a better impression of the vastness of Africa now. Love, daddio

  3. At the program I was at this summer, they had a guest performer/teacher from Croatia and she did several masterclasses+ a concert on croatian art song! Most of those composers were represented!

    Love your updates. Let's catch up soon...