Lost and wondering...
Moshi Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
I arrived back at the house after my project one afternoon and decided my beard was getting too long and too ginger, so I would have a shave. The little battery powered electric razor I had brought with me was fresh out of its packaging for the first time. Within barely 5 minutes it was in the bin. Instead of trimming, it seemed to pull clumps of hair out of my face before becoming blocked, so I decided to wet shave with the travel razor kit I brought with me. A matter of seconds later it snapped and I was left sore, angry and looking pretty stupid. So I announced I was going to look for the local supermarket (20 minutes away, just go left, right, left, right, left then right and you are there).
Today we were all to start our projects. We set off in groups and waked out into the ‘resedential’ areas. They are kind of suburbs, with slums. Buildings made of all sorts of things – some concrete and bricks, some corrugated steel, some made with ramshackle bits of wood and some mud huts. Very real poverty is strewn across the place, people have so little, living in conditions that simply don’t exist in the wester world. We saw the people going about their lives, doing everything ouside – cooking, washing clothes, sewing, carving etc. Often simply sitting and staring, watching the world go by. We walked for miles in the burning heat, smiling and waving, children everywhere. When we arrived at the first of the projects, a primary school, we were swamped by a crowd of beautiful, smiling children in pink and blue uniforms. Aged from about 2 to 6ish, they were just so happy to see us and grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go. They danced and cheered when they had their photo’s taken and were completely overjoyed to see themselves on the little digital screen. It was so difficult to tear ourselves away from them, but we had other projects to get to. We dropped people off at more schools with loads of wonderful kids just as excited to see us as the first. Others went to womens groups, where they were to show ways of making a living for them. The women were all so grateful we were there and the warm feeling continued to build in me. After 3 exhausting hours of walking around the slums of Moshi, we finally reached my project. It kind of appeared like an allotment in the
Okay, because I am falling behinf and I knw you wont want to read about everything that I get up to, from nw on you will be getting the highlights.
From the outside it looked very secure, almost fort-like. The massive sheet steel gates were opened by Zak, one of the Masaii watchmen. The security here is provided by a number of Masaii warriors, complete with traditional robes and giant machete. I found it quite astounding that I had been in the country less than 45 minutes and I had already seen my first machete. TIA as they say. Luckily I arrived at dinner time and introduced myself to a few of the other volunteers. Everyone seemed friendly and it turned out there was to be quite a large number of volunteers starting that weekend. Dinner consisted of rice, green, some cabbage thing and some reddy-brown. I am afraid I can’t describe it better than that. After dinner I had a quick (but very necessary) shower then went to the local pub with some of the others. I had a few beers, shared a few stories and experiences, then headed back and clambered under my mosquito net into bed and fell fast asleep.
The next morning I woke to the sound of a roosters call. I discovered that they kept chickens in the compound next door. It was early, so I decided to get up while it was quiet and have a look around. I wondered upstairs and out onto the balcony and looked out. I actually did a real double take and had to pinch myself, as the view that faced me was stunning. There stood Kilimanjaro in all its glory. From the plane it looked awesome, but like you would see it on tv, sort of 2D, but from here it was utterly mesmerising. A few photos and lots of contented staring later, I head downstairs for breakfast. Peanut butter on toast for me, as I couldn’t eat the local super-fresh banana they laid on (I have an allergy to bananas. Crazy, I know, but one that seems to have been handed down generations in my family). Later we had our orientation – A quick run-down of how to act, do’s and don’ts, some some info on projects, visas and work permits and a chance to meet the other volunteers. It turns out there are loads of us (about 16) and all but a handful have just arrived. We took a stroll into town (Moshi) and that is where my ‘real’ life in