Team Tanzania are having an absolute blast it seems, having just returned from a weekend spent living, working and celebrating life amongst the Maasai people of Northern Tanzania. With no internet until next weekend, leader Jessie has filled us in by phone with all the juicy details… We do not yet have any photos, but to give you an idea of the scene, here is a great shot of last years team, just after they had been to a circumcision ceremony with the Maasai…
The team have been adding the finishing touches to their work on the toilet block with a final lick of paint, over at Frederick Sumaye School. The kitchen is also well on its way to being completed, the team having laid the foundations and brickwork, while the fundi’s crack on with the roof. And what would a Tanzania Quest team be without some hardcore hole digging I ask you? Nada thats what! Well rest assured, the team have managed to dig two giant holes for their excess washing water to run off to, which they will plant some Banana trees in before they leave… There is more digging ahead as the team will be putting a fish pond in on Friday, which will require all their muscle – as the ground is so hard.
The Maasai weekend has been a really special one by all accounts. The team started off with a few hours work at the Parish house of Jason’s church – Jason being our local project partner, and also the pastor in a region of Maasai folks. The team were then invited to join in a wedding that was taking place that afternoon – a truly once in a lifetime opportunity and a million miles away from the tourist trail. The afterparty was a hit, with plenty of goat to go around. The team bunked down that night inside one of the Maasai boma’s (herder community’s encampment).
That evening, Harry got his Maasai on by killing a goat for the team’s dinner, while the team enjoyed hanging out with the families and playing with the children. Next day, the team enjoyed a long hike with the Maasai youth, learning about life as part of a herding community in the 21st century. Later that day, there was more goat sacrificing, this time by Joe R’s hand, while Eleanor and Pippa prepared the soup with the Maasai mama’s. Christine, Jess, and Noemi experienced farming life as they went off to harvest peas with some of the other locals while Harry and Joe M took to cattle herding with the menfolk. That left Elisha, Pete, Rosie and Beth to crack on with some more fundi work, building a Maasai version of a fuel efficient stove, replacing cement and bricks with manure, mud and rocks. We wait with interest to see how well this goes down with the local community, who have their own traditional ways of doing things. Stoves like these could cut fuel consumption by at least a third which will make a huge difference in areas where raw materials are in ever shorter supply.
The team are now back at Frederick Sumaye School, with lots of work ahead and also some more celebrations, with another team birthday this weekend and a big mountain hike ahead. I dare say theres every chance of more animal sacrificing too as it appears the team have developed a bit of a taste for goat…!