Monday morning dawned with the news that we would finally be able to buy supplies and transport them to the orphanage in Lake Manyara that so desperately needed our help; the girls volunteered to accompany Jimmy and Mbassa, so the seven of us piled into the van and bid goodbye to Charlie, Valerio and Troy, who would be spending a relaxed day in Arusha. We arrived at the Amani Children’s Home laden with maize, beans, sardines, salt, bedsheets and soap, all of which were hugely appreciated. The supplies were kindly funded by parents and friends, and will sustain the orphanage for several months.
On Tuesday we started work at another school in Arusha, where we’d be helping to paint the exterior of the school. The school is private, and therefore the children are taught in English (government schools, by contrast, are obliged to teach in Swahili.) Immediately, we were overwhelmed by the children, all of whom were desperate to hold hands, play games and talk with us in extremely impressive English. Bella in particular was enthralled by Denis, a student whose sand papering and painting efforts were invaluable. After work, we attended an open-air movie night at our favourite local venue, Via Via. Sarah, Troy, Pip and Valerio’s attempts at singing karaoke afterwards is not something I (nor my eardrums) will likely forget for a while.
Thursday evening was perhaps the highlight of the week. We decided to hit up our favourite halal haunt, Khan’s Barbecue, for what we thought would be Sara’s farewell meal (she was due to leave on Monday). Halfway through the meal, however, Sara announced that she had decided to stay another three weeks! We’d all been dreading her departure, so this was the best news to hear and we celebrated by stuffing ourselves with the delicious food.
On Saturday afternoon we headed out to Moshi, where we’ll be staying until Thursday. Access to hot showers put us all in a good mood, and on Sunday we trekked over to the very beautiful Materuni waterfall. Unfortunately, Savannah couldn’t join us as she wasn’t feeling her best, so we had to soldier on without her. We all braved the freezing glacial water by taking a quick dip in the pool at the base of the waterfall, although I proved myself to be significantly less brave than Eve and the boys, who all took it in turns to dive off a rock into the icy depths.
After the waterfall, we were also treated to a lesson in local coffee making, where we all had the chance to get involved with grinding the coffee beans whilst the locals improvised a ‘twanga’ song. Afterwards, we roasted the beans, ground them even further and then sieved to produce a fine coffee powder. The result was delicious, and several of us bought coffee beans to take home as a souvenir from this unique experience. We returned to Mama Simba’s house in Moshi feeling refreshed and content, only smelling vaguely like coffee.