Team Tembo Tanzania updateWritten by Sarah Beaman
Kathleen flew out for her 4 week adventure in Tanzania on 25 July –So by the time you read this she will be home safe and sound. However, whilst writing, it is still a week and a day until she is home (not that we’re counting!). We have been receiving e-mail updates from their team and they seem to be having a wonderful time. Below are some snippets of how it’s going, each paragraph is a separate report we received; we hope you enjoy them! Kathleen will write a full report for the October magazine. So watch this space!
- After nearly 24 hours of travelling we arrived at our hotels in Dar es Salaam very tired but super excited. We were surrounded with friendly faces from the moment our plane touched down. After picking up all the necessary equipment to ensure our building project is successful it’s off to Madabadaba.
- Now at Madababa and set most of the camp up. Yesterday, we woke up at 5:00am to have breakfast at 5:30am and supposedly leaving at 6:00am. We have now learnt about African time as we finally left at 8:00am in 5 coaches, and 10 4x4 vehicles then spent 12 hours on the 'road'. Tanzania's idea of a road is our idea of constant speed bumps (and not the smallest kind). We arrived in Hondo Hondo quite late and set up tents in the dark. We had a quick dinner and then had our final experience of flushing toilets that you can actually sit on. We went to sleep for another early start. The second journey wasn't as long; we arrived at our project at about 4pm. The roads, however, were even worse. Lunch was fish caught from the local river with bread, roast banana and oranges. We set up camp with help from local Scouts, who will be staying with us. It's very hot here (35 degrees) so we finished off the day bathing in the river next to our camp.
- So, today we started work at Madabadaba. After getting up at 6.30am for toast, omelette, very salty sweet potato with watermelon, we broke up into our four small groups to begin our work. The first group worked hard on site, adding a flag pole, campfire, a large shelter, flattened the area, set up washing lines (which yes, are in use!). The second group went shopping for our food and had some great fun at a church service. Afterwards they ran into a mob of 50 plus kids and ran many games for them! Groups 3 and 4 started laying the floor in two rooms of the school and made great progress. During the afternoon, we split into two teams and went to collect wood and more bricks (SO – MANY - BRICKS). We got enough bricks to complete many more floors, which was an uplifting thought. The wood team crossed the river to collect wood for fire and were also around when Jools, the chicken, was sacrificed for our delicious meal. To close the day we gathered around the campfire to sing songs led by the one man band Edmund, as we always call for an encore!
- We are currently with the Asistant Chief Scout of Tanzania eating a delicious vegetarian meal since the cost of the goat was increased because of our western appearance! After our breakfast of pancakes and watermelon, we continued the brick-laying and the building of our camp needs. After using up all of the bricks, half of the team went on a lumpy, bumpy, flumpy, clumpy, tumpy, yumpy, scumpy tractor experience. We trekked down to Madabadaba where, most of us bought some yummy local fabrics which are currently being turned into some special garments by the local tailors.
- Yesterday, Group One went off to Ifakara, a whopping three hours away. The rest of us continued working on the project doing tasks like painting, sanding, painting and sanding. Despite the heat, we all managed to get quite a bit done and it's starting to look less like a building site and more of a school. By far the most exciting thing that happened was that it rained during the night. It doesn't rain much in Tanzania but when it does, it does it hard! Today, we all went up to the project and started painting the walls white. We managed to get most of the classrooms done as well as all of the bars on the windows! The floors are actually becoming stable instead of being wobbly bricks. After work had finished, we all went for a swim in the river and attempted to wash off the splashes of paint on our arms and faces. However, this didn't work and we are still all sat here spotty, but happy!
- Yesterday morning we woke up to a massive rainstorm. We began the day by going round the outside of the school painting windows and walls which instantly transformed it from a building site, to a school in progress. Today one of the teams went to Ifakara shopping, buying the desperately needed fizzy drinks and some blocks of cheese. The rest of the team painted more walls and windows, seemingly endless due to the vast size of the project. As the day of work drew to a close, the team managed to complete its first classroom. Only many more to go!
- Tonight's entertainment included a fully lit catwalk, where each team member strutted their stuff to show off their new garments from the village tailors - baggy trousers, shirts, suit trousers and shorts. We have two days left before the opening ceremony. Today the entrance hall was completed with murals painted and a tree with everyone's handprints on. We are looking forward to completing the project and handing over the school.
- After a mad two weeks at the project we are done! Today we had a massive celebration and opening which included speeches, blessings and some mad Tanzanian tunes. The thanks we received from the locals was amazing. The ceremony was supposed to start at 10am, which in African time meant 12 noon! After the ceremony, we all enjoyed an amazing lunch which included rice, chips, beef and potatoes. So far we've eaten sheep, goat, pig, chicken and even duck! After lunch, we went out to party with the local children, which began with some traditional Tanzanian tunes. We finished our day with the last swim in our beloved river!
- Yesterday, we packed up camp in Madabadaba and said goodbye to our fellow Tanzanian Scouts. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone. Once again, we found ourselves on a bus. We stopped at Ifakara for lunch then took to the roads for only an hour and a bit back to Hondo Hondo. The camp in the daylight looked totally different and sitting on toilets was a luxury we had forgotten, as were hot showers!
- The next day we had a lie in, breakfast was at a late 7.30am. We went on a jungle walk through the Maganboro forest where we saw centipedes, monkeys (not just our leaders) and lots of elephant poo. Today we hiked up Sanje Falls in the blistering heat and enjoyed majestic views of the surrounding countryside. It was a long, steep walk, but morale was kept high because we got to swim. At the bottom of the waterfall, where it was safe, we 'paddled' for an hour in the bracing chill. We’ve now met up with teams Mamba and Twiga. So nice to catch up with them!
- We've now reached the end of the safari. It has been an amazing experience over the past few days. We travelled in 4x4s, saw lots of lions, elephants, giraffes, impala and much more. This morning the tents came down, we packed up camp and set off for the Jamboree with Tanzania Scouts. We’re looking forward to the next few days!
It seems unbelievable that in three weeks they can fit so much in, they have been having an amazing experience. We can’t wait to have her back and Kathleen’s only request for her return is that we actually remember to collect her and welcome her home with a chocolate milkshake!
Thank you all for everything you have done, we really appreciate your support and prayers.