Tanzania traveller returnsWritten by Sarah Beaman
Hello everyone I'm back! It seems like ages since I wrote a piece saying goodbye when I was leaving for Tanzania, look how much I've done since then. It was lovely to see that Mum kept you all up to date on what I was getting up to but I thought I would tell you a bit about the things she missed out...
It all started once Mum and Dad had dropped me off at Heathrow Airport and I was with the rest of Team Tembo. We were through passport control, security and we were on the plane before I knew it. After stop at Dubai, we arrived in Dar es Salaam – the traffic was mad! It took us 3 hours to do a journey that should have taken 40 minutes. Our last night of luxury with beds, flushing toilets and electricity before heading for Madabadaba.
The next day we went as far as Hondo Hondo where we spent the night, then an early start for the final leg to Madabadaba, it was an epic journey in total of 365km (226 miles) over very bumpy roads. We arrived, put up our tents and organised our camp before we fell into our sleeping bags for some sleep.
When we arrived at the school there was a bare shell with no roof, paint or colour. It wasn't long before we changed that! Over our two weeks at the school we had finished all the classrooms and all three offices. Every wall, door and window had been sanded, painted, repainted in the range of three colours (black, white and red). We had also done some murals in the classrooms such as an alphabet, numbers 1-10, a world map, times tables and we even did a tree with all of our hand prints and names as a lasting reminder of our team’s visit to the village. Satisfying work but days from 7.30am-5pm in the heat of Tanzania meant that we were all ready to wash and cool off in the river each evening!
For the opening ceremony, all of the village turned up including all 250 children! Madabadaba isn’t a big village or well-known, however BUS LOADS of people turned up from miles around just to see what these Scouts had done to help the school. You could say it was a good turn out! The children were all so excited to see the equipment we had brought them using the active kids vouchers and we played football with them using their new ball, it was really lovely.
Sadly, the day after the opening ceremony we left Madabadaba. We said good bye to the villagers and children, all the Tanzanian Scouts who had camped with us, our night watchman (who had kept us safe whilst we slept – and had even encouraged a leopard to leave our camp site) and the builders. We had one last wash in our beloved river we set off for the rest of our trip.
We then got to travel around a small part of Tanzania. We enjoyed a safari where we saw so many elephants, zebra, hippo and quite a few lions. One day we had a lovely climb up Sanje Waterfalls, we hiked into pristine natural forest to the top of the 180m waterfall where we had lunch with our legs over the edge and we swam in the pool at the bottom. Then, last but not least we arrived at the beach resort. By now we haven’t seen metal cutlery or china plates for a month so our first meal here was very emotional, especially when they brought us banana split!
I could talk about Tanzania, the experience, my team and the friends I made for ages but I feel I would run out of space! I hope this has given you a bit more of an insight into what we got up to on our month away but please feel free to talk to me about it, as I said, I can talk for ages on the subject!
Thank you all for supporting me so much on my journey.