Monday, 31 December 2012

Collage Box

I love when people give me those fancy gift boxes, so I was delighted when my parents arrived with two in their suitcase containing gifts. They're so useful for storing all kinds of things, but I didn't want to use a box all year round with 'merry christmas' all over the lid, so I collaged it. I used a couple of magazines and some art gallery leaflets. I think it looks so cool now!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hunting with the Hadzabe

 Whilst staying near Lake Eyasi we went to visit a group of the Hadzabe tribe, who rely on hunting and gathering. They prepared their bows and then we went with them through the forest, alternating between running and keeping silent. They shot around 6 birds, five of which were small, and a larger one about the size of a pigeon, which they took home for the women to cook. The men we went with were incredibly good hunters and most of the time hit the things they shot at.

Whilst the men were hunting, the women were out gathering roots and edible plants. One stayed behind to watch the youngest children. In the background of this picture you can see a house.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fun With Stickers!

My parents left. Sometimes it sort of sucks to live on a different continent from all of your family and most of your friends. Obviously it's cool living here, otherwise I wouldn't do it.

I took the opportunity to load up my parents with mail to post from England for me before I left. This is a letter I sent to my friend John. I used up all my good stickers, but I think it was worth it!

Friday, 28 December 2012

My Dad's First 3D Movie

We went to see a 3D movie: Arusha has had them for about a year now. Despite the fact that he lives in the UK it was my Dad's first 3D movie. We watched 'The Life of Pi'. My Dad thought the 3D was pretty cool. We are both wearing the glasses over the top of our glasses.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Safari Njema!

Here in Arusha, where we live, it's the safari capital of the world. Although we've lived here a year and a half, and have been on lots of one day, self drive trips to parks with friends, a week ago we did our first overnight safari. It lasted five days. What prompted us was that my parents came to visit. We went to Serengeti, Ngorongoro crater, and also went hunting with the Hadzabe tribe.

It was very cool to sleep in a bed in a tent! Really cosy, but we could feel the night air and hear the crickets. It was my first time to see leopards and cheetahs in the wild. I'd recommend going on safari to anyone. I've lived here for a year and a half, but never in my life have I seen as much open space as I did in the Serengeti.

Safari Njema means to have a good journey in swahili. In swahili a safari means any kind of journey: not just those undertaken in a 4x4 in a national park.

Christmas Trees!

After having no Christmas tree the previous two years I really wanted one this year. Jouni made this tree from wire and I made the decorations from felt (except for the heart).

But then also, my brother sent us this lovely tree, compact and made of wood. It came with all the little decorations. I'm so happy with our two trees!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Art A Level: Safari Animals

I wanted to draw some Tanzanian animals, after my safari to Arusha national park on Friday. I actually drew some whilst in the car, but I had to move so fast because the animals kept wandering around! I drew these with a B pencil from a safari guidebook given to me by the park. Until I drew one, I never knew rhino horns were so small.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Art A Level: Oil Pastel Portraits

I'm doing an Art A-Level at the school I work at (well, I work in Primary). I would say that it's just for fun, but I'm really hoping I will get a good grade!

To learn to use oil pastels I coloured with them directly on top of photocopied images of people (I'm focusing on portraiture). On some of them you will notice that I used only warm or cold colours: others are mixed. I've actually made so many of these! It's a lot of fun to not have to worry about the drawing part, and I'd recommend it if you're feeling nervous and just want to get stuck in. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

100 thing challenge: Tanzania Style

I recently read a book called 'The 100 thing challenge' by Dave Bruno. It's about an ordinary American man who decides to reduce his possessions to 100. He doesn't include items he shares with his family, such as kitchen items. He also groups things together: all his books count as one item. By the end of the challenge he's living with way over 100 things, yet he feels satisfied that he is leading a more fulfilled life.

Living in Tanzania, 100 items seems like a lot for one person. For many Tanzanians 100 personal possessions would be hard to imagine. For Maasai people who live traditionally, wealth is measured in cows. If a man has 100 cows, he's considered wealthy. He can probably also afford to have about 4 wives. Cows provide sustenance and a large herd means stability. Yet even a Masaai with 100 cows has few other possessions: typically some mud huts for his family and cattle to sleep in, containers for storing milk and cow's blood, red robes, a pair of sandals, a mobile phone, and little else. If a Masaai man living a traditional life were to follow the 100 thing challenge, I'd imagine 90 of his chosen possessions would be cows.

I'll be moving in 10 months or so (I don't know to which country yet) and I'm thinking about reducing my stuff. I moved here with 4 cardboard boxes, but want to move away with less. One advantage of living in Tanzania is being removed from materialism: I used to buy a lot of clothes, and now I don't. Those which I do have are getting worn from hand washing and I haven't been buying new ones. So that should make it easy for me to take less with me than I brought here. 100 things doesn't seem like much, but I'm going to start getting my list together this week to see if I can do it.