This is the quietest Sunday morning, I have experienced in ages and in mean quiet in the exact sense of the word. Although the project house is surrounded by other houses, it looked as though I was in the middle of nowhere when I woke up. No sound, nothing, even the birds kept quiet en the cock slept late and started to crow after 9.15. A weird feeling if you’re used to the sound of heavy traffic and other noises around the house for almost 24/7.
But nice and I took the time to enjoy it. While I’m typing this, I can hear the singing coming from one of the many chapels around here. I presume it’s the Lutheran chapel and it is enjoyable to listen to.
Friday was a busy day with a session (workshop) with the chief librarian and the deputy librarians Andrew, Isa en Amani on library trends in the morning and (digital) repositories in the afternoon. Especially the ‘trends-session’ gave enough food for thought and reason for feedback: critical questions and debate. The young deputy librarians are eager to learn and implement new ideas, but they have the courage and sense to not simply adopt new things, but reflect on it to see how it can work for Tumaini.
Friday evening I prepared the session for Saturday morning: a workshop for the whole staff on customer services. It was a recapitulation of what we did last year completed with some new ideas, trends and a more in depth way of looking at it.
We started at 8.00 am sharp and I had about 1,5 hours before the library opened again and the staff was needed downstairs. We managed to stick to the time and it was a good session. People were taking notes and eager to learn.
When we closed up, I had the opportunity to give them a small token of my appreciation for their warm welcome and kindness, which was highly appreciated: ‘stroopwafels’ (treacle waffles) and small pieces of ‘Delftware’ for each of the participants.
Later that morning I accompanied Rev. Cornelius Simba to meet the Board of Trustees of Tumaini University College. They were coming to see the new extension of the library, “for which they signed the papers” as they explained to me.
This new extension is a wonderful bright and open building of three floors with office rooms, rooms for special collections and activities and a computer area that will be used for information literacy teaching. The problem is that this building is still empty: except for some chairs and tables, no furniture, shelves or computers have arrived yet. The students don’t seem to bother: they are using the new building as an area for group work and independent studying.
As the new extension has such a nice air, the chair of the Board of Trustees explained his ideas about the office dedicated to Simba, the chief librarian. In his opinion, this office should become his office and he wasn’t joking!! I’m wondering if he gets his way, if he is going to do the shelving every morning and evening too ;-).
Yesterday afternoon I had some time off and took the chance to walk downtown Iringa and see the hundreds of little shops and market stalls where you can buy all sorts of things. The traders invite you to come and see their commodities, but I just wanted to wander around and enjoy this free time. When I came back to the house, Maria was there to clean up and do the washing.
Today it is a lovely day: sunny blue skies like the days before. November is the start of the rain season, but until now I’ve been lucky: only a few downpours and only one of them hit me.
On my computer there is a tool showing me the weather near Baexem: 12 degrees and raining! Like Crowded House wrote and sang ‘you always take the weather with you’ and I have to admit a lot of other feelings and thoughts.