I have successfully found (one of) the expat community. If you saw my post about Sundays, then you read that I visited an Anglican church this past Sunday. Well, I’ve been able to interact with several of them this week. On Monday, I had dinner with Marilyn and Debbie. Thursday night I went to a Maundy Thursday service. This morning, I went to the Good Friday Service and then had tea with Debbie and Jenny. Many people at the Anglican church all teach at the same school. It’s a tightly knit community because the teachers all live on the school compound (which is common for TZ). So, I’ve had a couple of instances of meeting someone, and they say, “Oh you had dinner with Marilyn. You were on our compound.” It’s kind of nice to be welcomed into such a tight community.
Most of the people I have met are Australian, but they all came to Dodoma by different routes. Marilyn and Debbie are from the same area of Australia, but didn’t know each other before coming, and Debbie and Jenny lived in the same area for a while but also didn’t know each other before coming to Dodoma. They all seem to be great friends, and so I’m sure they will all keep in touch once they go back home. I’ve also met a nice couple from New Zealand who teach at the school. Just from people’s accents, I’ve also determined there are some people from various parts of the UK (a man with a lovely Scottish accent read scripture in the service today). I know there are a few American teachers, but I haven’t really met them yet–I think they are from New York.
I’ve also had multiple job offers for that school and for one of the local universities. Don’t worry. I’m not ready to move here full time. Knowing I would have a community here certainly would make it easier than other places, but I also miss the States. It just goes to show, though, how much need there is here for educated, skilled people. I don’t think they are quite so desperate in Arusha or Dar es Salaam, but Dodoma is not a place most expats would choose to go to. Not that there aren’t any educated people in TZ, but, again, I think most of the educated Tanzanians would choose to be in Dar or Arusha, not Dodoma.