2012 – Into the abyss

January 2012

Abasi is up to his eyeballs in work now, and has a seemingly unending number of tests. So unsurprisingly he has made little contact, save for one email. He is doing a lot of dissecting. He must have a strong stomach for that! Nothing more to say, really. I don’t expect to hear much over the next few months as he should be very busy.

I hope it’s all going in…

February 2012

A few emails this month. It seems Abasi is getting a reputation for being good at dissecting and is helping his classmates. He is even getting some anomalies named after him! Abasi suggested that he gets a printer to print out his course work as it would be cheaper in the long run. I agreed with this as it does make economic sense. However I suspect Abasi’s print shop will be opening on campus soon!

Last October his bank managed to lose one of my monthly payments. They are still messing us about and requesting paperwork, even though they admit to having a technical problem at the time. It’s all very frustrating.

Abasi got some test results this month. He did really well getting B’s and getting quite close to an A. The universtiy exams started on the 27th. So another testing time.

All fingers are crossed…

March 2012

Well Abasi finished his exams and headed home for a two week break. This seems to have gone well and was much enjoyed I imagine given that he didn’t go home over Christmas. On his return he managed to become a minor hero in the operating theatre. Apparently he was assisting in an operation when the computer crashed and the IT guys could not be found. He managed to fix it and everything continued to a satisfactory conclusion.

Still no sign of the missing payment. I don’t think I’d be happy to keep my money in a Tanzania bank…!

We still await the exam results. Watch this space, as they say…

April 2012

Good news! The exam results are in and Abasi got a mix of B and B*. So a very good job all round. He continues to make a little money on the side through his various “projects” and is providing some support to his family, including getting his brother into a better school, which is good. He is getting a little carried with his success though, and was wondering if and when he could afford a car. However a little maths soon showed that this would not be a good idea until he had a more reliable income. Perhaps that is something to consider after graduation?

The uni landed us a surprise requirement for 8 text books for Chemistry and Physiology and these alone blew the original annual budget for books. So this required a little more budget rebalancing. Hopefully we won’t get too many of these surprises.

There is no news of what happens next academically, so we wait to hear…

May 2012

The hard work continues. Abasi sent me a copy of a presentation he gave. It was very well put together and finished with a little humour. Abasi is gradually showing more of his sense of humour. He sent me a email about being called out in class to remove his shirt and have his blood pressure measured by the female students. Then he measured their blood pressure. Very funny indeed.

The tests and exams continue and I wonder how he manages to do so much hard work. But with his combination of ambition and humour he deserves to be successful. I imagine his parents are very proud of him. If I were them I certainly would be. As his friend, I certainly am…

June 2012

The month was very quiet as far as communication goes. I had a text and phone call regarding the missing payment from October last year. In the end the bank in Tanzania asked to talk to me. So I phoned to be told that they never received the money, or so they say. So I am now chasing my bank to request the return of the money. It seems that banks are useless the world over.

Unfortunately the brief phone call did not leave any time for socialising. But Abasi is deep in exams and tests, so I doubt he has much time for other things. Though at his age if he is doing any extra-curricular work I suspect it’s chasing girls…

July 2012

Well the month started off strongly with a couple of good B results in tests, placing Abasi fourth and the first male. However a bit of a disaster followed when his laptop hard drive crashed and he hadn’t done a backup for 6 months. Just about everyone I know doesn’t do backups regularly until they have a disaster like this so he is not alone. But its something he doesn’t need with year end exams looming. Unfortunately the drive was not recoverable so the only solution is to pay a lot of money to a data recovery company. But that will have to wait until after the exams. I also got a great text from Abasi on my birthday. It’s rather nice that he remembered.

Abasi got an A in one of his tests which is excellent. He can get a little frustrated at not getting more A grades, but I’ve tried to emphasize that passing exams consistently is more important than getting high grades. He is now about to start the final exams for the year, so we are now all hoping he gets through okay. He should do as he has worked very hard this year.

Fingers crossed…

August 2012

The big news is that Abasi passed his exams getting a good set of B grades. Celebration all round was in order. So we are in for the next academic year. Having finished his exams, Abasi did some travelling home and to a friends place, and enjoyed the break after a hard year.

We haven’t come up with a way to get the failed hard drive fixed other than sending it to the UK. Abasi doesn’t think it’s worth spending the money and I’m worried the drive would get lost on the way. So we are putting our thinking caps on. However Abasi also managed to drop the backup drive and that no longer works!

“Butter fingers” is the expression that comes to mind!

September 2012

A quiet month on the communications front. Abasi has been off visiting friends and family during the university break. He seems to have enjoyed himself. While home in Southern Tanzania he volunteered at the local hospital. Although he put in some long hours he really enjoyed the experience, particularly assisting in surgery. I think it cemented his passion for becoming a doctor, if it wasn’t already.

We had to sort out the budget for the coming acedemic year, though this was quite straightforward. We had agreed an outline budget when Abasi visited last year, so we just had to review it and increase where necessary. Prices always go up, regardless of country! Abasi is keen to get a car as public transport is rather chaotic. He is putting money by from his various little schemes and hopes to get one in the near future. Knowing what a money sink a car can be I’m unsure if this is a good idea. However given the state of public transport and the need to travel during medical rotations I can understand his desire to get one.

I wonder if I should help him out?

October 2012

The second year of study has started and Abasi is still going for it. It looked like he might have to resit some exams but apparently there was something of a mix up, so it was a false alarm. As well as his normal studies Abasi is helping out the first year students with dissection. Apparently he was considered the best at dissectionin his first year, so that’s something of an accolade.

He is also helping the pre-med students with IT. He had a day off when there was a public holiday and took some friends swimming. They asked him to teach them to swim.

I wonder if he charged them…!

November 2012

Abasi has been involved in a freshers welcoming party this month. It was with three other colleges. Apparently his college won three of the five sports competitions, so he was well pleased with that. He was elated to have been chosen to host as MC the evenings reception. I have no doubt that he took to it like a duck to water. He is still saving hard for a car and is also working on a “small project”. I am waiting to hear what that project is…

More tests are on the cards. They certainly work them hard in Tanzania. But Abasi seems to be coping and I am confident he is giving it his best shot. As he says, he has grown these last couple of years.

I can’t argue with that…

December 2012

Nothing to report this month. I’ve not heard anything from Abasi since the middle of November. I assume he is busy studying hard and doing tests…