Saturday 20th March
I tried to keep the weekends as free as possible as that is when both the teachers and schoolkids have time to play and talk. I still had various visitors to my house, most looking for some maize. I held another dance competition – the children go crazy for them though I suspect part of it might be cos they know there will be prizes involved.
In the afternoon I distributed all the clothes I’ve been buying – I had four large bin bags of clothes from the auction in town, plus smaller bags of tshirts I’d bought from the market. Each child got around 3 shirts and a pair of trousers. Via a large dose of luck I had the right quantites of the various sizes.
Sorting the clothes into sizes
Each time I go to the village I plan to get the playground fixed. It’s in a terrible state. Fingers crossed this summer it’ll get sorted.
Sunday 21st March
Please see the post A Day In The Life #2 (2010)
Monday 22nd March
I spent most of the day in town and amazingly things all went according to plan. One thing you need a lot of in Africa is patience – something I don’t always manage. Days when everything goes smoothly are few and far between. In the evening I invited the leaders of the Tanzanian League for the Blind to dinner. It gave me the opportunity to silence a further two local chickens. We also had a visitor from the village who came to collect a camera I’d been given in England.
It was a fun evening – the only downside is it is a full time job helping blind people eat their food, so I was running all over the place.
I bought out a whole bunch of point and shoot cameras but I was also given this good camera. It took a long time to find the right guy to get it as most wouldnt have a clue how to use it. Abel was the perfect man – he was ecstatic to get it. There was a receipt in the bag and the camera originally cost around twice the price of the man’s home. To thank me, he wanted to bring a chicken for me to take back to England. It took some explaining to back out of that without upsetting him.
Tuesday 23rd March
Please see the post A Day In The Life #3 (2010)
Wednesday 24th March
This was my final full day in the village so I took some time to just walk around the eastern part as I rarely go down there. Whenever I go for random walks I always see interesting things. I often get invited into people’s homes which is either usually fun and amusing or weird and awkward.
I saw this little fellah on my walk. There aren’t that many interesting animals here aside from monkeys.
Crispin with a deck of braille playing cards. They are pretty rubbish though cos if you learn some braille then you can tell what the cards are by looking at the punch marks on the back.
When I get back to the school I chat with Norbert for a bit. I can’t decide if Norbert is a rubbish name or a great one. He left the school last year and went to secondary school but his sponsor backed out and he had to leave the school. His family wouldn’t take him back and so he is now living in the blind school just waiting for help to materialise. He is a bright guy and I’m sure something will get sorted out.
I headed to the rehab centre for a final meeting and to say goodbye. I got given this melon as a gift. It weighed a ton and I didnt much enjoy having to lug it all the way back to my house.
Relaxing at the bar
This was given to me by some friends so I could give it to someone in Tanzania. To be honest noone would have a clue what to do with it, and so I gave it to some children as they are creative and enjoy simple card games.
A short message of thanks from a couple of members of the rehab centre directed at all those who gave money. The English translation starts at 53secs.
Thursday 25th March
I was up early to pack as I hadn’t the chance before. There were still plenty of goodbyes to be said but I managed to catch the bus to Dar es Salaam. It was an 8 hour journey but I have done it so many times now it seems routine. In the evening I had my first shower in 3 weeks at the hotel – it felt so good. It was really sad leaving the village. I’m not a very emotional person but I was welling up a bit. Hopefully I’ll make it back next year at some point.
Although I was only out there for three weeks, it felt like so much longer. I was busy pretty much every day from 7am till I went to sleep and now I am writing this final part in Bristol and feel like I could do with another holiday.