Volunteering Begins

Moshi Travel Blog

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Ruth, Katarina, Sam, Nishma, James and Sosi
I woke up at around 6am, knowing I still had at least 90 minutes more sleep! I woke again at 7:20 and got up to take a shower. The water was really hot and it was so refreshing after a tiring day travelling the day before and the first night in unfamiliar surroundings.

I peeked out of the window only to find that the beautiful sunshine we had experienced the previous day had faded into rain. As with most  African rain, it had stopped as soon as it had started, and by the time I had left my room to go to breakfast, the sun was shining again.

The dining room was empty, but I decided to wait a while for the others to arrive before starting breakfast. Kate joined me shortly afterwards and we grabbed some food from the buffet. I had some bread and a pastry with some honey on, which was great.
Mbokomu School
I also indulged in some Tanzanian chai, which is absolutely delicious. Brought back memories from my trip to Kenya 4 years previously.

Sam, Ruth, James, Sosi, Nishma and Katarina joined us shortly afterwards.

During breakfast Kate informed me that Jane, her room-mate, had been taken ill in the night with sickness and diarrhoea. I went to visit Jane in her room and she said she would just let it 'run it's course' and would sit out the volunteering for the day.

After breakfast I went to meet Jackson who was our escort for the days working at the school. Edita, who was the representative for the company introduced me to him and he let me know that he's be ready to talk about the project work in around 10 minutes.

We sat down in the reception area where Jackson told us we were to be building school desks and painting the exterior of the main building.
Sosi, Kate, Katarina, Nishma and Ruth at Mbokomu School
Soon after we were on our way to Mbokomu Primary School where work needed to be done. It was a 15 minute walk to the school and along the way Jackson told us interesting information about Tanzania, its tribes, and other interesting things. We arrived just after 9:15 to be greeted by a school with decrepid looking buildings but lots of happy smiling children.

Jackson gave us a tour around the school and we discovered that there were 362 children in attendance of all religions and economic backgrounds.

We were shown the kitchen / lunch room which looked like a large broken shed which was in extremely poor condition. However, the school was in the process of building a new one. Building in Tanzania can take time because you only buy as many bricks as you need.
Mbokomu School - current canteen/dining area
They had bought as many as they could afford at the time, which was enough to create the foundations.

We were taken to the workshop where we paired up and were given a saw and a piece of wood with saw lines on it so we could begin building the desks. It was really hard work sawing for hours on end, but it was quite satisfying! The man overseeing our work was called Emanuel and showed us how to get the most out of the tools we had, and how to make it easier to do.

His most used phrase was 'rahisi sana, very simple'!

Soon we had our first injury - Nishma had hit her hand with the chisel. Shortly after that I sawed into my finer. Moments later Ruth hit her hand with a hammer! A great start to the day!

Soon lunchtime came around and we walked back to the hotel to be greeted by the same menu as the day before.
Mbokomu School
I had a 'Swahili omelette' which was basically an omelette with chips inside it. It was surprisingly tasty, but hardly what I expected of 'authentic' Tanzanian cuisine.

We wandered back to the school after lunch and swapped tasks. The morning groups had been one group painting and we had been building desks. It was good fun but there were not enough paint brushes or paint pots, so some people were sitting around doing nothing until I ensured that everyone had a chance to join in.

Soon it was the end of the day, and we walked back to the hotel; sweaty, paint covered and with a few injuries! Sosi had a huge blister on her palm from the sawing!

We agreed to meet for dinner at around 7:30pm. We ordered dinner and chatted. It was a great evening and everyone was getting along really well. After dinner I went to bed feeling relaxed, happy and reminded why I love Africa so much.
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Ruth, Katarina, Sam, Nishma, James…
Ruth, Katarina, Sam, Nishma, Jame…
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Sosi, Kate, Katarina, Nishma and R…
Sosi, Kate, Katarina, Nishma and …
Mbokomu School - current canteen/d…
Mbokomu School - current canteen/…
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Nishma, Sam, Sosi, Katarina, James…
Nishma, Sam, Sosi, Katarina, Jame…
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Kate and Jackson at Mbokomu School
Kate and Jackson at Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School herb garden
Mbokomu School herb garden
Mbokomu School - being constructed…
Mbokomu School - being constructe…
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School
Mbokomu School new canteen
Mbokomu School new canteen
Mbokomu School - Sam sawing wood t…
Mbokomu School - Sam sawing wood …
Mbokomu School - Katarina and Sosi…
Mbokomu School - Katarina and Sos…
Mbokomu School - me sawing wood
Mbokomu School - me sawing wood
Mbokomu School - a constructed desk
Mbokomu School - a constructed desk
Mbokomu School - Ruth, Sosi, Nishm…
Mbokomu School - Ruth, Sosi, Nish…
Moshi
photo by: joseph98