Berwickshire High School Team Blog: Tanzania June 2019

Berwickshire High School Team Blog: Tanzania June 2019

Tuesday 4th June

The team arrived at Berea in the morning. A busy day was spent in Moshi, touring the local markets were there was lots of interesting and unusual items for sale. The evening was finished with a games night and some chalk on pavement fun for all! 

Wednesday 5th June

Our first day on the two home-building sites for Devotha and Tumaini's new homes. After a long journey up some very simple roads, we arrived at the site to huge welcomes from both the local community. There was plenty of singing and dancing in traditional Tanzania style. The community leaders and village chairman attended the site to greet us. After the introductions, we were thanked for coming all the way from Scotland to help. 

After a site safety inspection, the team had a warm-up workout which everyone joined in with and had great fun together. We started digging the foundations of the new home. By lunchtime, the foundations were dug and we began to fill them with boulders. 

The group then was able to form a chain of people to pass buckets of sand which was dropped by the path some 150 metres away. This was a good workout and lots of fun with the local community joining in and helping!

Thursday 6th June

We visited the two houses which Berwickshire High had built in 2017. It was so lovely to see the completed houses being lived in. We arrived to a great welcome again and listened to the stories of how the house had made life so much better. More singing and dancing by everyone at the site. The team were really pleased to see the houses which their school had previously built. 

Saturday 8th June

Today we started the foundation of the house for Philemon which is the third house. This was a day earlier than planned due to the hard work and effort of the teams supported by the local community. Philemon was delighted to see us arrive on site and her neighbours also came across to welcome us also. 

The ground was much softer to dig foundations, however due to it being so soft we needed to dig deeper for a good base for the foundations otherwise they would have moved in time. 

Tumaini's house is progressing well and up to the top of the windows and nearly ready for the lintels to be formed to hold the walls together and prepare for the roof. 

We will be back to Devotha's house on Tuesday to complete the floors and last blocks before it's also ready for the roof. 

It started raining this afternoon and instead of running for shelter, we enjoyed the cool water washing the dust of our faces. It was very refreshing and welcome, unlike the rain at home!

Monday 10th June

Birthday boy Robbie up high!

An opportunity for the team to lay blocks and fill the mortar on the internal wall after moving over 200 blocks and 2 tonnes of sand!

Tuesday 11th June

A great trip to Chang's Museum to hear the history of the tribe. Then further up Kilimanjaro to the Marangu gate to see where walkers of this route start. There are six different routes up the mountain with this one being easier as it has a sheltered hut to sleep in during a trek. 

At Devotha's house, it was the final day on site. With the heavy rains making the journey very difficult, the third van couldn't make the last mile up to the site so leaving some of the team with a bit of a walk! All in good spirits as the others would be on site starting the final chain line of people to transport buckets of sand. The house is up to the lintel and once it dries, the roof can then be started.

The group had brought some house warming presents of laundry soap, sugar and rice as we bid farewell to Devotha and her mother. The donations of clothing and toys will be made once they are moving into the house. This evening, we are out for dinner at the Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge which is rumoured to have the best pizza in town!

Below: Archie and Finn finally give in and wash some clothes. No excuses when they get home to keep their laundry up to date!

Wednesday 12th June

Today we celebrated the completion of volunteer work at Tumaini's site. Fundis (builders) will be starting the roof tomorrow and then the windows, doors and wall plastering over the next week. 

Time to play with the children on site which has been enjoyable for all. Everyone having such good fun and making new friends. 

We finished the evening with a dinner and ceilidh. Both Berwickshire and Earlston schools together with our partners- TAWREF staff and drivers. Everyone was dancing and having fun. 

Volunteer work was completed on Philemon's new home today with the last buckets of sand being carried to the site. Huge applause when the final bucket was emptied! The work is up to the lintel shorting which has been a fantastic achievment with the softer ground and additional foundations required. Help from the local children carring empty buckets and even some full ones. Amazing strength!

Thursday 13th June

Our final visit to Philemon and Tumaini's site today to say farewell and hand over gifts. A new mattress, bed covers and pots and pans for the new house. We also gave rice, sugar and laundry soap. The students were sorry to be leaving however all looking forward to going on safari tomorrow.

Friday 23rd August

Our Vine Trust Tanzanian coordinators have been in touch with some great news - Devotha and Tumainis' homes are now complete! 

The handover ceremonies were joyous occasions with lots of singing and dancing. The ceremonies were attended by TAWREF, local community leaders, neighbours, family, friends, and our Tanzanian Vine Trust team.

Our Berwickshire High School team were delighted to hear the news and see pictures of Devotha and Tumaini outside their new homes. 


Tuesday 10th September

Our Vine Trust Tanzanian coordinators have been in touch with more great news - Philemon's home is now complete! The handover ceremony was full of celebration as Philemon now has a safe and secure home to live in. 

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