Friday, 28 July 2017

Homeward bound

The girls have all checked in to their flight back home from Kilimanjaro International.

They will be arriving tomorrow morning at 07.05 into Heathrow Terminal 4 on Qatar Air Flight QR 9.

Josh from Inspire will be there to meet the team and will be wearing his bright blue Inspire t-shirt, so please find him and say hello!!

It's been a privilege and a pleasure working with the whole Blackheath team on our first Tanzania Girls4Girls trip, and as parents/guardians you should all be very proud of your daughters! 

With warm wishes, 
Beth, Josh, Julia, Nelle and all at Inspire Worldwide 



Thursday, 27 July 2017

Farewells

Today was our final day here at Managa school. We started with our usual 6:30 wake up for breakfast and were all over the moon when we opened the hot pots to find steaming omelettes as our final breakfast. 

From here we had a quick turn around to gather everything we needed for our final morning on the work sight. At 8 we set off on a short walk to our house from the day before to pick up tools and buckets (including Matilda's iconic hoe and Evie's perfect brick). 

From here we walked to our final house in the community. However there were new roles involved for this project as we met the families 2 month old triplets. Obviously we needed at least 5 people caring for them... 

Despite the wonderful distraction of Loveness, Lightness and Lowry we completed the whole raised bed garden and most of the stove. Between working we also saw how to milk a cow and how to make a very dramatic entrance riding the cows, from Happiness, one of our translators.

 From here we walked back to the school to see all the party preparations well underway. We had a quick change into our new African patterned cloths before the first of our 80 guests arrived. 

We all sat down (us and all the school children/teachers, LTT and various guests of honour) and began with some introductory speeches from Freeda (the head mistress), Julian (the leader of LTT), Julia (one of our brilliant inspire leaders) and Sue (the one and only). 

Following this we watched some traditional African dancers and some children from the school perform as a thank you and fare well. Then it was our turn to share some songs. 

Then we finally settled down for an African style feast our in the school courtyard. While eating, our Girls4Girls girls arrived and came and joined us. We then all ended up in the main 'hall' dancing together which was an amazing moment for us all. We all threw our selves into it and learnt a few moves from the very talented Tanzania girls. 

Eventually we made our way to the field to join the traditional African dancers finish  the party. Now all that was left was our final goodbyes to the girls. We took a group photo and had time to say goodbye to each of the girls before they set off home. After they left with a few tears we started to pack and shower. Now we've finished our final meal and are about to settle down for some star gazing and hot chocolate and biscuits before bed.   

Ps CATHY MUM please can you make a chocolate biscuit cake very big to the Airport on Saturday morning for us all to share because honestly it's all I've ever wanted Pleeeeeaaaseeee love from Meg (also napkins and a knife)

Pps SONIA MUM pls don't forget what we discuss for the teachers If you have the time - can't wait to see you, dad and milz ( if you can drag her out of bed pls do missing you all ) xxxxx

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Last workshop

After a delicious breakfast of porridge we made for the building sight. Today's work consisted of cementing the raised bed the team had built the day before, the cement mixing did take a turn for the worse as the water started to overflow. Luckily expert fundi John saved us from the flood. 

During this time Erin, Divjot, Pratibha and Eveline went into Babati town. The building work wrapped up early after filling a bed at another house fuelled by bucket lines, word games and singing. We trudged back hungry for lunch (Jane's chilly being exceptionally tamu (tasty) today). 

Our last workshop today focused on saying goodbye and reflecting on all the gifts we have gained over the last two weeks. We warmed up with a game of knight/princes/peasant and rainstorm. We then retrieved our significant objects from the middle of the circle; gathered them together with the posters of ourselves we had been building up in all the workshops. 

Based on the words of the poem "Love After Love" we "feasted on our lives" in a quiet sit spot outside. This was some of our first times being alone in two weeks. 

For the next activity we all gathered around a tree and filled out gift tags giving words of wisdom and memories we wanted to commemorate and share with the Tanzanian girls once we leave. 

The hope is that this tree will be a sanctuary the girls can return to in order to seek love and empowerment. As the melancholy of the limited time we would have left with our Tanzanian friends dawned on the circle we exchanged friendship bracelets. 

Meg then read out a letter Happy and Aditha had helped us write in Swahili to thank the girls. The goodbyes have only got longer the more time we have known the girls. I'm pretty sure that we will have to put aside a good few hours tomorrow at the leaving part tomorrow if we want to make our flight on time. 

After the workshop we spent a usual peaceful evening going about chores, playing with the children and sewing tops in the field to wear to the party tomorrow. We rounded the night off with a hearty game of mafia (WHICH THE VILLAGERS FINALLY WON!) before our penultimate sleep at Managhat school. 

Love from Evie

P. S. Happy birthday Mills love Mads xx



Ada's Post

Day 12

The scurrying. You heard it again. This time at 06:37 - you checked. The room silent like dry mud save the breaths of all the people (10 of them to be exact). Loud breaths and quiet breaths, long breaths and short, and then, no breaths. You got up as usual; socks first, work trousers, dirty shirt, the thick white mucus suffocating you slowly beginning with the mouth, the nose, the eyes! Suncream. 11.47 metres to the dining room, you took 08.83 seconds that's quite fast really considering... it.  Next came breakfast which was porridge. Good - you like porridge. All the people had gathered now, seemingly to eat their own breakfasts. Hushed voices, fast talking. The people seemed anxious today. Odd.

Out to the building site next. 1637 metres this time. It took you 17:46.03 minutes, the people slowed you down. Day Leader assigned you shovelling. Day Leader always assigns you shovelling. Odd again. You took the shovel and then you shovelled. The shovel held high above your head, loiters for a second gaining power. In the split of a second it smashes down. Skull of the soil splattered into mush, shards of  mud exploding out; slicing into the people. 8 people leave - they say they need to go shopping in Babati. Not many people left now, you feel much better. But not everyone... 

Today is different. Lunch won't be in the dining room, instead it'll be round someone's home. Home visit they call it. You walk up the long dusty road with pigeon peas either side of you. At the house they feed you ungali and something else. The people don't like it and neither do you. It's green and slimy with little bits inside. Texture of thick saliva. Taste of tea leaves; you don't mind that part. The home people call it a vegetable. You know it's not a vegetable, you know that no vegetable has the consistency of slime. They're lying! Now cultural discussion. The two groups have tight strings held taught between them hanging in the air. Normal. They make you dance after 'traditional dance' they say. The people have fun, but you don't. You can't have fun; not with what you know. 

The rest of the day was back to routine. You showered and then the people relaxed in the field like they always do. Relax. You hate the word; how can you not? Dinner was rice and sauce. Afterwards you went back to the room. It was 21:03 and the school was still. The crickets were the only sounds, they're loud almost too loud for you. No one else was in bed yet. Only you. You were almost asleep when you heard it again. The scurrying. Slowly at first and then more and more. Scurrying turning to stepping, to thudding, to stomping! Bam! And then - nothing.

Ps. Sorry this blog is written by Ada in a creative style. Basically we had a great day! 

Also happy bday to both Simon and Amelia!!!  Both of you have a great day!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Happy Birthday Lacey!!

Today was Lacey's birthday so we sang happy birthday at breakfast and she was Day Leader. However it was also back to work so we headed off to another family's home, to construct a raised bed garden and fuel efficient stove. Our aim was to complete both before lunchtime and we worked really hard in two groups to get it done. 

Some people got a little distracted by the gorgeous baby goats which kept escaping from their pen and needing cuddles! 

We had a delicious mandazi break and then a small group of girls went into town to buy supplies from the market. By lunchtime there was only a thin layer of cement left to do, which is the nearest we have ever got to completion. 

After lunch we had the 5th workshop, where we worked in groups and identified each other's skills. This was really fun and rewarding and we're sad to only have one workshop left! 

This evening we had a birthday party for Lacey with cake (thank you LTT!) with blue icing which turned Maddie's lips blue! And we finished the day with some star-gazing on the field. Lacey says she had a lovely birthday and felt very loved by her new friends. 

Ray says happy birthday Dad! 
X











Sunday chillin'

Today we had a much appreciated lie in (breakfast at 9 instead of 7!) and our cook Jane cooked us a delicious full breakfast including chips~Jane style. A break from porridge and bread was great and the highlight of many people's day was the yummy omelette. Well done Jane!

We then went to an enlightening Catholic church service in Babati Town which involved lots of singing and dancing in Swahili. It was really interesting to see the similarities and differences between services in the U.K and Tanzania and sparked some interesting conversations between our group. 

After lunch we went out to lake Babati where we played some card games, (including uno which was great fun because we were able to all mess around together), chilled and had a soda with the girls. 

After that, Ray gave the girls a penny whistle each and gave a short performance in which she played 2 traditional Celtic folk pieces. These pieces were played very skilfully  and impressed all of us. Well done Ray! 

Then the Tanzanian girls showed us how to make their beaded bracelets and then we finished off with some games. We are all improving our Swahili skills especially Meg who accidentally said "are you drunk?" when meaning to say "do you understand?". Well done Meg!
Hope everyone is surviving without us.
From Matilda.

P.S everyone MUST know who won love island.





Saturday, 22 July 2017

Safari!

Jambo! Today we went on a safari (which meens journey in Swahili). The day started early which was a struggle for some of us... With a chapati (which is not a fruit mum) in one hand and our malaria tablets in the other, we got onto our 4x4 safari vehicles with our Tanzanian partner girls. After a couple of hours playing cards we finally arrived at Tarangire National Park.

As we passed through the gate, we were greeted by a number of impala. As we went along we saw some zebras which got us all very excited. As we went further into the park we came across some huge elephants. The most dramatic moment of the trip was when two giraffes started bashing their necks together, some said they were mating, others thought they were fighting, personally I think it was very unclear. Though I think I can speak for all the girls (both British and Tanzanian) that the best part of the trip was when we all held hands around a large baobab tree and sang our Girls4Girls song. We also saw some wildebeest and a number of different brightly coloured birds. 

We ate our lunch in the middle of the safari and we had to fight off the monkeys who wanted to eat our lunches. During our drive back out of the park we were lucky enough to see a pair of ostriches running, which I can assure you is like nothing you have ever seen before!!! It was getting to the end of our trip and we had seen several baby elephants, when suddenly we passed a lake and lying on the bank was a lioness! After a very long day we drove back with souvenirs in our bags and smiles on our faces. 
By Isabel
P.s. Hope grandma had fun at her party
P.p.s could someone give an update on love island pls