Week three started off with a change of location. We moved to Lake Manyara where we stayed in tents then, later in the week, we were upgraded to huts (finally a warm shower!). The camp was lovely with a campfire where we met new people every night, a bar and we were able to watch the tribe dances and gymnastics after supper. Here we were helping out at Amani Orphanage as well as getting the opportunity to be tourists and explore the area.
When we were given our tour of the orphanage it was great to see just how much The Leap volunteers had put into the making of the orphanage. Many of the paintings on the walls, the buildings and more were all made at least partly by them.
Our first day at the orphanage was spent preparing a garden by hoeing the ground, luckily this was easier than the first week; putting on manure (as the soil is too alkali there) and then watering. As well as this we also painted the outside of the bathroom building, luckily for me we were just painting it white as my art skills were definitely not up to the standard of the other paintings on the walls. On our next day we went to the orphanage’s farm, that a previous Leap volunteer had bought for them.
They had banana trees there which we helped water for them so they could get more food for themselves. Although this may sound an easy task, it was not with the uneven slippy ground of manure and trying to carry full water buckets in a very hot sun was challenging. However although the task was not an easy one we managed to finish, even if we were all covered in manure head to toe, we also have Charlotte to thank for that, and all very much looked forward to a shower when we got back.
Thursday morning was spent going on an amazing bike tour of the lake before the sun got too strong. This was an incredible experience, we saw many animals and got to get so close to them too which is something I had never imagined happening. When we got to the lake some fishermen took us on their boats around the lake where we saw even more flamingos, they even let us have a go at paddling the boat, I couldn’t believe just how shallow the water was there. Although at the end our bottoms were all bruised from the hard bike seats we all had a wonderful time and learnt lots about how the different animals migrate, in some cases daily.
After our exciting adventure of Lake Manyara we then went to a nearby hotel for some lunch and a lazy afternoon by the pool in the warm sun (time to start thinking about tanning!). We enjoyed the pool so much that on Friday after volunteering we came back for one last moment to relax in Lake Manyara.
Saturday was spent travelling back to Arusha after a great time in Lake Manyara. We were all pleased to get a lie in on Saturday morning and on our way to Arusha we stopped by a local town market where many people bought some traditional goods as presents or memories of the trip.
On Sunday we were lucky to travel up to Moshi to go to see Materuni waterfall. It was a bit of a trek to the waterfall but it was definitely worth it. Most of us enjoyed swimming in it, even with the ice cold water, whereas some others just enjoyed the incredible view. After this we then got to go and see how coffee was made in the Moshi coffee plantation. Here there were loads of people with lots of singing and dancing and to top it off we all got a delicious mug of coffee at the end. We even got to try a coffee shot which although may sound disgusting was actually surprisingly nice.
That’s all for this week, it has definitely been a very busy week and we cannot wait for all we have planned for our last week in Arusha.