Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Tanzania.


Matipwilli, Tanzania: Our last day of celebration & reflection

Posted in Tanzania on November 1, 2010

Driving into the job site this morning was a much quieter ride than usual. I think we were all reflecting in our own way the past couple of weeks and what lied ahead on our final day.

We knew it was going to be a day of many emotions. We knew that we worked hard over the last two weeks on the job site but the project for the doctor's house was enormous and we were unable to finish it 100%. Even though we had regret of not completing it entirely, the village was elated with our contribution and the opportunity we brought to this small village in remote Africa.

Our morning consisted of cleaning up the site and sweeping out the house. We then had a meeting with the local village construction crew that worked by our sides during the build. We thanked them for their hard work and supporting us coming into their village. We shared our appreciation for them teaching us their craft and their patience while allow us to learn even though they knew they could probably get it done faster. To us, many of their building methods seemed primitive but we had to remind ourselves that we were there to build using their tools and methods. For a by stander watching from the sidelines, they would not have seen any language barrier between us and the workers. Despite some of their hesitation in the beginning, we became a solid team and friendship bonds were built.

Shortly after lunch was the ceremony with the village. It was much larger than we anticipated. The entire village came to a stand still and gathered together for the ceremony including the school. The ceremony began by them entertaining us with music and dancing. They encouraged us to participate in the dancing so I give it a shot. (Boy was it harder than it looked.) Each of the village community committee members spoke expressing their sheer gratitude for our work and the opportunity this house will bring to their village. Without having a proper residence for a doctor, there community has suffered by not being able to ensure they have a fully trained physician to aide them. The current local resident doctor's training is not much more than the first aid training we are familiar with back home. Our Developing World Connections team leader Rick Kurzac then spoke on our teams behalf thanking them for the opportunity to come and work in their village. We then proceeded with showing the village the donation we brought as well. From soccer uniforms and balls, toys, clothes to school supplies, the village applauded with appreciation. The young children tried their best to get as close as possible to the donations. Their facial expressions reminded us of our children on Christmas morning. The village committee will disburse the donations to the villagers in a fair manner ensuring those in most need are helped first.

Once the ceremony was over it was time to say good bye to the village and the people and children whom we have gotten so close too in such a short time. It was at this moment when we realized we were going to leave a much larger foot print than we intended. This experience was live and there were high fives, hand shakes, hugs and tears. When we drove away the children were waving good bye and we wondered if they realized that we would not be back in the morning. We wondered how many would go to the job site the next morning out of routine as they were always there every morning to greet us upon our arrival.

As we drove out of the village our guide Raymond had arranged a special treat. The Maasai people put on a special dance just for our team in their traditional dress attire. It was an amazing sight to watch.

Our drive back to the Kisampa camp was one of reflection. We shared the stories and experience of the day with one another and we were looking forward to our last evening together as "Team Kisampa" in Tanzania, Africa.

Marianne
DWC Participant
Tanzania 2010

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