The views expressed herein are mine and not those of the Peace Corps.



Useful Acronyms

PC Peace Corps
ICT Information & Communications Technology
PCT Peace Corps Trainee (pre-swearing-in)
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer (post-swearing-in)
PST Pre-Service Training
CBT Community-Based Training


This week is exam week at my school. You know it’s serious because they printed off both a schedule of which exams are when and a schedule of which teacher is invigilating each exam. (Invigilating is one of my new favorite words. It’s British for proctoring, but way better, because it makes you feel like a superhero.) These schedules have been duly posted in the teacher room and before every exam period we all check to see which, if any, exams we are invigilating. Then we pick up the exams, the scratch paper the students write on, and we’re off. I won’t even talk about the invigilating itself, except to say that the exams I’ve looked at have been in excellent English and have seemed to be at the appropriate skill level for the students, which is refreshing for Tanzania.

But here’s the real story: when I went over to the teacher room after lunch to pick up the Form II chemistry exams for the afternoon, the teachers were all standing around, drinking chai and looking unconcerned. The students were all outside, cleaning the environment (according to the primary school students we taught during IST in Njombe, cleaning one’s environment is a basic human right). I stood around for a little while awkwardly, then asked one of the teachers if there were exams for today.

“Oh, no,” he told me unconcernedly. When I asked why he said that there were no exams. The copier ran out of ink so they couldn’t run them off, and the headmaster is, as usual, away somewhere, so there’s nobody to handle the problem. So there are no exams this afternoon. “So probably no exams tomorrow, either,” I said. “Probably not,” he agreed, then went back to his chai.

As I left the school, suddenly free for the afternoon, I giggled quietly to myself. Then I realized that I probably sounded like a crazy person.


Comment from Tim Erickson
Time April 21, 2009 at 4:15 am

Marie, It’s been so awesome reading your stories over the months. I am glad you are settling well.

Comment from Mair
Time May 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm

How cool is that. Now my new favorite word, too.

Comment from George
Time May 14, 2009 at 1:07 am

They use invigilating here in Canada also. It is the sort of word my dad would use.

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