When it rains in the tropics, it really rains! Don’t get me wrong, we are not complaining – quite the contrary. But as with all good things, there is always a challenge and our gappers in Tanzania this April certainly hand their hands full and their socks soaked. Tommie accounts what it takes to defy the odds…
They might have just been a handful but they managed to leave a mark behind. Choosing to come out during the rainy season was already a risk worth taking.
They defied all odds, rain, mad and all the little crawlies that comes with it. They embraced anything that was thrown their way with a positive attitude. The volunteers were so determined to make a difference and no rain would stop them from achieving their targets.
Meeting their targets they did. The volunteers went out to help the mamas with sea weeding wearing their rain jackets. They prepared the manila strings, went ahead and planted the sea weed and got to help with the harvesting as well.
Volunteers loading their harvest in a boat Proud of their Harvest
Here at Camp Tanzania, we are very cautious about both preservation and conservation of our environment. These gappers are the pioneers of our first of so many to come tree nurseries. With the introduction of the energy saving stoves in Tanga just a couple of months away, we have taken the initiative of planting trees to have a more holistic approach to reducing our carbon footprint. Our volunteers planted not just trees for fuel (firewood) but we have also started planting medicinal trees like Neem and mango trees for fruits.
They visited the ladies homes and help with daily chores. They made palm fronts (makuti) which are used for thatching/roofing the ladies leaking houses.
As if that was not enough they walked for about 5kms every morning to a local secondary School. Stayed over and even had their lunch brought from camp just to see through their targets with construction of one of the classrooms.
They also had a chance to work at a local Primary School. They repaired furniture and taught English. There was a store full of broken desks and benches that the School had deemed not good for use. These determined and psyched up volunteers took one day to repair 15 desks and put them back to use. Their achievement: they provided 45 students who did not have a place to sit with fully repaired desks.
We do not need to be a full house at camp to have a bit of play time. Despite the bad weather weÛªd always find ways to entertain ourselves!
This group of 5 volunteers were on a mission and proved that with determination, all is possible.
A job well done!
Tommie (Country Manager – Tanzania)