Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cultural Immersion - Volunteering in Tanzania Part 2 of 4 Guest Blogger: The Hubby

Happy Saturday everyone!!! I have another guest blog from the hubby covering more of his trip to Tanzania last month. There are lots of great pictures to check out! Enjoy!

Volunteering in Tanzania Part 2 of 4
Unavoidably perspective altering - and that's a good thing.

That's how I've been summarizing my 16 days in Moshi/Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (18 days if you include travel time/delays). The entire mission trip was so positively mind-blowing that I've been back for one full week, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around the volume and contrast of the activities and events I was fortunate enough to experience. Like most things that seem daunting and overwhelming, it helps to take a step back and digest the big picture a little bit at a time; that's how I'm going to tell my story of Africa - in a 4-part series:

2. Cultural immersion: not a tourist and not on vacation 
3. Volunteer placement...and other fun stuff! 
4. Now what?

There may be more, or other surprise editions that will consist mostly of pics & vids, but let's dive right in and immerse ourselves in Tanzanian culture...
Part 2 - Cultural Immersion: not a tourist and not on vacation

There are two things that have were absolutely striking, and will stick with me forever from my time in Moshi, Tanzania:
  1. Contrast - The contrast between the most beautiful environment, people and animals that I have ever seen,  mixed with heart-wrenching poverty and the absence of many basic human needs...many times within 20 feet of eachother
  2. Happiness - despite what I just wrote above, I was pleasantly surprised and greeted on a daily basis by the biggest smiles, loudest laughs and welcoming arms that I've ever seen
I'm hoping that the following pictures can bring that to life for you too!

Cross Cultural Solutions, the volunteer organization that Lilly partnered with, did a fabulous job of having a jam-packed agenda for us, starting upon arrival @ day 1!  Here's the list of what we were fortunate enough to take part in:
  • Tinga Tinga Art Market
  • Swahili lessons
  • Trip to Maranga, Chagga Tribe and Kilasiya Falls
  • Visit to Tumaini Orphanage
  • Visit to Maasai village
  • Arusha:  local market & Rwandan Tribunals (we actually got to listen in on a live witness testimony)
  • Batik Class
  • Talks on Local Healthcare and Gender Issues
  • 1-day Mount Kilimanjaro Hike
And here are some pics to bring the experience to life:

Tinga Tinga Art Market

Swahili Lessons with our CCS staff, and practicing a bit with our volunteer placement partners

Maranga (market and blacksmith)

1st Christian church in Arusha

Black Smith in Maranga

Outside the Maranga market

Spears for sale at the black smith market

Maranga house

Upgraded version of the Christian Church...about 100 feet away from the original version

Chagga Tribe and Kilasiya Falls

Chagga tribe traditional hut

17 generations of Chagga captured in this family tree

Chagga caves used during wartime for hiding and attacking

Me with 2 Chagga elders

Dancing with the Chagga elders

My 1st bathroom venture outside of our CCS homebase...a little spooky!
We actually swam in the above swimming hole by the falls!
Kilasiya Falls

Jason & Ben - made it to the swimming hole!

Starting our hike to the falls

Making our way down to the swimming hole

Tumaini Orphanage

The initial chaotic fun when we got to the orphanage and busted out the balloons!

Jason Ryder with one of the boys - Jason's from Canada & was my roommate at CCS

Having fun and doing circle songs w/the favorite was one about bananas - similar to the U.S. 'bumble bee' song

Me and Elias - we drew a map together and talked about how we would get from one place to another

Visit to Maasai village

Our view for the choir performance

Masaai choir - simply beautiful with majestic voices

Home for 2nd and 3rd wives - Maasai traditionally practice polygamy

Home for the first wife


Family compound

Maasai home w/a window

Maasai boy by the one 'emergency vehicle' in the village

Maasai dress hanging to dry

Typical Maasai home with sharp thorned bushes for security purposes

Jason Ryder passing out sodas to our gracious hosts - great pic!

Arusha:  local market & Rwandan Tribunals (we actually got to listen in on a live witness testimony)

1-day Mount Kilimanjaro Hike

I only took the day to get up to Mandara and back takes ~5-6 days to get to the summit!

Me and our wonderful guide from Pristine Trails - Mussa

Me and Folake - another CCS volunteer

Panoramic of Mandara

Approaching the Mandara camping spot - 1st of 5 bases

Kili trail

Beautiful view of Mount Meru from the Maundi Crater on Mount Kilimanjaro

Me resting at the 1st camping spot

This blue monkey literally almost stepped on my foot!

Leaving my phenomenal day at Kilimanjaro...WOW!

Well - I hope this has been as inspiring for you as it was for me!  The contrast of the beauty and the poverty will stick with me forever.

I look forward to sharing the happiness of my volunteer placement at the Magereza nursery/primary school with you in my next post!


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