After a few days of trying to figure out if the hand washing stations would be a viable and useful technology for local Tanzanian schools, we had another meeting with the Regional Director of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots and agreed that we would move forward the the project. So, I have a lot of curriculum materials to design before Wednesday including a powerpoint on how to use and maintain the hand washing station. I am excited that we are once again moving forward but suddenly feel as if I have to run to catch up. So, once again, I leave with some images– a mix of many different days. Enjoy!!
Baobab trees frame a serene view of night skies in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Some species of baobab trees can live for a thousand years—potentially reaching a stunning height of 80 feet (25 meters) and a diameter of 40 feet (12 meters).
Sometimes plans need readjusted and this would be one of those times. We had a successful workshop today and were able to transport a completed hand washing station to one of the town schools that has no running water. However, after installing the first hand washing station today at Azimio Primary school, it became clear that we need to review the available resources here in Arusha.
I’m hoping for an early meeting with the Jane Goodall Institute’s Director in order to revise and repurpose the project. In the meantime, I have distributed the school materials, letters, and artwork that Holly Shelter Middle School students sent to students at one school (woop-woop!) and have plans to share more next week. Additionally, I will continue to gather the information needed to move this project forward!
Look for more pictures soon. Until then, wishing everyone a very happy day!
Such a long day today. Started at 7am and ended the last meeting after 8 pm. Editing and posting took until 11:30 pm. Hanna shida, lakini, ninahitaji lalafofofo (no problem, but I need to sleep deeply. ) So here is just a short preview of what we worked on today. More to come tomorrow after we present the hand washing station at our first workshop with schools, teachers, students, and Jane Goodall Institute folks. I’m happy we changed the major presentation with the government, etc. until later this week. For now, check out the hard work that went into the station. More to come soon. Karibu.
Just a beginning glimpse of my safari trip. My NERD HERD (Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots & Shoots group @ HSMS) asked last week if I had seen any animals yet. Here you go girls…. I hope you enjoy! Karibu sana (you are welcome very much). More to come tomorrow. We are still working on editing the over 5000+ pictures taken.
Tomorrow, I go to the welding shop with all the materials we gathered with the help of our new friend, Juma, to build the first hand washing station. I met some really cute mtoto (children) there today too and hope to get to show them how to draw and color when I am not helping with the building.
Finding my way around Arusha has always been an interesting adventure. In the past 2 days, I’ve probably walked 10 miles along the dusty roads, jammed myself into 4 dala dalas (mini buses) along with 20+ other people, hired 3 taxi drivers (with my well-intentioned but very poor Kiswahili) and ridden on the back of a pikipiki during heavy traffic going about 50 mph. Good times.🙂 Seriously, though, hamna shida (no problem) especially since all of the interactions and connections I’ve made have been with happy, kind people.
With all that running around, today and yesterday were both busy days but much was accomplished. I think the most significant thing was completely accidental. While waiting in the Jane Goodall “Roots & Shoots” office, Mir, the Director of the Polytechnic Institute, came in and began a conversation. One thing led to another and before long, he offered to assist with getting the materials needed. Furthermore, he is happy to provide a secure space for building. All of the concerns we had were put aside today with a single interaction. WHEW!
In addition to talking about building the hand washing stations, he shared some news about the changes within Tanzania since the election of their new President about 4 months ago. Schooling, which had once been a financial burden to many families, is now free to all students. While this is a good thing, it has some immediate, unintentional outcomes. Class sizes have gone from 40 students to over 100 students in a room. And, since schools can no longer ask parents to pay fees, they are not able to afford to feed the children lunch. Because of that, school is dismissed around noon every day. I was wondering why I was seeing kids in their school uniforms in the streets during the day and now I know (yes HSMS kids, they are required to wear uniforms here too!). I cannot imagine having 100 students in a class at one time. Nor can I imagine being finished working every day at noon.
On that thought, I will leave with some more photos. I must say, it is truly wonderful having a professional photographer here in TZ with me to capture such lovely pictures. Enjoy!