The Tanzanian Tang(a) Trio…
March 4th, 2013 by Dipesh
On the 6th of February the three of us arrived in Kilimanjaro in one piece with all our luggage intact! We spent a luxurious day and night sleeping and recovering in Moshi before the six hour drive on to Camp Tanga in Mwambani village. The surroundings are stunning and we don’t think we’ll ever get bored of our beach view – we get the ‘wow’ factor every morning! The only downside is the giant red and black ants who have taken to eating us (and invading our tents!) on occasion…
We’ve been in Tanzania for three weeks now and our main project has been working on the local nursery that has been under construction for the past year. Currently, the 4-5 year old children have to walk six kilometres to the nearest nursery and as a result many of them do not attend. We started with levelling the playground, reinforcing the ground around the toilets before the rainy season floods them. We then concreted the ground outside the school and repaired the cracks in the building and most recently have been plastering the walls – probably getting more plaster on ourselves than the walls (or at least to start with!).
In the afternoons we’ve been teaching an English class in the school building – the students range from about 10-45 years old with varying levels of understanding. We started with “hello” and “how are you” but have progressed to heated class discussions on topics such as corruption, disease and the family. Being a small group has given us the opportunity to integrate with the villagers and their daily lives and we’ve got to know some of them really well! The children are always really excited to see us, and Joe is blossoming in his new role as a human climbing frame, they’re really cute and provide a welcome distraction from work!
On a typical weekend, we take a trip into Tanga on a Saturday morning where we visit the markets do some food shopping and learn about the history of the town. We’ve had trousers tailor made for us after picking out patterns from the material store. It was a shock when we first visited the ATM and discovered we are Tanzanian millionaires! – we’re still getting used to the exchange rate. In the evenings we relax, have a few Kilimanjaro beers and get thrashed in card games by Eliphas and Anderson (our camp leaders/buddies). We introduced Eliphas and Anderson to ‘Ring of Fire’ which turned serious fairly quickly – We drunkenly managed to make it to the local club belting lion king songs along the way. Club Casa was relatively deserted bar a few locals drinking – we enjoyed the Tanzanian hits – and are beginning to sing along with some of them now… We lost Eliphas for the whole night and found him enjoying a nap outside with a new friend (a homeless man). Sundays are usually quiet and relaxing – we’ve been to two of the local resorts – TICC and Tanga Yacht Club which we can only describe as James Bond-esque. Last weekend we treated ourselves to pizza and ice cream on Sunday night as a change from our usual Camps food (which is still delicious!).
Our peace has been disturbed by 40 new volunteers from Camp Kenya and things are different in Camp but still really enjoyable and our work rate has increased massively! We had our first day Seaweed farming today – it was very sunny and we came across many starfish and sea urchins – everyone enjoyed themselves and groups got competitive about how many lines of seaweed they could plant!
We’ve just got back from watching Coastal United (Team Tanga!) play a team from the south at the local football stadium – it was very lively and although the score was 0-0 the atmosphere was fantastic- A heady mix! We’re now going to go and cover ourselves in DEET before settling down to an evening of relaxation and cards!!
Pole pole rafikis, hakuna matata, chakula kitamu!
Alice, Maria and Joe
(sponsored by Simba cement (a coca-cola company))