Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Tanzania.


Matipwilli, Tanzania: Learning more each day

Posted in Tanzania on October 22, 2010

After our "work hard, play hard" motto from yesterday, we were a quieter group this morning en route to the village. Yes even Doug and Ken were quiet! The baboon that was killed yesterday was no longer in the site we left him. Presumably taken by a larger animal.

Today's focus on the job site was finishing the roof trusses, filling dirt in around the holding tank, parging the outside of the gable and beginning to parge the interior walls.

Building 5 roof trusses was a very slow process by using the local tools. Cutting each piece of wood with a hand saw and nailing them with hammer and nails. What we would of paid to get a circular saw!!

Learning to parge was new to many of us and takes great wrist action to flick the concrete mix on to the wall.
We were at a bit of a stand still having to wait for the concrete blocks we made to dry. They require 3 days to dry before they can be used and need to be watered down twice a day in the drying process.

In the village there is a mixture of both Muslims and Christians. Today we unfortunately witnessed a Muslim burial parade. This was a 5 month old baby that passed away. The baby was being carried by the father in a small "casket" replicated box with a blanket over top. The parade was only 6 gentlemen. We learned that it is the male's responsibility to prepare the body and complete the burial. The woman stay behind to console each other and once the men complete the burial they come back to join the women. The ritual is to bury the body before the sun goes down on the same day they pass away.

We also witnessed another extraordinary moment today while on the job site. Rob and his children Sarah (9) and James (7) from the Sanctuary joined us building today. While working on building the trusses a women walked by us with her daughter and Rob noticed the daughter's arm seemed broken. She had just visited the local doctor which advised her to take her child to the next village for an x-ray. She would have to ride on a motorbike in order to get to the village which is approx. 50kms. With the roads not being very flat, that child would have been in a lot of pain during that commute. Rob who is a doctor, quickly looked for 2 straight sticks to use as a splinter and then proceeded to wrap with a tensor bandage. We also had a triangle bandage in our first aid kit to help hold the child's arm against her body. We also gave the mom some Advil to help give the child some relief from the pain.

We are all looking forward to a day off tomorrow to rest our tired bodies. We will be enjoying a safari trip including a river cruise. Looking forward to reporting on our safari adventure...

Marianne
DWC Participant
Tanzania 2010

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