The great blog avoider

Hi. My name is Katherine and I’m a blog-avoider. It’s been three months since my last blog post.

In the last three months, there have been times when everything has been happening all at once and I’ve hardly had a minute to pause, and there have been other times where nothing has been happening and I have had plenty of time to sit, contemplate and mull things over.

Either way, none of it has seemed worth writing about.

But this is just not good enough. (Even my parents have said those immortal words: “You need to start writing again!”)

But, quality is better than quantity, right? Right?!

The good news is that my horrendous blog-avoidance will be a thing of the past in a few short weeks. In January, I’m travelling back to Mwanza, Tanzania. Alongside some volunteering, I’m hoping to meet with some NGOs, social entrepreneurs and pioneering business people – particularly within the fields of development and global health. My journalist brain has already kicked in and I’ve been brainstorming some story ideas to get excited about.

And, depending on the access I’ll have to the Internet, I’ll be posting all my stories right here.

I miss Tanzania

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog post.

After my exams, I did a two-week work placement at the Kentish Express, then I sat my final two NCTJ exams. Straight after that I went to Tanzania for a month to volunteer. I’ve been a little busy.

I’ve been back in the UK for over a week and I think the real reason I haven’t written about my time in Tanzania is because I’m struggling to describe just how amazing it was.

I miss it. I miss the baking sunshine and refreshing light breezes. I miss lying in the garden at night and staring up at all the stars. I miss sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing long-sleeved pyjamas and socks to bed and still waking up with bites. I miss cold showers. I miss going to bed to the sounds of dogs howling and being woken up at 6am by the cockerel in the garden. I miss getting hot and sweaty on crowded dala-dalas and bombing down dirt-track roads on the back of a piki-piki. I miss the blaring music from Corner Bar. I miss walking to Buswelu Corner to buy fresh fruit and vegetables each day and waving to Christina in her shop. I miss Stoney Tangawizi. I miss all the children and the sounds of them running into the house at 4.30pm every day. I miss Mariya and the way she won’t let you see her work or drawings until she’s completely finished. I miss Mussa and Masalu and their comedy double act. I miss Edward and how he can’t help hand-balling during football games. I miss Edina and her dramatics and dancing when she’s in goal. I miss Joshua and the way he runs absolutely everywhere. I miss Ema and the way he likes to lead and protect the other children. I miss Joice and her incredible sass. I miss Nuru and his inquisitive mind. I miss cooking with Joice and Prisca. I miss Eric and the way he laughs at the dramatic bits in action films. I miss walking around Mwanza (and even the shouts of ‘Msungu’). I miss power cuts. I miss the view of Lake Victoria from Hotel Tilapia. I miss watching football games in Corner Bar. I miss not having street lights. I miss haggling prices with market sellers only to give in. I miss jam with dozens of different E numbers. I miss geckos scaling the walls and checking the long drop for cockroaches, armed with a baseball bat. I miss having dirty feet. I miss not wearing make up and not looking in a mirror for days on end. I miss buying chapatis and rice and beans from Martina at Buswelu Corner. I miss getting shocks from the electric cooker. I miss the two-hour round trip into town just to check emails. I miss speaking Swahili. I miss Tanzania.