The team experienced some heavy rains towards the end of the week and through the weekend, which was an exciting and, at times, muddy experience! On Thursday, after some rain showers over night, the teams headed towards the worksites as usual. The small team who were working on Mama Esteria's site found themselves stuck in thick mud on the windy dirt track to the worksite. After some handy use of rocks and lots of pushing, we managed to get the van out and make it down to the worksite warmed up and ready to get to work.
The team spent most of the day moving buckets of sand and piles of bricks from the top of the hill to the worksite through chains. Some team members took longer than others to perfect their catch and throw technique....
After a great day of hard work and laughter, it was time to hike back up the hill to the van and head off home, enjoing the banana trees and beautiful views.
On Thursday night we celebrated Mary's birthday with a cake striped like the Tanzanian flag!
On Friday on Mama Valentina's site, the team had a large pile of bricks to move from the neighbour's land to the site to be broken up and used to help in the constuction and cementing of the floors. We were able to borrow a donkey cart from a family close to the site to make fast work of the task.
The bricks then had to be broken, with pickaxing and good old smashing on the ground. The team greatly enjoyed this particular task!
William, son of Mama Valentina, was back on the site and eager to help. He was keen to show the team which room would be his once the construction is completed.
After a half day on the worksites, the 3 teams came together again to visit Fuka school and Sarah Hardie's house. Fuka is school to over 400 students, including at least 200 orphans and vulnerable children. Vine Trust volunteers supported the construction of Sarah Hardie's house, accommodation for 30 orphaned children who attend Fuka school. The team were able to greet the children with a rendition of "Jambo Buana" which they have been learning from Ben & Elly during their time here. They then spent some time playing with the kids and hearing about the history of Sarah Hardie house.
After a week of hard work on the sites, the team couldn't wait to jump into the pool at Keys hotel and enjoy a great meal as a live band played through dinner.
We celebrated the second team birthday of the week for Andrew McG with a cake in the shape of Africa (though he couldn't eat it himself....).
The team had a fun end to the night dancing together to some classics from the band. The mic was passed to Elly and Harry to lead the team in another "Jambo Buana" sing-along. It was a fantastic night and a great way to end our first week in Tanzania!
It poured all night into Saturday morning. Three teams again set off to the 3 sites looking forward to a half day of hard work. Shortly after leaving the hostel for the sites, the team on its way to Mama Martha's site found themselves well and truly in a mud bath. After a lot of pushing, slipping and sliding, a very muddy team made it back to the main road.
As the rain continued to fall, making it impossible to even reach the sites, the teams turned back to the hostel. The team spent the afternoon visiting Mama Rosa's coffee production site and catching upmon their journal writing. At night we headed to Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge for dinner and some entertainment by trafitional dancers.
Sunday was a full day off for the team and the fundis. We first attended a beautiful church service, which the volunteers found fascinating. We then made our way to Kilimanjaro Gate to learn about the history and myths of Mount Kilimanjaro, then on to the Chagga Live Museum to find out about one of the many tribes in Tanzania, the Chagga tribe. Donna felt at home in the cheif's chair with her guards...
On Monday and Tuesday the weather dried up enough to allow us to head back to the worksites and spend our last 2 days on sites working hard to do as much work as possible to allow the fundis to continue and complete the homes and hand them over to the families as soon as possible. The team are looking forward to returning to the sites on Friday to see the progress that has been made while on safari.
The team will spend Wednesday and Thursday visiting Ngorongoro Crater and Tarengire National Park before departing back to the UK on Friday afternoon. Tune in to Blog post number 4 to find out if they managed to see the Big African 5 on safari and see their final visits to all 3 sites on Friday to wish the families goodbye...!