Oranges are not the only fruit

As I write this, I am sitting in a small room filled with plastic chairs and tables and Tanzanian men, all facing a small TV placed on top of a fridge freezer. Everyone is shouting because they’ve just announced that transport costs are going up and a heated discussion has started. I’m nursing a cup of hot fresh milk, a rarity in the land of UHT, and waiting for the order I made at the wooden counter in the corner of the room, below it a glass counter filled with mandazi that people are buying to dip into their heavily sugared milk. Continue reading

The topic was clothes…

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These guys just break my heart sometimes. I really want the meeting on Friday (originally Tuesday) to go well.

Leila

So here she is, finally… Glamourpuss, face-paint devotee, artist, sous chef (don’t expect much potato left after the “peeling” process), dancer, HUGE supporter of Ben 10, awesome nativity lamb, queen of “sucking your nostrils in and holding it”, pirate, fairy… The list goes on. More than anything she is just really good fun to teach and work with and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved so far. Continue reading

I get by with a little help from my friends (and family)

Aside

Often people will text, email or write to say how proud they are of me, what an amazing thing I’m doing, how brave I am. It’s not to be knocked (actually, I quite like it) but I think it’s important to make the point that I really would not be able to do any of this without the support from everybody at home. Continue reading

Can you help?

Me looking a bit pleased with myself

Yes, I can hear you, “more sodding requests for support *dramatic sigh*” but really, with your respective countries in the state that they are I’ll wager all your doing is sitting on your couch, glued to yet another depressing news story about house prices going down, food prices going up, possibility of triple-dip recessions and desperately in need of the feel good factor. Well here’s a way you can have it and it won’t even cause charity fatigue. Isn’t that nice of me? Continue reading

Exciting news!

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Having followed up a contact from a friend, I’m very excited to say that Raleigh International http://www.raleighinternational.org/ are coming in March to see me and the school with a view to taking on Bugando as a project.

Raleigh’s approach to project work is to usually engage with partners over a long term period in order to add to their capacity. This ensures that we are undertaking work that has already been identified by local organisations and that will have on-going governance once our volunteers leave. This usually leads to us working with local NGOs and government departments. However in the case of this work, given that the school is well established it could become the partner.

 I would be more than willing to visit the school in the coming months, with a view to seeing if the work needed is suitable for our volunteers and understand the needs of the project.

Feeling so encouraged by this. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for March!

Leo, ninajifunza lugha ya alama ya Tanzania


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(Today, I am learning Tanzanian Sign Language)

So today I went for my first proper Tanzanian Sign Language lesson at Tunaweza (We can). Continue reading

Aside

So, amongst the highs and the lows and the amazing experience you’ll be having, they forget to mention that sometimes you’ll feel terribly lonely and miss your friends and family dreadfully… Thank goodness mine came for a visit! Thank you both for being so bloomin’ marvellous – such adventures! For all your support and each and everything – you are both “beautiful and up-to-date” people. See you soon xx