The weekend of Friday April 7th to Sunday April 9th:
Woke up late on Friday and had a nice breakfast of these homemade plain donuts (made over a coal fire) and tea. We just hung out most of the morning, checked out the garden that Daniel from Italy was helping the kids with, sat in the common room for a bit, Sher worked on my bracelet,
and then Sher left to check out the mosque and join Friday prayers. The day wasn’t too notable although everything here with the kids is fun and busy. The day in summary- I read Malala again with the group of older kids and this time, Sher joined us; my toe didn’t hurt all day for the first time since I broke it!; I took my first warm shower here since Sher and some of the kids went shopping and bought a kettle for the house; we joined their dance party at night with the new speakers… those kids have perfect choreographed routines for so many songs!
Saturday was busier because we left the house early to head to another village to do more talks. Cristina told us about Peace Home in Mswiswi, a part of The Olive Branch For Children that is in a more remote village and helps a lot of younger kids to learn basic English skills and have a safe shelter with the necessities. Once in a while, they’ll host a big meeting at the Peace Home for elder representatives from even more remote villages all around the area. These representatives would learn from experts who come to the Peace Home and then they bring the knowledge back to share with their village.
From Sher- Early start today. We woke up at 6:30am and left the house at 8am with Daniel and Cristina to Mswiswi. Olive Branch has another home there (orphanage). It is a rural community and caregivers from all around the small communities were there to take notes on our talks. Again, it was entertaining traveling with Cristina as everyone that we came across knew her, even policemen that hopped on to check our bus at least 30 mins out of Uyole knew and greeted her. As we approached the orphanage, all the kids came running out and jumped Cristina while shouting her name and then hugged us all. We met all the caregivers in the house and the rest of the kids once we got to the main courtyard. These kids were a little more wild and snotty (literally) compared to the Zion Home where we are staying. But there were all very loving and wanted to play. Mariam gave her talk to the adults on the importance of posture, preventing and self-treating injuries, and the correct techniques of lifting and carrying heavy weight. They all loved the talk, were constantly taking down notes, and had plenty of questions for her (all with Cristina translating). They all had a bit of a laugh practicing the exercises. I gave my talk on oral disease and prevention. Did an oral examination on everyone. Then we had a delish lunch before saying our goodbyes. We stopped for a break at a juice stand in Mswiswi before taking the bus back to Uyole. It was raining heavily when we arrived back so we jumped into a bajaji (like a tuktuk or rickshaw) to bring us home. It was a bumpy ride as our driver was overtaking SUVs on the cobblestone roads. We relaxed for a bit, had a cup of tea, before I went out with Shama (one of the older kids who is interested in electronics) to bring our laptop to the repair guy and Mariam read to Harry Pota. Our laptop guy had to close the shop down so Shama and I took a detour and stumbled upon a place showing the Liverpool game, it was called “Nice Pub”. it was like a classroom with TV at the top of the room with lines of chairs. It was full, entry was 500 TZ shillings, which is about $0.25 USD. We just made it back in time for dinner. Erica and Ellen had prepared guacamole and salsa with the regular beans and rice. It was a great change and delish! After, Mariam continued reading to the kids until they fell asleep and I sorted out GoPro photos and clips from the Euro trip. Side note- we’ve been sleeping really well here- sometimes 10 hours a night!
Mariam- Last night I really realized how sad it will be when we have to leave here in a few days. It’s so easy to become attached to these kids and it’s tough to think that the youngest kids may not even notice we are gone until a day or two passes and they don’t see us. I hate that we have to go.
Sunday was spent mainly doing chores- in the morning we did a lot of laundry and this time we didn’t use our trusty Scrubba laundry bag that we brought but we did it the way that the locals did it. Took a bit longer but we got a lot done and it was fun to do it with the group. Then the main cook who barely speaks English jokingly scolded me for not making any food so local Erica translated and taught me how to make bread with them. That took a while! It was a lazier day once that was done… took a nap, hung out with the kids, ate, and then hung out some more.