Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Tanzania.


Matipwilli, Tanzania: A heartfelt thanks!

Posted in Tanzania on December 7, 2010

It has now been a month since we returned from the first ever DWC trip to Tanzania. I have been participating and volunteering in these trips as a team leader for several years now, and I have traveled to most of the countries that DWC is representing. I have to say that this trip to Tanzania has been one of the most meaningful and fulfilling trips that I have participated in so far.

I would first like to extend my appreciation and thanks to all the participants that willingly gave of their time out of their busy lives to come on this adventure with me, having little knowledge of Tanzania or the trip that we were about to embark upon. The entire group performed incredibly well, even in the scorching Tanzania heat, while lacking electricity or running water at the Kisampa camp. Every individual contributed to making this trip an incredible experience.

The resort in Kisampa that we stayed at while working in the Matipwilli village is a first class facility. The owner, Rob Barbour along with his parents Jeanann and Richard, were very welcoming and were fantastic hosts. We were served great food, had great service from each and every staff member, and they all contributed to the ease and comfort of each participant. I was also exceptionally appreciative of our guides, Ashley and Raymond, who made discovering Kisampa and the village of Matipwilli such a wonderful experience for all of us.

The people in the village of Matipwilli completely warmed our hearts and became instant friends. From the dozens of kids that greeted us every day, to the local tradesmen and volunteers that assisted us, we were welcomed into their culture and accepted unconditionally.

As I reflect back on some of the amazing past experiences that I have had on DWC trips, for the first time ever I find myself wanting to go back to the same country the very next year. Because of the amazing experience that I had, I feel that I can now call Tanzania my own country, and that its’ people and culture have found a place in my heart and life, and I will gladly return to assist and volunteer my time again and again.

I would now like to thank each and every participant with a few short words:

Marianne: To a lady that decided a month before we left that this was a trip she needed to be on, you are a great new addition to our team and I thank you for all the efforts that you put in every day and the extra initiative that you took in doing the daily blog. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without you, and I thank you for sharing with me how this adventure has changed your life and I am looking forward to traveling back to Tanzania with you next year.

Brittany & Harley: What a breath of fresh air you two turned out to be! A great couple, so hardworking, and your interaction with the kids and the villagers was phenomenal to watch. I would travel and work beside both of you again without hesitation. Plus, it’s a great benefit to have a nurse and a boxer around when you are traveling the world.

Rick & Sandi: This being your second trip with me to Africa, it was great to have you guys back. Your dedication and work is a great inspiration to me and I’m looking forward to many more trips with both of you. We will try and keep you out of the hole on the next trip!

Ralph: You decided two weeks before our departure to Tanzania, to join this group. I have to say that I never really knew you very well before this trip, but it’s amazing how much you learn about a person and how great they really are once you have spent time traveling with them. Thank you for everything that you’ve done and for everything that you contributed.

Murray: To a man who’s never really traveled the world, you took a leap of faith in the summer to join our trip to Africa, not knowing anyone else who was coming, and completely leaving your comfort zone, all I can say is “Wow”. You stayed with us, worked as hard as anyone, and changed people’s lives. Thank you for coming, and I am very much looking forward to travelling with you again in the future.

Bill Clarke: First trip ever, first time on a plane, and leaving your family behind, I watched you change and grow so much over the two weeks that we were in Africa. Your tireless work and dedication to the project was amazing. Thanks for being you! Looking forward to seeing you in the near future and sharing stories. I will bet that the new dress you bought for that little girl will make her smile for years to come.

Mark McKercher: So good to have you back with us Mark! With all you’re going through and your busy schedule, it’s great to see your positive outlook on life and your hard work and dedication was felt by everyone. And we all really appreciate everything that you have done with your travel company to book an amazing experience in the Serengeti after our work was done in the village. I can’t wait to have you continue to travel with us on future trips.

Lan: It was great to meet you, and watch you learn new construction skills while working on the project. Although this hasn’t been your first DWC trip, I’m sure this experience changed your life. Your thoughtfulness and loving spirit and ability to learn the language so quickly inspired us all. So looking forward to keeping in touch.

Doug: What can I say? Your leadership and loving personality make these trips so incredibly meaningful and would just never be the same without you. We’ve shared many trips and I hope that you will be on every one of mine in the future. You have a special way of touching people wherever you go.

Ken (little buddy): You started taking these trips around the same time that I did. I still remember you sitting at the end of the bed on your very first trip and saying” What the [heck] am I doing here, this isn’t for me”. That was back in Sri Lanka so many years ago. Since then you have been on every trip with me every year and it’s clear and in your eyes and heart that you truly love this work. And I know that as long as we can walk, even into our eighties, we’ll be racking up our 30th or 40th trip together. I can’t express how much it means to me that you are with me on each and every trip.

Karen: My beautiful wife, I have an appreciation for your patience and understanding more than you’ll ever know. To watch you work and put everything that you’ve got into each and every day inspires me. More importantly, the love that you show and the attachment that you make with the children is incredible to watch. I’m always looking forward to our next adventure together.

Again, a heartfelt thanks to all of you that came. Our trip next year will be from October 28th to November 11th for the work project, and we are also planning an extra few days for another amazing trip for those that are interested.

Rick Kurzac
DWC Team Leader
Tanzania 2010


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