Two weeks until the climb! – week 4 in Tanzania


Writing the title of this blog post has made me somewhat emotional – I’ve realised that I’ve only got 2 weeks left with the kids, and 3 weeks left in Tanzania before going back to my life of mediocrity! (Well, that’s soon about to change, the average life I led back then). It’s been wonderful so far and I know it will get even better before I leave.

This previous week, the students were on holiday for their Easter Break. I spent most of the time making materials for them (when I wasn’t watching Vampire Diaries or exploring Arusha, that is), and I’m quite pleased with what I’ve produced for them so far. They’re so eager to learn and I’m here to help them in any way I can, providing them with extra material to learn from and improve; be it their grammar, speech, mathematical skills or just confidence in general. Being a former student who has absolutely no teaching background, sometimes it is daunting to take up this responsibility. It requires patience, compassion, hard work and friendliness because children respond so well to smiling faces and gentle voices. They’re all so lovely it makes it so exciting to wake up each morning, looking forward to seeing their big smiles and toothless grins!

My skin was peeling (still is) from the sunburn and I felt very tempted to just scrape it all off! I did scrub it extra hard but sadly, nature takes its time and if it’s not time for the peeling to stop yet, the peeling won’t stop! I also tried to do some maths revision and I managed to do Chapter 1 exercise 1 and that was it!
I know it’s not too bad

On Thursday, for the first time in my life, I went to a yoga class, accompanied by Samina who is a regular. It was located at this beautiful lodge in the quietest area with green grass and tall trees everywhere, accommodating melodious song birds that were chirping away, with the crickets backing them up to compose a beautiful, peaceful sound that made me feel in touch with nature. It was the best setting for something like this, as we did meditation afterwards with not a sound disturbing us. We got there on a piki-piki (motorbike), after a dala-dala ride from near the Impala Hotel. The session kicked off with a series of stretches with deep-breathing techniques incorporated in-between each stretch. It was very difficult for me to keep my balance and I was scared I’d be that girl who falls over doing the weirdest stretches ever, knocking down the person next to me like a domino effect. The meditation was called “The Arch Angels meditation” or something like that. My mind wandered off after the first 5 minutes because my attention span isn’t that great. Clearly I need to discipline my mind and body. It was really nice though.
Saturday I spent the afternoon at a cafe near Shoprite shopping centre, using the free WiFi and enjoying a slice of chocolate cake. Later I went back to Sekei before going with Dani to Samina’s house for dinner. First we took her dog Kichichi, named after avocados (Parachichi) for a walk. She is a very energetic dog that loves running around and jumping about (to be frank that sounds like the typical dog). I held her on her leash once just to get over my fear of dogs. It was quite fun although passers-by got scared thinking she was on a leash because she’s dangerous! After the nice walk, Samina prepared us a delicious vegetarian meal with kidney beans (my favourite) and also some salad. It was a nice, relaxed evening with music and soft drinks, after which Dani and I went back to Sekei.
Yesterday, I went hiking again as the weather was lovely and it hadn’t rained for a while. We went near Moshi where we could actually see Uhuru Peak! (the top of Mt Kilimanjaro). 
I covered myself in sun screen, not wanting a repeat of the last time I went hiking when I got sun burnt. Every once in a while I reapplied because the sun was just too strong! We trekked for a bit and got to a hill which seemed easy and small from afar, but rather draining once on it. I was starting to get a headache even though I must have drank like 1.5 litres of water within 3 hours. We had a couple of breaks to have a bite and rest a bit, then carried on to another hill which had these massive rocks that we were somehow meant to go over. I was terrified! The guides just walked up effortlessly, like it was nothing and I was quite impressed. 
An old train track that’s going to be reconstructed in the near future

Uhuru Peak (top of Mt Kilimanjaro) zoomed in

Uhuru Peak (top of Mt Kilimanjaro)
Descending was even worse as the hill was covered in pebbles and I constantly slipped, almost sliding all the way down, through the thorny acacia trees and that. We walked some more and finally we got back to the car. I still had a headache and I tried to sleep on the way back, but the speed bumps woke me with a start all the time! I had to drag my feet across the ground to go home with a serious face on as I couldn’t be bothered to smile or anything. People occasionally called out “Mambo!” (like “What’s up?”) and I’d just mumble “Poa” (like “nothing much” or something like that). They probably thought I was being rude. When I got home, I couldn’t wait for a nice cold shower, shampooed my hair and then tried to take a nap. Unfortunately the church next door decided to blare out music, just for bants. It wasn’t even a service, just randomly playing CDs. How lovely!
Later in the evening, Amanda and her son, the new volunteers, finally arrived from Nairobi. Unfortunately for them, there’d been a power-cut literally minutes before they arrived. Dinner was already made so that wasn’t a problem, but they had to use a candle for a bit. After almost 2 hours, the power came back on and we were all happy again! I went to bed quite early (11pm) so I’d be up for school in the morning to see my lovely kids again! Overall, it’s been a great week!
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