Enjoyable Day in the Heart of Tanzania

“No more turning away, from the weak and the weary;

No more turning away from the coldness inside.

Just a world that we all must share,

It’s hard enough just to stand and stare.

Is it only a dream that there’ll be no more turning away.”

– On the Turning Away, Pink Floyd


The group woke up to a chilly yet sun-filled morning in Pommern. We ate breakfast together and listened to Mimi’s account of the group’s activities from the day before. Me and Eric went off to help Moses with plastering the wall in the kitchen while the rest of the group got ready for the day’s teaching – Mimi went off to teach a divinity class; Ryan went back to his Form 6 literature students and Garza and Carlos went off to teach math and economics, respectively.

We all met again at 10 for tea time and sat with the various teachers, listening to announcements and enjoying some tea and donuts. Working on the kitchen in the later morning was tiring but we were making good progress: the bricks for the wall had been laid and we had begun to smooth out the surface of the wall with the same concrete we’d used to stick the bricks together. Funny how ‘exposed brick’ is a luxury back home but here it’s probably seen as something less appealing.

At lunch we talked about our various work and classes and Garza and Carlos told us they’d be teaching a Spanish class to some teachers in the afternoon. Edward was a little bit skeptical but Carlos and Garza were really looking forward to it. The work rotation changed a little bit in the afternoon: Mimi and Eric went to go haul water from the clinic to the water tank platform while me and Ryan headed back to the kitchen.

It was a long afternoon, but again: productive. We managed to finish the wall near the entrance and smooth the surface – Moses is a tireless worker and it takes everything we’ve got to keep up with him. But he’s a good and patient teacher – never getting angry at your mistakes, only laughing at the Wazungu. We finished up around 4:30 and walked back to the mission house, satisfied in the knowledge of a hard day’s work.

When we got back we learned that Edward had been stung by a bee and we were invited to have dinner at his house. We all relaxed a little and some of us took much needed showers. It turned out that Carlos and Garza’s Spanish lessons had been a big success and they were planning more lessons in the future.

Edward’s wife (Engera) prepared a great meal for us and they were excellent hosts. Carlos found a laser pen earlier in the day that he’d bought in Europe and Edward thought it was very interesting.

After that Mimi and Eric walked back to the mission house while myself, Ryan, Carlos and Garza went to try some Safari beer. It had been a long day and we all looked forward to the trivial pursuit championships that we had planned as our reward for the day’s endeavors. Another educational and enjoyable day in the heart of Tanzania.

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