Monday, 13 July 2015

Highlights from the amazing team Karimu!!

Here's a few of Rachel and Aimee's favourite pics from the amazing Karimu trip!! Well done and thank you all for your incredible hard work, enthusiasm and kindness! 

And then there were two....

We made it!!! We all survived the heat (and cold) copious amounts of beans, funny tummies, dusty construction sites, cheeky children and roaming cows not to mention the lions!

Our last day began with us venturing in for the last part of our safari. ..Lake manyara. We headed in for about 730, super early which meant we seemed to be the only vehicles amongst the plains and skies of vast natural beauty. Cathy was on a mission to see her last Twigas (Giraffes) and she was in luck as we stumbled across a couple of pairings. To Jamies delight we saw birds galore alongside more hippos, elephants and even a python!

After the safari we ventured towards the airport, preparing for the emotional departure, Kim and Erin went onwards on the second part of their African adventure whilst the rest boarded their plane. ..aside from Ahmet who had the very exciting prospect of an extended evening with Rachel and I. ..more bananagrams ensued before we dropped him off at a grizzly 1200am for his flight.

And then there were two! Only Rachel and I remain (the team leaders), all the volunteers will now be safely home or onto the next phase of their adventures. 

What an amazing trip it was. ..from hauling bricks for schools and dancing with locals to training midwives and schooling the kids; our beautiful daily hikes to solar panel installation; performing in church through to banterful bananagrams. Thankyou Karimu for a wonderful experience, here's to another successful year of hard graft, laughter and memories.

Cheerio for now!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Ngorogoro Crater!

Hello dedicated followers of this here blog! 

This is Sabrina writing to you from Aimee 's tablet device. Lovely! Today was another great day in the car. We ventured to Ngorogoro crater and saw many sought after sights.

One of those sights was a lion pride stalking some other kind of animal that I can't remember right now (sorry). There were about 15 female lions!

 After lunch we were lucky enough to witness two humping hippo's making sweet sweet love. To be honest it looked very unpleasant for the female but who am I to judge? The rest of the day was pleasant as we were all being driven through heaven on Earth.

I'm going to keep this brief because I am very tired but because I love Aimee and Rachel this is how I can give back to them. We are staying in Twiga Lodge and it is very lovely. Not quite as lovely as the hotel we stopped at for drinks after a hard day on the road. 

At this hotel I was bought a virgin pina collata because I am a minor in America. It was delicious regardless of the lack of fun (alcohol) and the view was beautiful. Jamie made a friend as well and figured out how Facebook worked. 

That's all for tonight guys. Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone for an amazing trip to Tanzania. Tomorrow we will be making our journey back to California and the leaders will be eating dinner with Ahmet. Lucky ducks. Goodnight and I'll see you next time!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Some sad goodbyes!!

Hello, up today to watch a game of pick up sticks between Mr Kaaya and Peter, very serious and with some cheating! Next we began an excruciatingly social day. It was the village farewell ceremony and suddenly we were all on stage: dancing, singing, speeches and sad good byes all around. 

Hours of celebration ended with the traditional keki, a sheep who became the life of the party in his selfless sacrifice for our enjoyment. We came, we conquered--our fears, our gastric malaise, and even a black mamba. 

We are off tomorrow for safari and some r&r! We will write again soon. Until then, baadaye.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Cows, coffee and bananagrams!!

Hello all! Greetings from Tanzania!


Yesterday began excellently, as project work is now over and therefore we had the chance to sleep in - breakfast at 8.30am! Some people chose to help milk the cows before breakfast.

This was apparently a humbling experience, as they found out how much more slowly and less efficiently they milked than the Tanzanian man who watched over them patiently.


Later in the day we walked to a coffee farm about a kilometre away. 

Mr Kayaa explained how the raw coffee beans were processed, while the group walked around running their fingers through large tubs of beans in various stages of being processed.

On the walk back Ahmet tried to convince Mr Kaaya that he had the potential to become a youtube star. The dubious Mr Kaaya eventually declined Ahmets offer to be his manager. Sadly, the internet will continue to be unaware of this wonderful and hilarious man.


In the evening the group was engaged in its usual mix of after dinner games....pick-up-sticks, cards, and Banagrams! Even Peter our driver and Alfred our guide are addicted!!!


Lala salamander rafikis,



Sunday, 5 July 2015

A morning with the Masai


Yesterday morning we got up to a nice breakfast accompanied with the Masai that slept over at the institute after an amazing night of cultural education and understanding filled with songs and dances.

 After breakfast, our usual hike over to Dareda Primary School went really well. On site we moved more bricks and painted more windows. When break time came, we were invited over to Ayalagaya Secondary to have some tea and butter sandwiches. Not a lot of work needed to be done after break, and eventually we finished! It was our last day of Project Work and it was definitely a nice way to finish as a sense of satisfaction took over us. The hike back was full of thoughts about the warm shower water that awaited us after a hot day under the sun and an amazing dinner cooked by the lovely staff. On Sunday we will visit the Catholic Church and a coffee plantation. Peace and love, from the only Turk on this trip, Ahmet. Also, happy 4th of July to all my American friends.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Last day on site.....

Today is Karimus last day on the Dereda construction site and everybody is still working so hard doing all the finishing touches! What an incredible job everyone has done.... They should all be extremely proud!! 

Congratulations Susan and Linda!

A huge congratulations to Karimus Dr Susan and Linda for successfully completing 2 days of mid wife training to which an astounding 40 traditional mid wives attended!! All leaving with free mid wife kits including due date calculator, medical reference booklets and additional knowledge of symptoms and ailments of new borns and their mothers! A massive achievement and a lot of hard work! Amazing! 

Friday, 3 July 2015

A triumphant success!!

Today we got off to an early start walking to the construction site. A light drizzle kept us cool on the trip over. 

Once there, we opted to teach art classes in the morning instead of working. I did watercolour with the kids, who were no older than 6. Who knew kids could be so creative?! I had a blast and took some wacky pictures with the kids before going on to the secondary school for lunch. We ate with the students, and I was reunited with my friend Thobias from last year. After lunch, it was on to more art classes. I taught how to draw a proportionally incorrect human face, and supervised two whole hours of high octane drawing. The kids were a great sport and I barely had to do anything!

Meanwhile back at the institute, it was a full house again for the second day of midwife training, full of enthusaistic faces ready to learn and practice with fake babies and observe the acting skills of the volunteers in labour. The training culminated with the midwives singing some joyous thank you songs to everyone for their support, a very special moment!

Come the end of the day we were all in good spirits, and are now enjoying some well earned R & R (a special mention to Dr. Susan and Linda for all their work over the last 9 months planning and preparing for the midwife training which was a triumphant success). Tomorrow it's back to manual labor for many of us, whilst others are supporting pen pal writing to schools back in California and meeting with the local micro finance group, Ufagro. Good night from David Gordon.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

An Awesome day!!

What an awesome day yesterday was!!

We have so much to report. First at Dareda Primary school, part of the group held teaching and crafting activities, which the children love, while others performed construction tasks at the classroom renovation project.

Then, in the afternoon, we welcomed 31 beautiful and enthusiastic midwives to the training that Dr Susan has been preparing for many months.

The teams teaching approach was very successful with lessons presented by Dr. Wilson (from Tanzania), Dr. Kim, Dr. Jamie and Dr. Susan (all from California).

Teaching assistance was provided by the lovely Dylyn, Erin and Sophia. We will continue with a full day of teaching tomorrow as well.

Last but not least -

Welcome home Nicky - I miss you, love mummy (Kim)!

Happy 10th Birthday to Lexi Presser. Papa and I love you very much! See you soon (Linda).

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Another beautiful day.

Jambo from Bacho 
Today, we had the second day of teaching at Ufani Primary School. The students as well as the teachers joined in the fun- thumbprint animals, beading, watercolor painting, and much more. 

Jamie, Kim and Sophia spent the morning at the dispensary diagnosing and treating general medical concerns with Dr. Joyce. 

Construction was cancelled because of rain which means more to do in the remaining days! We went to the monthly market in the afternoon, many of us practicing our bartering skills. Khangas were the most sought after item- though it was so difficult to choose from all the beautiful fabrics. As usual, the walk home from Dareda never disappoints. 

The afternoon sun shining on the beautiful hills and mountains that make up the eastern rift of this beautiful valley. We had companions as well on our walk - children, cows, goats, and many of the locals coming from the market. Such a wonderful way to end the work day. 

After dinner, Banagrams, a scrabble type word game, continues to be a huge hit and the most popular evening entertainment! We are all fine and are well taken care of by our friends here in Bacho, but we do miss our friends and family at home. Sending our love across the many miles.


A moving moment!

Lots of fun and creativity again today with the kids of ufani primary school. Some inspirational activities from the volunteers! Very impressive to watch and extremely moving to see the 51 children that attended show us all their drawings with such excitement and pride!! Mzuri (beautiful).