My arrival in Tanzania was not a pleasant one with me being very sick after the plane journey and then queuing for hours to get our visas. Nevertheless after the initial down things started taking a turn for the good when we met Jimmy and Mbassa at the airport. They took us to our new home in Arusha where we met Mathias and his family and then took us to explore the town. I think it is fair to say we were all exhausted on the first day but everyone here was so friendly and welcoming we soon forgot we were away from home.
Day two came and we were all so excited to meet the children at the primary school. We left early to start our work on the construction of the new school buildings at St. Pascazia Centre. When we arrived we were greeted by a very warm welcome from all the children and the headmaster of the school where he taught us about the history of the school before we started our work. Day one of construction was definitely the hardest with lots of hoeing and shovelling to dig out the foundation of the house, this was the day we worked out Oskar was secretly the hulk! Day two we spent putting rocks into our holes we had dug out and day three we added more rocks, some dirt and water. Next week we are hoping to finish the foundation of the house which will be exciting to see. The building was tough in the heat of the day but we all had lots of fun and all got know to each other very quickly.
My favourite part about placement was spending time with the children. They were all so adorable and all tried their best at speaking in English to us. It was lovely to see such a warm environment for them to learn where they all seemed to enjoy it so much.
In every spare minute we would find ourselves playing hand games such as “A sailor went to Sea”, dancing, singing or playing their favourite game, “chase me”. I made the mistake on day two of saying “Chase me” in front of over 20 children; I don’t think I’ve ever run so fast before in my life!
Saturday saw our first (and well deserved) lie in which was definitely not wasted. On Saturday afternoon we went to explore a Masai village where we met many of the locals, climbed a colossal mountain that surrounded and went to a Maasai market. I could not believe just how gentle and kind the Maasai people were who all helped us up the dusty path whilst climbing the mountain, which was much needed! The market was full of life and colour with cows, goats, people, bars and more. People sat around on the floor with food they had picked and grown themselves stacked in pyramids. I really felt like I had the chance to properly see and experience the Maasai way of life.
Sunday was a relaxing day for us all. Most of us went out on Saturday night so Sunday morning was spent lounging around and not doing much. In the afternoon we went to the snake park where we had a tour around and even got to hold a snake which was absolutely terrifying.
We then had a tour around a Maasai museum where we furthered our knowledge on Maasai life. I found it fascinating just how different it is to my own. After this we all had a ride on some camels which was something most of us hadn’t done before and was definitely an experience we won’t forget.
That’s all for this week. We have had a rather slow week with many of us being under the weather, as soon as one got ill it spread like the plague but we are hoping we can now see the end of it. We have another exciting week planned now so will be back with a blog again in a week.