Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just Whistle While You Work

Too bad I don't know how to whistle......

Can I just say that doing laundry here is the biggest pain ever? Although I may be smiling in this picture, I can assure you that I'm not having a good time. Try hand scrubbing, rinsing and then ringing out (that's the worst part) sheets, towels, dresses, JEANS! It's not very fun. Just thought I'd let you all know how grateful I am for the washer and dryer waiting for me at home. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to School, Back to School... Prove to Dad I'm Not a Fool.

Namanga, Tanzania (right on the Kenyan border)

SCHOOL. Everyone reading this probably went to school. For free. And probably had some great educational opportunities. And probably had pretty cool teachers for the most part. And most likely took all of these things for granted. I know I did.

Well, school is NOT FREE here in Tanzania, even for primary and secondary students (equivalent to our elementary, middle and high school levels). Every school that I know of, even the poorest of poor, even the government funded, requires students to pay monthly fees that most people cannot afford.

Namanga, Tanzania, a small village on the Kenyan border, has the same problem. High fees and many kids who can't go to school as a result. However, we met a man named Emmanuel who rents a church building where he personally educates children in these circumstances. The problem is, money is running short and soon he and the children will be kicked out of the church and have nowhere to hold school classes.

Thanks to many donations on tippingbucket, we have the money to finish the school they already starting building. So far the foundation and brick walls are all that stand on the property. But, starting next week..... that will change!!! A group of us are headed out to Namanga to begin construction... with lots of local help of course. :)

I'll keep ya posted on all the progress of the construction.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kikatiti Education Camp!

First of all…. It’s OVER!!! Whew! It was quite the ride and well worth it too. The week consisted of a few main things :

1) Handwashing stations at the market to encourage vendors to wash their hands and fruits and veggies.

2) free classes all week long (English, computers, empowerment, art, women’s health, music, and business) to promote the vocational training center that hosted the event AND to get people in the community excited about learning.

3) soccer and netball tournaments all week for the orphans in Kikatiti.

The football and Netball sign ups.

4) a HUGE community clean-up event where we removed a huge trash pile and cleaned up garbage all over kikatiti throughout the course of the week.
The kids ran around like crazy filling bags with trash.
The prize was worth the effort. :)
Even our drunk friend, Tosha, picked up some garbage.

It was amazing! The turn-out was great, the music was great (provided by a local DJ) and the Tanzanian University Volunteers that we recruited to help out were AMAZING.
Annette, Joseph, Matt (Lee), Milla, and Godlisten posing by our advertisement
Our very drunk friend, Tosha, with Aust and Me.
Me, Irene and Gerald
Only the beginning of the swarming that occurred all week long.
Even the village leaders attended!

Chakula Tanzania (Tanzanian Food)

DELICIOUS!!!! That is the word that first comes to my mind. And because it’s so delicious and I have a fear that I’ll crave it a ton at home, I figured I should probably learn a few recipes. Let’s face it… who has ever seen a Tanzanian food restaurant in the States? Anyone? Didn’t think so. And besides, what if I want to impress someone back home and make cultural food?

Basically, having a few of these amazing secret recipes up my sleeve seems like a good thing to me. And to Austin. Especially Austin. He’s actually been pretty insistent that I learn his favorite Tanzanian foods. But not because he wants me to make them for him. No. He just wants me to be happy......Does anyone else believe that? :)

So, here is a glimpse of the deliciousness that we’ve been enjoying for the last 3 months. And if anyone reading this would like to try some of it, I only charge… haha. Kidding. Come over anytime!
This is Mshkaki... Austin's fav. It's basically a meat and carrot skewer. SO GOOD.
They love fried food here. The most popular sides, besides rice, are chips (french fries), and Ndizi Choma (fried plantains).
(Left to Right) Cow Stomach, Cow intestine, and steak... or so they say... :)
We did try all of this by the way.Ndizi choma, chips, fried cabbage and carrots, fresh avocado... one of my favorite Tanzanian meals.
Just for fun... :)