Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Tanzania.


Matipwilli, Tanzania: “Getter Done”

Posted in Tanzania on October 26, 2010

Our drive to the job site this morning was eventful. Unfortunately it was not due to the sight of any fascinating animals. Thanks to the sharp ears of Rick H. he noticed a sound coming from the passenger side back tire. Our tire was barely hanging on by 4 loose bolts. Luckily we were not detained too long and we were back on the road.

Today's primary focus was building the second gable, installing another row of concrete block on top of the bond beam, parging on the interior walls and adding another row of concrete block to the back portion of the house.

When we first arrived on the job site in the village we were met by many with open arms appreciating our help in their community. However, we had a couple of men that stood back and had a serious eye on us. I made it my mission to put a smile on there faces and make them laugh. Thanks to Ashley (our guide) translating for me while we worked on planing door frames and building the roof trusses my mission was accomplished. Our new friend Abeli was laughing and smiling. (Probably due to the many times I missed the nail and hammered my thumb!) This morning I took about 20 minutes at the start of the day to show him pictures of the interior of homes in North American. I had explained during our time working together the interior trim we install and the terminology. He was fascinated when seeing the interior trim work. He had never see anything like this before. He was very curious on the process we use to make trim so tomorrow morning I will walk him through Alexandria's manufacturing process. I cannot wait to see his reaction when he sees the machinery we use. Here in Tanzania they have no power tools so all is done by hand and it would take many days to create a profile on the local wood for an entire home.

We brought some soccer jerseys, stickers and bubbles to the village today. The children were so excited making and chasing the bubbles. They were so amused by something so relatively small. They wore there stickers proud on their forehead. The little boys were so proud of there new soccer jerseys. They did not want to get them dirty. So ironic as they walk around all day in their bare feet on the dirt roads.

The temperature cooperated, slightly overcast and 38 degrees.

Our team leader (Rick K.) and foreman (Doug) made a bet with the locals that we would get the roof put on by the end of Tuesday. They believed we would not get it done to Thursday. If we get it done, we will get 17 flats of beer or we walk the 11km back to Kisampa. So tomorrow will be another "Work hard, play hard" & "getter done" day as we will not leave the site until the roof is on. :)

During lunch time the village was visited by a politician campaigning for the upcoming election on Oct. 31st. He arrived driving a tractor pulling a wagon blasting music. The kids came running from everywhere to follow the tractor through the village dancing to the music. Although we could not understand the speech given, the locals seemed quite supportive of the message/commitment he was delivering.

Ken and Mark had to move out of their "executive" banda to accommodate a new guest that just climbed Kilimanjaro. They took one for the team and moved into their new "tent" accommodations. Kenny woke to the ants tickling his feet and we could hear him giggling throughout the camp or at least we think it was the ants causing the giggling. His little buddy Mark's bed is now very close to his!

We are looking forward to meeting our target on day 7. We will only have to figure out how to get the beer ice cold! Anything ice cold is a challenge in Africa!

Stay tuned...

Marianne
DWC Participant
Tanzania 2010

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