Greetings from Maji ya Chai

We just heard from Ruth and Matt today about the most recent goings-on of the Tanzania group. Going back several days, the group arrived in their community and were greeted with a ceremony at the local secondary school that included cake and sodas and speeches by the headmaster and several teachers. They took a tour of the school, which was surprisingly large, complete with dormitories for the students who board there.

Other recent highlights include the discovery of the local soccer pitch, which of course led to a soccer game. The main challenge here was getting the cows and goats that were grazing on the field to move on to greener pastures. During the game every once in a while a stray cow would wander back onto the field, making for an unusual sort of challenge when moving the ball downfield.

The group has also been involved in domestic life, learning how to cook ugali (a staple in Tanzania that’s a cross between polenta and cream of wheat) and washing their clothes by hand. As a matter of fact, everyone did laundry last Sunday. This involved hand-washing clothes which were frequently sent back for further laundering by homestay mothers who felt they weren’t clean enough.

As far as the work projects are concerned, the group is putting the finishing touches on 10 toilet stalls. They mixed the cement; laid the brick, and got the walls up. They really enjoyed laying the bricks. Now the roof will go on, and they’ll move on to other work. They will start the creation of a world map mural tomorrow, and they will also start the painting of two classrooms in the school.

Some group members are also getting to go into the classrooms of the secondary school each day to observe the classroom and experience first-hand the educational system in Tanzania.

More soon.

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