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Lesson Plans

Re: ...from Teresa Tipton....newly in Africa

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 4 Jan 1980 11:31:01 +0300

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To the artsednet listserve:

Hopefully this message will arrive. I have posted several messages to
the entire group but have not seem them. Thanks to Bunki for
facilitating a message which I had previously posted but appearently
did not arrive. I received several messages from numerous people via Bunki
and will try to address them all at once. All personal and public
mail to me is most welcome! Please do not send me any more mail to me
at because I do not have telnet
access. My new address is:

I took a job in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania this year after attending a
recruiting fair for overseas teachers sponsored each year by the
International Schools Services in New Jersey. There are usually two,
one on the east coast and one on the west coast. There is also
another one by a different agency in Cedar Falls, Iowa each year. ISS
also has a web page and bimonthly newsletter, along with a host of
other publications for anyone interested in overseas teaching. I found
there were alot of art jobs at both the elementary and secondary
level. I'm actually certified for both but chose elementary because I
can be the zaniest and enjoy the creativity and inventiveness that is
sometimes lost in the post-adolescent aging process.

I'm teaching at an international private school. There are alot of
international schools that are run through the Department of Defense
for American citizens, mostly the military, but International schools
are set privately and independently for all citizens, usually to create
a better learning environment than what is available locally.
The International Schools Services does what it name suggests -
provides services for international teachers, administrators, and
schools. They also now have alternative certification review for
people who have the skills but may not have the credentials. You can
write to them via their web page email service or give them a call to
find out more of what they provide.

I would love to do exchange projects of any kind with teachers and
students interested. Schools that want to collect clothing, shoes,
eyeglasses and school supplies to be sent here would be a great
blessing to local people. These things are in great need. Although the school I'm teaching in is
private, it does give scholarships to students who would not normally
be able to attend here. But the students themselves are generally not
the students in need. With that said, still they are very diverse
group, and come from over 20 countries with many varied backgrounds,
religions, and experiences. They would be fascinating to correspond with
and to get to know and are a connection to local students in abject need
through the community service program. The program does weekly
outreach activities with the local community from the leper colony,
homeless street kids, and local schools, amongst many others, so
anything that arrives can be directly distributed to needy people.
Tanzania is the fourth poorest country in the world, so your discards are considered riches.
Items that are sent should be declared as "Used Personal Effects"
with a value no greater than $150 or they risk disappearing without
arrival. Personal mail or packages for local students can be sent to
me via the school:
International School of Tanganyika, Ltd.
P.O. Box 2651
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

There is information on the internet for students who want to do
research about the country.

As for African masks, Tanzania itself doesn't produce masks as
an artform but has it's own style of painting called "tinga tinga"
named after the artist who invented the style, which has now been \
copied as a tourist trade. The majority of their art is ebony
carving of figures, mostly men and women and batik.

Local forms of
transportation are human based first - pushing carts, then bicycles,
then buses or trucks, and then cars, mostly foreign owned. Local
people live in mud huts with palm fronds for a roof, a style which is
being replaced by concrete style square framed houses. There is no
planning department in the city, so it is a hodge podge between
housing built for foreigners, apartments and multistoried houses, to
ramshakle buildings in various stages of decay. All of these things
make their way into either how art is produced or its images. There
are a few open air workshops where men paint or carve items for
tourists. Women are allowed to do batik work but are not usually seen
in public, unless it is going from place to place. More and more, you
see women in the marketplace buying and selling, but not often.

I consider myself pretty aware socially and politically but being
here has an enormous impact on the way I see things. You don't
realize the things you take for granted until they aren't there at
your fingertips. Or just the things that you don't have to do - like
boil and filter water, or wash food in bleach before you eat it; buy
electricity in small monthly allotments and conserve its use,
unplugging electrical appliances and turning off lights; stocking
water for when the power goes out and there's no water, etc. And
actually, I have it quite good compared to what local people live
with every day.

Hopefully this fills people in on a few of their questions and
perhaps this post will arrive. It seems that some do and some don't,
like other things here, it's hard to predict the results.

I welcome all comments and questions, public or private and will
answer them when I can. I share one computer with 100 teachers and
the power is rationed off three days a week, so bear with the slow
response in answering.

Teresa Tipton

There is a
local arts school which employs handicapped people and an women's
cooperative to make cloth and create clothing from the tye dyed
fabric which is sold in a shop in the front of the facility. They
only do blue dye once or twice a month because it is too expensive to
purchase locally. I've found that even their red and yellow dye is of
poor quality so those of you who want to help could assist them by
sending some quality fabric dye. That would be a remarkable event for
the center!

Everything local is based on daily survival. It is hard to do long
term planning because of the crisis of daily need.

The real tragedy is that European and American countries gained and
continue to gain riches from Africa while the Africans themselves have
remained poor. It would be equally wonderful to examine this disparity
in the use of world resources as a way of understanding the privledge
we are accustomed to taking for granted.

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 21:15:53 -0700
From: (Bunki Kramer)
Subject: Re: ...from Teresa Tipton....newly in Africa

>Bunki, I think we would all like to know where Teresa is, and if she
>would post directly to the listserv that would be wonderful.
>I am wondering if it is a private religious school, and if it is in east
>or west Africa. Are teachers something? so many questions!

Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
Danville, California 94526

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