My first reflection.
My first reflection since I arrived in Tanzania regardless of promising myself this would be a daily occurrence; however that may show how busy it has been here. Today was the closing day of our first week here as a group in Tanzania and I am hoping the next two weeks don’t go as quick. Today has been the first day I have felt slightly overwhelmed, I am wondering is that because today has been the first day we have had a chance to sit down and really focus on our feelings. As I am writing this we have just concluded council as a group. Having experienced council a few times before; today has been the most powerful experience for me. Questions spin around in my mind on why this experience of council was so powerful and one thing springs to mind, the group connection. The group really formed a very strong connection very quickly. This connection allowed the group to speak with ease and from the heart.
I really feel privileged to share this journey with people who speak, listen and care with such passion.
In regards the project, so much has been done already. Service and care is a new concept introduced to the group for one hour each morning. The idea behind service and care is group bonding, interaction and providing a space for the group to care for the community which they are living in. there are five different groups in service and care which include the house group, the media group, the kitchen group, the group group and the personal care group, all as important as each other. It has been great to really observe how the group are forming and putting in such an effort in each different group. I feel myself it is allowing for the group to take ownership over daily activities and allow the groups creativity to come out.
The work camp has also begun this week. The orphanage has asked we work on renovating a very smokey kitchen and ‘fixing’ the garden. ‘fixing’ the garden could mean a lot of different things to different things to different people, however it is very clear that to this group ‘fixing’ a garden can mean a lot of things. The passion of the group really is evident within the ideas proposed by the group. Currently the group is working on cutting and planting and composing a vegetable patch whereby the orphanage can become more self-sustainable.
Another important aspect of the project is the educational workshops each afternoon. Many concepts have begun to be discussed including communication, the idea of development and an activity which was really of benefit, a cultural investigation where the group where divided into pairs and giving a list of questions to answer however the only way of answering the questions was to ask the locals. I found this activity really allowed the group to begin to create their own opinion of Mbeya Tanzania and find out themselves what life is really like in Tanzania. I think I can speak for the group in saying we are really excited for what the next two weeks has to offer.
The journey from Dar es salaam to Mbeya was quite a long one, it was a 13 hours drive by bus. It is my first time to visit Mbeya and on my way here I saw a lot of amazing things which I have never seen before and never thought that they exist in Tanzania. Because we passed through the Mikumi National Park one of Tanzanias’ wildlife conservation area. I saw a couple animals such as antellope, gazelle and baboons.
When I arrived in Mbeya we had a few minutes drive to our host family which is located at a place called Iwambi, it’s an orphanage centre by the way. The next day we had a trip to go to the city centre just to do some investigation about a lot of things which we want to know. Generally the trip was good and amazing because we met with the locals, members of the society and community and they tried to share with us about whatever question we asked them and they answered us willingly and diligently
Some of the questions which we asked the locals were like what was there main source of employment, there local dress, what team they wanted to win the world cup, what they do for recreation. Henceforth through that research now we have a complete picture of who the members of Mbeya region are and are open minded too.