Diana Sykes

Name ID 2180

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Extract Author: Wendy Sykes
Page Number: 2007 05 01
Extract Date: 1960's

Wendy and Diana Sykes - Arusha School, 1960's

We lived in Tanzania from the late 40s early fifties until 1964.

My father Alan Sykes was with the Agricultural Service stationed variously in Malya, Musoma, Mwanza, Bukoba, Moshi and Arusha.

Married to Barbara with five children all born in in Tanzania. My older sister Diana and I were borders at Arusha school for a period in the early 60s before becoming day girls when my parents moved to Arusha.

We lived in a large German built house behind the Boma. I was good friends with Elizabeth Watts whose parents Bunny and Reggie had a coffee farm out near Usa River.

They lived near the Von Nagys (sp) whose daughter Nandine was also a friend. Diana and I want to send stuff and ask questions. Is this the main route?

Extract ID: 5360

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Extract Author: Wendy Sykes
Page Number: 2007 06 06
Extract Date: 1960's

What a powerful hold Arusha School has over us still

I keep being drawn back to this site. What a powerful hold Arusha School and more generally our Tanzanian childhoods have over us still.

Diana and I have been remembering so many things. Our mother Barbara used to teach riding at the school. During our time as boarders we had so much freedom compared with the boarding school we attended when exiled to miserable, grey England in the 60s.

We also remember curry peas, gob stoppers and sugar daddies bought with pocket money on Saturday mornings and saved until the Saturday evening film.

We remember lockers in the corridors outside the dormitories, shoe cleaning in the quad where we also dried our hair after Saturday hair washing. We seemed to be allowed to wander all over the school grounds, playing down by the river, climbing trees, catching chameleons, sitting on the poor tortoise.

There were prickly pears outside the school which I seemed unable to resist and I remember the pain and irritation of the little spines when they stuck in your hand.

What about the San and soap enemas for poor unfortunates who were constipated?

There was a really nice convalescent garden where you were allowed to sit and read for a couple of days after you had been ill but before you rejoined the hurly burly of everyday life.

We remember PT on the field first thing, playing hockey in the afternoon, athletics and sports day, carols by candlelight at Christmas - holding real burning candles.

Mrs White was it who taught us singing? Does anyone remember the rain guage on the lawn outside the front of the school that someone went to read every day?

And what about the earthquake in 63(?) which I found very frightening especially when the whisper passed round the school that it was only the precursor to some more violent quake.

Our uncle Arthur Brown farmed Pyrethrum on Kilimanjaro with his wife Anne and three sons Peter, Rob and Micheal who were home schooled before going to Soni.

Extract ID: 5412
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