Monday, December 29, 2008

“If we are to teach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children.” Mahatma Gandhi

(on our way to DAR-Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil... hey it was a long plane ride and we were excited!)

(to see all my "artistic" pictures of africa go to:

Remembering Africa <3 Africa, for me, was an incredible place. It all started in the diverse capital city of Dar es Salaam. Now, that was a very amazing melting pot of different cultures. This was the city where we landed, obtained our visas, and had Swahili and culture training. Although I was traveling with 2 of my friends, this was the time when 2 different groups of volunteers came together for one cause: to educate ourselves for the benefit of the mission. I met amazing lifelong friends from Australia, the UK, Ireland, and Canada.

After our "big city" educational adventure we moved on. We took one of the craziest busrides of my life. It was a 14 hour bus ride on mostly dirt roads with the scariest cliffs, turns and speeds involved.

Singida was a notch down from DAR. It is the town where we finished our language and culture training and also the town where we would come once a week for our weekly food shopping trips.

So.. after our training program, we were enroute to the village of Mvae. The drive there was extremely emotional for all of us. We all sat in the jeep quiet as can be as the roads got smaller and smaller and civilization got further and further away. I'm not sure what was running through their minds but I was definitely thinking about the danger we were in. We were 45 minutes away from a hospital, so if anything happened to us, it could of been serious. So to add to the anxiety, we arrive to our destination and it is an enclosed area, with only a couple of shelves and tables in the middle of it. Our perimeter were dead sunflower stems. We all had to take a breather before we stepped out of the jeep to greet the villagers. We greeted everyone "habari za leo?" ..."nzuri sana"... "jambo".. "mambo".."poa"... etc, and then we realized we needed to set everything up before the sunset. Here is what our camp looked like:

and then when we made it our home:
The kitchen, how we cooked, the "chu" aka bathroom, our bedroom, the oven we built, the "shower", and "mill banking" --the water purification system.

Here are some pictures of amazing times, amazing people, and an amazing culture:

Kim, Brownie, and I

Our weekend beer delivery :)

TANZANIAN IPOD!!!! AHAHAHA and our homemade "drafts" table.

Beautiful Children:

Building the Health Dispensary
(I have a new respect for bricks now)


The Villagers had a little celebration for us..
(it was our last day)

SAMUEL! our awesome night guard!

Africa will be a country that will have a special place in my heart. I hope someday I can return to visit the village and see if the health dispensary is running smoothly and also be able to see the beautiful people of the village of Mvae.