Intellectual Apathy

Contrary to yesterday it was sunny and warm today. Yesterday there was heavy rain and walking from the office to the library, which is only 500 metres, made me soaking wet. The temperature is so nice that it doesn’t take long to dry up again, so no worries about that.

Two lectures were on my schedule for today, each 1,5 hours. The first group was quite responsive, but the second class started at 12.30 pm and they were very quiet and some even fell asleep. Their stomacs were empty, and without food the brain cannot work. Interesting, especially when one of the topics was ‘critical thinking’. I comfort myself with the fact, that it must have been the timing – not my lecture ;-).

Later on Rev. Simba and I went for lunch on the campus and I had typical Tanzanian food, which was really nice. There is so much to talk about, that we could have chatted all afternoon, but one has to do other things, like preparing the following day.

Danny took me in the car together with Bukaza Chachage to town and I was invited to visit the new bookshop Bukaza started recently. A challenging and interesting undertaking and it was good to see there is a children’s section with picture books and of course a section with business and economics textbooks, of which I recognized several being in the MSM-collection.
I was more interested in African publications and managed to buy two books: Poems from Tanzania co-ordinated by Richard S. Mabala ISBN 978 9976 1 0205 5 and Nature Notes from Tanzania by Anne Outwater ISBN 9976 973 74 8.
Very nice reading stuff!

Back at the house we found out that the power was down: no electricity at all. Luckily enough I asked Danny to come inside to check the hot water system as I had a problem with that. Danny and the caretaker managed to fix the problem. I had no idea what I should have done without electricity: no computer working, no lights and no coffee – that’s probably the worst.

Tomorrow, another interesting day when I’m going to work with Andrew and Isa on planning the implementation of an automated catalogue, based on KOHA. First, I will help the staff to shelve the books: a task that takes them at least two hours every day and they are working on it with the whole team. It’s one of the less agreeable jobs in the library so they can use some help.

I’m closing this blog with copying one of the poems I found in the book I bought today. The poem is called ‘Intellectual apathy’ by E.L. Baregu. I finished the second session of today with a story about my grandmother, but the relation to this poem is purely coincidental.

Intellectual Apathy

One day I’m gonna tire
of reasoning out with Darwin
on the origins of man,
for what then did god do
those seven days?
I’m simply gonna tire
of the sermons of the philosophers
on man and society,
on religion and politics,
on science and arts.

I say
I’m gonna stop prying
the colonial scars
that have healed outside but
bleed inside.

I simply will grow numb
to the thorns of imperialism
that prick my being and threaten
to disease it.

I’ll be apathic to this giant strangler.
I swear
I’ll close my eyes to the maleficence
of exploitation
I’ll just lie back and let it
sap me dry;
I’m gonna let its worms ravish
my flesh to the bones
That day
I shall reject completely the doctrine of Karl Marx.
I shall plead ignorance to any kind of ‘ism’
I shall appraise no more the efforts of Lenin,
I will block my mind to the thoughts of Mao.
That day,
     Before I’m finally engulfed,
     I shall go to grandpa to hear some
     Wisdom.

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