Friday, 21 July 2017

Safari and... homeward bound!

The finale

The team were up at the crack of dawn. We wearily packed up the last of our belongings and loaded the safari vehicles ready for a long day ahead. 

Prior to our departure from Malangi School, we said our goodbyes to the wonderful fundis, beautiful Cook Helena, and the legendary Uhana. Once again, tears were flowing and Nina's heart was broken in the knowledge she may never see Robson again. #sozCoops :/

We promptly headed off to the Tarangire Safari Park in our pimp mobiles: the French Krew (plus Anna & Matt); the Gyaldem (plus Ollie & Slim); and The Banter Bus (plus Breezy). 

Our day was filled with ticking off the cast of Lion King and Jungle Book including Lions, Zebras (lots of Zebras) Wilderbeast, Antelope, Elephants, ostriches, Hornbills, Giraffes, Warthogs, Cheetahs, guinea fowl, vultures and more...! 

A highlight was when we first spotted Giraffes lolloping across the plains with Ollie shrieking "My People!!!" Another was Angharad's recurring comments: "look, it's a Zebra crossing" every time the jazzy animals took to the road. 

More majestic moments involved the encountering of a herd of Elephants 🐘that were arm's length away, and the lioness who was strolling just 10m from our vehicles. Wow. 

The Safari was a perfect way to wrap up our fantastic trip. 

We now sit by a campfire having reflected on our experiences of the past two weeks. Many expressed heartwarming feelings of pride and sheer happiness as well as a huge sense of achievement for our completed project work over the past two weeks. We are playing our final rounds of mafia, ensuring high levels of killing (gotta maintain a balance). 

The team await midnight to celebrate a happy birthday to Megan, followed by a long journey back to Heathrow. Looking forward to integrating ourselves back into mzungu-land and being hit by the familiar smells of London's fumes. 

On that note, we would like to take this opportunity to thank family, friends and other loved ones for their responses to the blog. We have appreciated every message and embarrassment (the soppier the better. Haha). We are all looking forward to return and share our experiences, develop our camera films as well as catch up with everyone. 

Signing off for the final time,

With love,

Breezy and Victor

A note from the Inspire Leaders:

It was a pleasure working with your young people and they are a credit to you and their school. They achieved above and beyond what was expected, both in terms of the work and their community engagement. We've had such a fantastic trip with them and please look after them over the coming weeks as they readjust - we hope you enjoy hearing all of the stories! Thanks for all your blog comments they really carried them through. All the best! Ellie and Matt 

P.S collection is at Heathrow, landing at 4:10pm 22/07/17

See info below!! 







Thursday, 20 July 2017

Leaving...

Day 12

Despite disturbance by Megan's sleep talking and being haunted by James and Izzy's mafia masterclass the night before, the group rose enthusiastically to continue our final days work. Yet more eggy bread graced the breakfast table, reminding  us just how much Helena's cooking will be missed. 

Finishing painting the classrooms was tinged with sadness as we realised these final coats of paint were our final piece of work in the school.

This tinge of sadness continued into the afternoon however the community raised our spirits, by preparing a tamu (delicious in Swahili) lunch for us. 

These mixed feelings continued into the leaving ceremony. The singing and giving of gifts by the community made us understand the impact of our visit here not only on the school but amidst the community as a whole. Julian's speech in particular was inspiring and reminded us that our work does not stand alone but promotes a sustainable future for the whole community as methods can be replicated in the local's homes. However, Uhana's moving speech - the first he has ever given to a group like ours -began Shannon's tears (which over the course of the afternoon became a chain reaction that took down most of the team). 

"Feels like Reading's come early" was how Charlie described the following experience. Dancing with over 300 children, draped in traditional African garms, to Tanzania's answer to Pitbull. 

It was as this experience drew to a close that the waterworks really started. The realisation that we may never see these children again got to all of us. From the girl in the Christmas pjs, to Hasina who has visited us everyday, and the little girl with matching patterned clothes to Anna. Nina and Ella's sobs were enough to spark concern amongst the local teachers and Maasai blankets had to double up as shock blankets. While more quiet the sight of a child, no more than six, comforting James was enough to set the rest of the group off (once again).

However, the group hugs, arrival of our Safari vehicles, and chips mayai for dinner brightened our spirits. This evening we gave gifts to our leaders in thanks for everything they have done for us, and find ourselves reflecting on this life-changing experience and what it has come to mean to us. 

We are looking forward to seeing you all, and please keep the comments coming.

Lots of love, Angharad and Izzy 

P.S from Megan 
Happy birthday Dad, can't wait to see you and everyone on Saturday when we can celebrate together. Love from Megan xxxxxx

PPS see you all at Heathrow on Saturday at 4.10pm!!!













Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Development debates

Day 12.
Despite a disrupted nights sleep in the girls room due to the riveting solo sleep conversation by Megan, we began our morning mzungo stretches, led by MC Clements AKA the real slim shady; Matt and Uhana's questionable balance brightening our mornings, as per. 

The team split in two: Victor Dan, Charlie and Slim were laying bricks to finish the kitchen chimney, while Shannon visited the local market, collecting her wavy garms and bartering for the days fresh fruits and vegetables. 

The rest of the gang began creating seedling mud tubes for the market garden, led by Fundi Robson - much to the delight of Nina (Cooper, due to your lack of contact, you are assumed dead and have been replaced). 

Another two layers of paint were applied to the classroom walls (as well as mysterious hand shape on Dans bottom). 

An afternoon development workshop sparked enthusiastic discussions: What is poverty? Football stadium; Yay or Nay? Guilt or empathy? Will there be enough duct tape for Slims 'sandals' to last the remainder of the week? 

Thanks for the comments, they brighten up our evenings. See below for messages to parents below.

Messages for madres:
For Ollie's madre: 17 portions of lasagne (the entire team took your question as an invite) - James is requesting a barbecued lasagne. 

For Megan's mum: 
Happy Birthday, have an amazing day and eat lots. Love you and miss you from Megan xxxx









Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Porridge!

Day 11. 

Today we woke up with excellent news: Babati's porridge shortage had been replenished and it was back on the menu, much to our delight. Two new culinary atrocities were achieved today -Ollie's ginger tea / coffee fusion and Izzy's egg and ketchup sandwich,  dipped in porridge and eggshells (accidentally). 

With full bellies we took to MC clem's fitness arena for stretching, only to turn around to the local students copying our questionable hip rotations and foot flexes. 

The painters (Angharad, Megan, Breezy and Shannon) did a fabulous job, with the second classroom well underway to completion. Tuneage varied from Led Zeppelin to Little Mix and of course, the hourly dosage of Ed Sheeran. The Grey Court emblem was painted on the wall between the two classrooms we worked on,  meaning a piece of each of us will always remain here in Africa. Over in the kitchen, Charlie, Victor and Ollie slaved away at finishing the plastering, another job very well done with significant improvements on Charlie's behalf, achieving a debatable 32% plaster coverage.  Meanwhile, in the market garden, Nina, Ella, Izzy, Anna and Miss Higham had the unfortunate but surprisingly fun job of manure and soil mixing, which led to slight insanity and subsequent laughing fits thanks to the methane intoxication (and probably Nina's teeth and Izzys ear being covered in a mud/poo concoction).  

James and Dan took their turn jetting off to the market with James' comment being "what more can I say" ... having not said anything. Both returned home safely despite the fight amidst the locals in the market, with James sporting a floral number and Dan having ordered his chicken patterned wavy trousers. 

After a long days work and an animal inspired Swahili lesson, James, Shannon, Ella, Izzy and Breezy whipped out their toes and shoulders for a provocative yet successful tanning session. 

At 4pm African time, Malangi School challenged us to a heated netball match. Anna's skills shone through as brightly as Ollie's luminous legs, which made a game changing appearance (unfortunately negative, seeing as three more goals were scored for the opposition). The intensity of the match stepped up a level when our opposing team's coach tossed aside her weave to ensure an aggressive defence against Helena and Shannon in the attacking D. 


We lost. 


Severely. 


However Angharad maintained high spirits by teaching the local kids an iconic British clapping game - "A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea". 

After well deserved showers, the bathrooms echoed 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (a reoccurring group anthem), with antiphonal interaction between the boys and girls for the "Galileo" line. A thorough yoga session followed ensuring deep stretches and considerable zen-ful shrieks coming from yogi Victor. 

Helena's cooking (peng as per) satisfied our bellies. And now we are settling into a night of bowel action and increasing delirium. 

Thank you for listening and responding thus far. Our adventure is almost over and your messages mean so much to us ! We are immensely proud of the work we have done and the impacts we are having in this community. It has been a sheer delight and honour. 

With love and insanity,

Izzybizzybreezydigidigi





Monday, 17 July 2017

Dancing!

Day 10 
This morning's hard labour in the garden ensured that we're well on our way to completion. Once again the absolute bangers were relentless in the painting rooms with the lucky few witnessing Matt's renditions of Ed Sheeran. However it's undeniable that Matt's shining moment was dancing at the community lunch, though he may have been overshadowed by Julian and Anna who seemed to be naturals at traditional Iraki dancing. 

We were kindly invited to lunch at a community member's home which was an amazing experience. After getting to grips with eating without cutlery, we benefitted from an eye opening q&a session, in which we were pleasantly surprised by the equality of genders in Tanzania, whilst the locals were shocked at hearing we let our pets sleep in our beds (namely Shannon). 

We ended with songs and dancing in which we all got involved and relished in uncontrollable laughter. Each member of the group is slowly getting their tailor-made wavy garms, and crisis was avoided as rice had to be fetched last minute for dinner because Ellie left the shopping at the market this morning. Only three days left at Malangi, and none of us are quite ready to leave yet. See you all very soon, keep up with the comments, they're the highlight of our evenings!











Church, footy and a visit

Apologies for the delayed blog- the team didn't have wi fi yesterday!!

Sunday morning - a day of rest! Helena, Angharad and Anna prepared another wonderful breakfast. Although Izzy once again disturbed the peace with her egg and butter combo. 

We then got into our Sunday best and headed to the local church for the most uplifting and energetic service we've ever witnessed. We sang- as Mr Clements told the congregation- "a traditional hymn by well known modern poet Mark Ronson about a lonely woman living in sin who found god through music" (can you guess the song? ;) ). While this may have puzzled the congregation we are sure they were impressed by Charlie's outstanding vocals and Ollie's drumming. 

Ollie and Megan were chosen to accompany Uhana, Matt and Miss Higham to Uhana's family home for a fresh lunch prepared by his loving mother. Uhana's wife, mother and child then accompanied him back to the school. Shannon- being Shannon- burst into full sprint towards the baby upon seeing her.

The rest of the group found themselves sprinting too, the football match was a success thanks to our leader/manager MC Clem. On the other hand, most of us were wondering why we agreed to run around for an hour and a half in the blazing sun yet one of our leaders - Ellie - decided the best technique to stop the ball getting past her was to throw herself like a dead fish at anybody that approached. Anna and Breezy represented the girls which left shocked faces amongst our male opponents whilst Dan ran up and down the pitch in full sprint with Victor ordering him around - as per usual. In the end, the highlight for us was James' 20 minute cameo until he realised he forgot his inhaler for his "sport-induced asthma" (but don't worry, James is fine and dandy) after being comforted by our avid cheer leaders Higham, Nina and Ella.

Lots of love: Angharad (are you happy now Cazy?), Anna, Dan, Ollie and Megan (we tag teamed this one)

PS. For Joshua Grubb, so proud of ya big man! Aunty Anna here sending her love to all of you ickle ones. Hope all are well loving the comments- Dan  loved the shout out!

















Saturday, 15 July 2017

Lake Babati

Day 8. Today got off to an egg-cellent start with eggy bread for breakfast. The harmony of the group was somewhat disrupted by the revelation that Dan and Izzy think ketchup on eggy bread is acceptable. 

Breezy, Ollie and Nina set to work continuing the stove building- although some of the fundi were upset that Shannon would not be returning. 

Shannon instead opted to sand down the second classroom along with Megan, Ella, Izzy and Ms Higham. This was done to the soundtrack of all three High School Musicals, and Pitch Perfect, which Martin (one of the fundis) particularly enjoyed. 

Meanwhile in the market garden the frame for the plant shelter is now in place. In the afternoon we travelled to nearby Babati Lake in hope of seeing hippos and crocodiles. This hope was dashed upon arrival however Breezy maintains she heard a hippo fart (no one else heard this so we're not convinced). 

Despite not seeing hippos we took the opportunity for a photo shoot. We were all entertained by Victor's ability to appear in the back of any photo, and Anna's uncanny impression of the Statue of Liberty (holding a broken lamp found on the ground). On the way home James was "assassinated"- and promptly proceeded to give the rest of the car the silent treatment for the remainder of the journey.

Tonight I (Angharad) was much cheered by the sight of spaghetti. We finished the evening rehearsing our song for church tomorrow and we have arrived at the realisation that Charlie's vocals will definitely steal the show.

Thank you so much for the comments- they are keeping our spirits high, so please keep them coming 

Lots of love Angharad and Izzy 

P.S. Hi Mum, thanks for your comment. I miss you all but am having a wonderful time. Just reminding you to please login to my email and pre-register for the Exeter Open Day on the 17th. Thank you, love you. Angharad xx