Watoto Writers

Every summer in Canada, the Tanzanian community here in Ontario meets each other on the soccer pitch for a friendly game of football. The teams are based on the popular Tanzanian teams Simba S.Cand Yanga S.C. These matches are held to bring the Tanzanian community together as one to watch, play, and enjoy the one game all true Africans enjoy. Well, at least the winning team enjoys!

Yanga S.C is short for Young Africans and Simba means Lion in Swahili, one of Tanzania’s main languages. I think whoever made the teams for the matches took the Yanga name a bit too literally though. When I watched the last match, I saw the Simba team struggling against the notably younger Yanga squad. I just find it heartbreaking (and extremely funny) when I see my father on Simba trip over himself when trying to chase down the speedy, athletic, younger Yanga strikers. I really do care for my father’s health and chasing all the younger Yanga players is definitely not going to make his back problems go away any faster. I am not saying that the person who formed these teams is at any real fault, but I believe that maybe all the participants in the games should work together to make a more fair and equal teams that have both OLD AND YOUNGER PLAYERS!

Speaking of participants, I really believe that if you are going to play the games, you need to arrive on time! In many of the previous meetings, the matches have started up to an hour late. Those who plan the games try to choose a different pitch in different areas every summer. If one year, the games are held in your area, and the next year it is held an hour away, why shouldn’t you go? Unless you have other important business to take care of, don’t you think it would be enjoyable to spend an afternoon with your Tanzanian brothers and sisters? I mean, think about the person who had to drive one, or maybe two hours to the pitch every year since these football games started!

And my Tanzanian uncles, even if your back hurts or for some reason you are tired, if you have a jersey, try playing a couple of minutes of the game. It is better than just sitting there, and I bet once you’re on the pitch, you will forget all about your excuse to sit out. I have an uncle who lives nearby. This uncle of mine loves inviting people to his house for numerous gatherings and each gathering gets better and better. You will see uncles drinking tea, juice, water, and alcohol, (*cough* Heinekin*cough* Corona*cough*) aunties cooking, gossiping, and too drinking tea, watotos running, playing, and laughing, and everyone just having a good time.

This same uncle organized the last football match. There weren’t as much Tanzanians as expected. Not a lot of uncles drinking, aunties gossiping, but I guess there were a few watotos just enjoying themselves as much they could with the small numbers they had. This makes me think that us Tanzanians expect only to stay indoors when this uncle of mine throws a gathering!

Really guys! I saw an Tanzanian uncle who played the last game coming out of a knee or something to do with a leg surgery, and he was limping like a wounded lion that had been in a fight with a buffalo, hobbling around the pitch to support his fellow Simbas the best he could! You know the saying “No pain, no gain”? If you are able to survive whatever little pain you have to play with your fellow brothers and sisters, you will be able to gain a lot of respect from the little watotos if you are able to say score that winning goal, save that game deciding goal, or perform a surprisingly deadly and sick a slide tackle!

Now, the Yanga team might be very young in comparison to Simba, but Simba’s fans truly are lions. The watotos fans of the Simba team cheer and chant so loud that they could scare the mighty lion itself with their loud roars of encouragement! I think one of the only reasons my older uncles who play for Simba are able to play the long, “painful” games is because of their noisy cheers! The last game, I remember the watotos cheering SOOOOLOUD for Simba that none of the Yanga watotos could even be heard!

The Simba and Yanga games are truly pleasant events to look forward to every year. I have been to a lot of them and I know they are always going to be highlights of my summer for years to come. I hope you watotos and uncles and aunties will share all the fun you had at the games with your friends and co-workers. And for you uncles, you might not enjoy the games as much now as you would have when you were kids because “Oh, I have a headache!” or “Oh, I am too tired!” But just know that in a couple of years, you will not have to worry because I know all the watotos just cannot wait to take your places! Keep persevering and enduring the endless running, kicking, and (I am looking at you, daddy!) falling! No pain, no gain.


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Petroleum Engineering – Yay or Nay?

In this modern world, energy is a very important factor that allows us to do many of the things we do.  Aside from being reliant on electricity, you can say that every country in the world relies on oil and gas to keep the engines of our motorized vehicles running.  Without petrol, many countries will come to a standstill as fuel is crucial in the transport of not just food, products, and other commodities, but also for the transport of people.  Planes, ships, ferries, cargo ships, trucks, buses, cars, and even diesel-powered locomotives all require petrol to keep their combustion engine running.

The depletion of oil supply is a scenario many of us are not familiar with.  To ensure oil companies are able to keep the supply of petroleum, gas, and oil running, petroleum companies invests greatly in equipment as well as people in petroleum engineering to help them with the task of finding, identifying, drilling, recovery, development, processing, and production of new oil wells that can potentially supply part of the world’s daily requirement in gas and oil.

Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering that is mainly involved in almost every stage of oil and gas exploration, identification, recovery, development, and production.  The main role petroleum engineer’s play is the maximization of hydrocarbon recovery but at minimal cost for the oil company.  One of their key focuses with every oil well they develop on properly identified oil reservoir is reducing the well’s impact on the environment while at the same time being able to effectively and efficiently collect every ounce of hydrocarbon within every oil and gas reservoir that tap their well to.

Contrary to popular belief, petroleum engineering is not just a single field of discipline or study as there are different specializations involved.  Petroleum engineering is divided into mainly four subgroups that work and correlates together to get maximum efficiency.  These four are: Petroleum Geologists, Reservoir Engineers, Production Engineers, and Drilling Engineers.  It is through this proper classification of their engineering study that they are able to apply more effectively their knowledge in the field.

Although every petroleum engineers are very much aware of what the others do, but just like doctors where even a very talented cardiologist surgeon is not qualified or skilled enough to perform neurosurgery, this is very much the same for petroleum engineers as they only have a particular field of expertise.  For any oil company to make the most out of hiring a petroleum engineer, they also need to consider hiring other petroleum engineers that are of different specializations.


NBA WORKSHOP – Watoto Writers

20 girls and 20 boys from my school went to the Ricoh Coliseum for the Junior NBA workshop, sponsored by Under Armor.

Our school first called students who were interested in trying out for one of the Junior Teams. The people who tried out for the team, but did not make it also took this chance to put their names into a raffle to be picked. We also had to put our shirt, short and shoe sizes on the raffle. Then 40 names were drawn from the raffle, and my name was one of them. We were later told that we would be going to Ricoh Coliseum for a NBA workshop.

Everyone who worn the raffle was given a pair of basketball shoes, socks, shorts and a Junior NBA T0shirt, all Items sponsored by Under Armor. On Wednesday February 10, 2016, we received our clothing and shoes and we were able to take them home and try the one.

On Friday February 13, 2016, we left our school at 9:30 AM. Going there was fine, but once we reached the Center, there were a lot of other school buses there that it took us almost 20 minutes just waiting to pass. Once we got off our bus, we went into the center, sat and watched the USA team do some drills, then the cheerleaders and the Mascots came to do a performance. A few people spoke then they sent us off to begin playing.

Our coaches started by making us do some simple dribbling drills. We got into lines and started to run while dribbling the ball, then did other drills like sliding. Our coach got deeper into defense, and we spent a while doing different drills that would help is to become better defenders. We also learned the formation that you would use when you are taking a shot. We started with no balls, but soon after we started to learn jump shots and layups.

We also learned a lot of teamwork because in basketball it is not only one person, it is the whole team that contributes. We got into to teams, did some jump shot challenges, strength challenge and speed challenges. At the end we were able to meet and get a picture with the famous Dikembe Mutombo. After that we packed our stuff and got ready to go home.

I had a really fun day, I got to play basketball and have fun with my friends. I hope one day you Watoto’s will have this chance too.

As Stephen Curry said himself, “Every time I rise up, I have confidence that I am going to make it.”


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PATH FOR THE FUTURE – Watoto Writers

At school we had a project on picking our career. This is what I wrote.

Before the career project I had no idea what my path for the future might be. I enjoy working around children, but I also think I might enjoy being in the medical business (like my dad). I can achieve both of those by becoming a pediatrician. A pediatrician is the doctor for children from newborn to age 21. Pediatricians improve the community, help treat diseases, and work with children. They work mostly in Hospitals, private offices, clinics, and sometimes schools.

The road to become a pediatrician is a long one. Starting from high school, you should get in the habit of studying a lot and getting good grades. Although grade 11 and 12 are the most important, you should aim high in school always. Medical universities and colleges, look mostly for students who take sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics), English, and a type of math such as algebra, geometry or calculus. Taking a foreign language such as French is recommended. It is also great if you volunteer around your community to show leadership, commitment and that you care about your community. Also, you have to be active around school by joining clubs and/or teams. To get into a college, you need to do a SAT test and the higher you get the better.

After high school, you need to do 4 years of college. You need to get a bachelor’s degree (undergraduate). In college, most students take a Pre-med curriculum which prepares you for medical school. Another option is that you can major in any branch of subject you would like to (like music, philosophy, English etc.), as long as you meet the basic science course requirements. The requirements are: 1-2 courses in basic biology, 1 course in genetic biology, 1 course in microbiology, 1 course in molecular biology, 1-2 courses in basic chemistry, 1-2 courses in organic chemistry, 1 course in basic physics, and 2 courses in calculus. It is still great to volunteer in college. You will get into a medical school easier. College would be about $40,000-$160,000.

To get into a medical school you need to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) during your junior or senior year of college. It is similar to the SAT`s in high school but harder and only for medical students. There are three sections (scores from 1-15) and to get into a university, like University of Toronto, you need at least a 9 in every section. Then, a lot of medical schools have an interview process. Also, you should get a gpa of at least 3.6, and some letters of reference. Once you get in, you will study many subjects such as psychiatry, pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, clinical sciences, surgery, neurology, obstetrics, and of course pediatrics. That is not even all of the subjects that you will learn in medical school.  Once you graduate medical school you get a medical degree and a MD degree (Doctor of medicine degree). Med school is around $100,000-$160,000.

Now you are officially a doctor but not a pediatrician. After medical school you need to do three years of residency or an internship. During a residency you are working like a pediatrician except much more hours. You just eat, sleep and breathe the life of a pediatrician.  You learn how pediatricians treat kids, assist them, meet patients, do work and more. You can do this at a hospital (where they call it a residency), or anywhere else (where it is called an internship). After internship you just need to do one final exam to ensure you are ready to be a pediatrician.

The salary for an average Canadian pediatrician gets $191,457, but the range is from $144,841-$263, 020 a year. A pediatrician works about 50-53 hours a week.  About 30%-40% of a child’s visit to a doctor is to a pediatrician. After residency I can choose to be a general pediatrician that treats everything and everyone, or one that specializes on one specific thing such as heart, diabetes, lungs etc.

After high school it would take 11 years to become a pediatrician. My dad, who is also a doctor, took 17 years! Some for college and medical school and also other graduate degrees, and he even went to different countries to do so!! I guess 11 years is not so bad. Overall, I would really like to be a pediatrician.

Maxine Mutasingwa.

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