Week 6 in Tanzania, days before the climb!


“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
There’s always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose”

The final week before the climb was hectic! I was busy trying to help the kids learn their lines and stop using the scripts altogether. It was a tough challenge for them and at some point I felt like giving up because we were running out of time. However, these kids never stopped to impress me!

We went on to prepare costumes and having fun all throughout the week. I had to pull them from lessons from time to time in order to rehearse, and then the day finally came! It was also my last day at the school with them, and I can’t even begin to describe how emotional it all was. The performance was beautiful it brought me to tears, but unfortunately there is no recording of the actual play. Below are extracts from rehearsals taken by Amanda on her ipad, and some singing rehearsals from my camcorder. Sound on the videos here is sometimes off because Amanda had unknowingly been blocking the speakers. But the action will speak for itself, I hope 🙂

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Before the performance, I took pictures of the characters in their “costumes”, something that I will always cherish (the pictures) as I can look at them and relive the Tanzanian days! At the performance, Mama Anna, the founder of the school on whom the story is based, graced us with her presence. Daniphord also came and took loads of pictures. All the teachers were present and the rest of the school lined up to watch the performance which was in a promenade style. There were showers on the day, but that didn’t stop the performance. Afterwards I was asked to give a speech but I hadn’t prepared myself for this. However, the words that came from my mouth, came from the bottom of my heart. I reminded the kids about everything that I’d taught them, and I told them to remember that education is indeed a light that will shine their paths to greatness. I reminded them of how privileged they were to be in school when other children had to work, herd cattle or do chores for their large families. The whole experience opened my eyes as well, because here in England, education is free until university, and even then, you have a foundation for your life, you can make something for yourself; yet we take it for granted and choose a life of delinquency. 
After my speech, Mama Anna gave a moving speech too! She is that kind of woman who is so humble it gives you chills. When she opens her mouth to speak, every single word is laced with compassion and love, and I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two when she presented me with a kanga (a cloth) and said, “May it protect you from the rain, wind, sun and mud as you’ve endured all that throughout your time here!” The headteacher announced of my leaving, and the kids started to cry. I couldn’t help but cry too. We had an awkward group hug full of tears – tears of joy and also sadness that I was leaving now. The rest of the afternoon was rather melancholic, even though I tried my best to cheer them up with candy! It was indeed an experience of a lifetime!

the kids were crying after the performance! aw

Friday night I went out for a meal at Mt Meru Hotel with Amanda and Theo. The live band was playing and it was busier than ever! The service was really slow but it was happy hour so we occupied ourselves with drinks. We made plans to go swimming the following day, before Amanda and Theo would go to pick up her other son, Ben. Saturday I went to the Maasai Market to buy more souvenirs, and then went back home to rest in preparation for the first day of the climb the following day!

xx

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