Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 3 - part 2

I got my students in class today for the first time. After about 3 hours of presenting the Komatsu approved lessons I scraped it because the miners were totally lost. I started off with the hydraulic systems and one fellow asked me to explain how hydraulics work, and why it is used. I asked a few basic questions and realized they did not understand. Most of the miners had gone to tech school and had received a degree. I asked if hydraulics were covered in those classes. The reply was "no they study steam, wind, water power and a little electrical." These technicians are great guys, willing to learn but have a long way to go before they can repair these trucks. They are armed with 19th century technology, trying to perform in a 21st century world, I really feel for them and wish I could help out more, if I could work with them for a couple of years then they may make a good mechanics. Eve would you like to move here for a couple of years???

Today the weather was very hot and humid; I don't even bother combing my hair. Within minutes I look like I just got out of the pool. The classroom they gave me is very small, with open windows for the air conditioning. By the time we got 9 people in class, high heat, and little air flow, and after 8 hours in the class, it got quite uncomfortable. Right guard, Ban, or any other deodorant company would be very welcome. Eve, the body oder is even stronger than the Russians!

At the start of every class I give out Komatsu ball caps. In the United States I hear "'Another ball cap? How about a coat or a shirt?” When I handed them the hats it was like watching your kids at Christmas! They made sure that the hats fit just right and said they could not wait to show their families and friends. After the first break, I had 6 requests for a hat from other people working in the office. I had only two spares, I gave them out, and the disappointed look on the faces of the unlucky ones was tough.

After the class I had to wait for a ride so I stepped into the security guard shack to get out of the sun. The guard was very friendly and wanted me to get him into the training class so he can work at the mine. "Please please sir" he said. When he found out I was an American he asked me all kinds of questions mostly wanting me to get him in the states. That's two individuals in two days. When people say that the U.S. is a bad place to live, you will never convince a Tanzanian!

The guard carries a loaded rifle at all time. Above the desk I saw a bow and couple of arrows. I asked him if they were real he said "That is the backup plan" because he has only one bullet for the gun.

The Back-Up Plan

The training class was held at the mine office and one thing I find out is where the rest rooms are for the students. When I was shown it was quite a knock out. It's a hole in the floor no running water and is used by men and women. I can see where a man can do but a woman would struggle. I did see a little stool sitting outside the door, maybe that's the answer? It's 9:30 pm and it has cooled down enough for a shower. I should have hot water tonight. The sun has been out all day. I will write again tomorrow.

Good night love you all.

My first class at Buzwagi

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