Dear Moon,

My name is Gill and I am a volunteer worker in Majengo, Moshi, Tanzania. I understand that you are the final decision maker as to whether tomorrow Monday 28th July will be a public holiday or whether it will be the following day IE: Tuesday. I would courteously and respectfully request that you let myself and my fellow volunteer Jen know at your earliest convenience so that we can plan our classes and alarm clocks.

With deepest respect,

Hello World, Universe, Other Planets and the Moon,

As you can see life in Tanzania is never dull. In fact this past week has been one of the richest and fullest to date. To have the week finish with the entire nation not knowing if the banks or schools will be open tomorrow is a fitting end to my week of Tanzanian cultural experiences. If you ever thought life in Spain taught me to “go with the flow”, well take a peek at me now guys, I positively live “in the flow, I am part of the flow!”

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This past week has seen me taking afternoon snacks with our local taxi driver and friend in his home with his 5 wonderful daughters and wife:

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             Oldest of the five Anipha (13) with little one of two sisters that are almost twins!

Having dinner with a Zambian bishop and the local Women’s Group, buying the very best fresh vegetables I have ever tasted through to exploring the dreams of the 28 wonderful children at the Good Hope School.
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Local Soweto Market: My Sunday treat is to walk past the local church, listen to the wonderful singing, enjoy the elegance of the locals dressed for church and wander into the market where I and my fellow housemates are the only mzungos (white foreigners) they see.

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Dreams: Trying to explain the concept of closing your eyes and wishing for anything in the world was very hard for these guys. They have no concept of being able to wish for things. I introduced the magic lamp and genie idea to try to open up their hearts and imagination. The results were awesome:

  •             Number One Dream:         To help orphans
  •             Number Two Dream:         To help my family
  •             Number Three Dream:       To have children and be able to educate them

Being invited into Zawadi’s home was a great honour for both my housemate and I. We were welcomedwith genuine pleasure, the entire family sitting in the small lounge area of their house and a wonderful spread of rice and banana and meat stew laid out for us with fresh fruit and wonderful local coffee to follow. The five girls are a delight as is their mother Betty. Our driver Zawadi is a great guy and is very a conscientious parent who understands the importance of education for his girls. He is a great role model and speaks excellent English (the language of business and commerce here).

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Dinner with the local Women’s Group was courtesy of my lovely landlady and landlord, Mama and Baba Ndossi. These people have welcomed me into their lives and are so much more than landlords. Mama is very active in many concerns both business and charitable and the Women’s Group is just one of these. A Women’s Group from Zambia was visiting Moshi along with their Bishop and so Mama and Baba opened their lovely home and laid on a formal dinner for these prestigious guests.

Dinner was served outside under the stars, where three beautifully dressed tables were set out and the food laid out buffet style. Both myself and my housemate were invited as were the lovely South Africans who rent Mama’s third house in our compound. I love the respect and courtesy that is inherent in any Tanzanian affair. Lunch at a rural small holding with Zawadi and dinner at Mama Ndossi’s, both were conducted with an air of formality and pride that is awesome.

Baba was the “speaker” for the evening and introduced the guests with clear pride. Mama and the ladies from the local group being the hostesses were active in the kitchen and in serving the food, they ate after us (including Mama Ndossi who was the ultimate hostess). The food was amazing and there was a wide range of Tanzanian culinary delights on offer: Banana soup, rice, ugali (corn and cereal based local dish which is the basic staple diet here), meat stew, chicken, salad, spinach type greens and fresh fruit. A feast.

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After dinner Baba asked us all to stand and introduce ourselves briefly before the guest of honour, the Bishop, said a few words. The pride emanating from Baba for his wife, Mama Ndossi, was heartwarming and the overall pride this couple took in the evening was awesome to observe. The Bishop was very gracious and opened his speech with reference to the international flavour of the evening and noted our presence as representatives of UK, America and South Africa. It was a wonderful evening.

So my friends this was my cultural Tanzanian week and I hope you enjoyed hearing about it as much as I enjoyed living it.

Respectfully awaiting a response from the moon, I leave you all to a wonderful week and ask that you reflect on the humility of these people and the 28 kids dreams.

See you later, Hasta luego, Baadaye!

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4 thoughts on “Moon Missive – am I working tomorrow?

  1. Those kids dreams are awesome and all achievable for them with the right help and support. The people sound wonderful, a real community, something which becomes rarer and rarer in westernised societies. Please send a hug and my sincere greetings to each of your 28 students and the advice to never stop dreaming or putting the work in to bring the dream into reality.
    Hasta Luega!

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    1. It was so amazing Adele. They are such great kids and with such big hearts. Big hug being delivered today (apparently the moon has decided that tomorrow is a holiday!). Kids all love their exercise books and now we have pens for everyone too, Look after yourself and be happy. xxx

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