Africa: Week 2

Time has been flying.  We’re almost already through our second week of volunteering.  It has been another good week – am wrapping it up tomorrow with another Friday movie day.

My schedule has been pretty much the same.  Math, spelling and reading first thing in the morning, followed by a break where we do some singing and games, and then some storytime, usually.  I try to find some books that the kids can relate to in some way.  Today we read Curious George and Ten Play Hide and Seek.  I’m amazed every time I read at how intently the kids listen to me (and whomever is translating).  They all gather around the table, eyes focused on the book – I really need to take a picture of it.

A very popular game yesterday that one of my kids invented was pressing on my
skin – they love that I can get even whiter than I am now.  That kept them entertained for a good 20 minutes.  We had a brief replay today, but it wasn’t as novel as it had been yesterday.

Yesterday we went to the Marangu area and got to see so much stuff!  We started out with some tire issues, so we spent some time on the side of the road.  Luckily we are easily entertained and we were soon pretending that the parade of goats and cows in front of us was the Great Migration that takes place on the Serengeti.  We eventually got the tire fixed and were on back on the road.  Our first stop was a baobab tree that is 2000 years old!  The baobab tree is known as the “tree of life.”

Our first stop was at a blacksmith’s shop – where we got to see spears being made and check out some handicrafts.  Then we went to the Marangu market and got to check out the action there.  Then we went to the Chagga caves.  They are underground and small – they were used during conflict with the Maasai.  My claustrophobia got the best of me at one point and I was ready to turn around, but we made it to a few bigger chambers and then were able to climb out.  Thank goodness.  A panic attack underground would not have been a lot of fun!

We had lunch there, and I was finally able to try some banana beer.  It tastes more like banana wine, but it was good.  I’m not sure how much of it I would drink in one sitting, but it was nice to share a bottle over lunch.  At this point, it had been raining pretty hard for a while, but eventually slowed down.  Baba told us that the road to the next place we were going was questionable.  We decided to go ahead and try it.  It was Silakiya waterfall.  We were told it was a 10-20 minute hike that would not be slippery despite the rain.  I think they just tell that to all the mzungu to get them to go.

It was not a long hike, but it was steep going down, and slippery, with the recent rain.  I was pretty covered in mud by the time we got to the waterfall.  Because of the rain, the water was muddy and the river was moving too quickly for us to swim, but we got some photos and I knew it would be an interesting climb to get out, so I started back as early as I could.  It was a good hike, but I made it up and we hung out waiting for everyone else to come back.

Our next stop was the Chagga museum.  There, we met Edward, who showed us a traditional Chagga house, gave us some history and information about the daily life of the Chagga tribe, and we got to see tools and other things that were once used regularly by the Chagga.  The Chagga museum is right by a swanky hotel, so we went to check that out.  It was gorgeous – we explored a bit and had time for a coke light and then it was time to go again.

We then began our trip back to town.  The last stop of the day was at Sam’s house.  Sam is a batik artist who runs a gallery out of his house.  He will be giving us a lesson on Monday on how to make batik prints and we are very excited.  Sam makes beautiful things and I ordered three pieces of art.  I couldn’t help myself!

We finally got home and had just enough time to shower and came out to quite the feast.  Primo had bbq’d for us and it was quite a spread!  We ate like we hadn’t eaten all day and I think almost everybody went to bed earlier than usual.
Quite an eventful Wednesday!

It’s Thursday evening now, and there’s more to write, but it’s bedtime.  Back to placement in the morning and then packing and getting ready for Safari this weekend.  We are going to the Ngorogoro Crater and Lake Manyara.  I am so excited for the trip!  I bought my safari hat today, so it is official.

Lala salama (sleep well!).



2 thoughts on “Africa: Week 2

  1. SITA… I am so enjoying reading about your adventure in Africa…what an amazing experience. This is also a wonderful time for these children to enjoy your company as you teach them and share all your knowledge and past experiences. Thank you for sharing. Kitty

    • Thanks Kitty! It truly is an amazing experience. So much to soak in everyday! The kids are wonderful and are very patient with me – we are doing our best to learn together as much as possible. I will definitely be back!

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