Today began with another tiring but rewarding session of teaching at Gedeli B school, although spirits were high after watching England win the cricket World Cup for the first time the night before.
We taught members of standard 7 (similar to our year 9). Teaching was split into 40 minutes of English followed by 40 minutes of mathematics. A break at noon prepared us for a hard working 1 hour and 20 minutes filled with sport.
By the end of this everyone found themselves ready to retire to the hostel. Toby and I ended the day by making the most of the sun as we collected chairs and prepared to top up the tan.
After one hour extra in bed we had our breakfast, which was toast and pancakes with nutella. Then we got ready to spend the day at Tunza Lodge – the beach. We had all been looking forward to this after our challenging but rewarding week of teaching!
Tunza Lodge consisted of a private beach with a restaurant and bar. Soon after we arrived, it didn’t take us long to make our way to the pool table in the bar. We played in doubles for a few hours, whilst being amazed by our view.
Later on, we all enjoyed a burger or pizza in the sun. This was refreshing as it was a change from our dinners throughout the past week.
After eating, some of us played catch with tennis balls and frisbees. We also took the time to lie down on the beach to prepare ourselves for another week of teaching, and to rest before we start to climb Kilimanjaro.
After our football match yesterday, I think it’s fair to say that this relaxation day was needed!
The day started off great with an extra half an hour lie in which everyone took advantage of. We then had breakfast and everyone was well rested and excited to play against the street kids.
After a filling breakfast of Nutella and bread we then headed off to the street children centre called Upendo daima. We were instantly welcomed by the staff there and were given a tour of the centre including the dormitories, kitchen and bathrooms. The staff then led us onto the football pitch which was very bumpy and slippy for the annual DGS v UD fixture.
The game was 30 mins a half and we lost 5-0 after a good performance from the DGS team. Battered and bruised we walked back to the centre and got to spectate brilliant African dancing from the kids where they spun sticks and danced.
We then replied with our own Indian dance which we had been rehearsing in the evenings. This dance was greeted with lots of cheering and clapping.
Lunch was then served which consisted of beef, rice and pineapple. The pineapple was very nice like all other fruit we have had here. Full up and tired we then said our emotional goodbyes to the kids and travelled back to the hostel.
Today we started the day off at Gedeli B with the infants. We taught them how to catch with tennis balls and also taught them ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’.
We then moved on to lessons with the other half of standard 6. It’s definitely safe to say that they will all pass their tests in the future. As well as the academic side we all saw how they excelled in sports.
To finish off our day we decorated one of the infant classrooms, we painted the alphabet and the numbers 1-20. With the special needs classroom we have drawn various animals, fruits and toiletries on the wall, ready to be painted.
Update on the new classroom: the classroom is near completion. As of today they have begun to place tiles on the floor of the building.
(Day 4 at Gedeli B)
Another hard day of teaching. Today we had standard 6 equivalent to our year 8s which was once again full of some children with great potential.
Teaching English and maths in the morning at a more advanced level was a challenge for us, compared to the younger years. Sport in the afternoon was split between football, rounders, cricket and volleyball and was very enjoyable for all of the children.
We finished the day with some drawing and painting in two of the classrooms, infants and special needs, with vibrant colours to create a fun atmosphere for learning.
This evening we are going to learn a dance ready for the street children in anticipation for Saturday as well as relaxing after another hard day.
This has been the third day we’ve spent at Gedeli B. First, we introduced ourselves to the infants who were ecstatic to meet us . We taught the infants the alphabet by getting them to write the letters on their notebooks and by drawing the associated pictures next to them. For example, they were helped to remember the letter “A” by drawing an apple next to it.
At 5pm, we visited the junior League of a basketball team managed by Coach Benson and his amazingly skilled team who were enthusiastic to teach and play basket ball.
This was the second day we spent at Gedeli B, like the previous day, we received the same reception with all the children smiling and waving which warmed all of our hearts.
First we went to the special needs classroom where we introduced ourselves to all the children and also sang ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, we all had a lot of fun.
After we had got to know all the children with special needs, we headed back to the front of the school where we were given resource booklets which we each used to teach 6 children from Standard 4 English and Maths. They understood what they had to do very well even though there was a language barrier, however with demonstration and perseverance they got through the tasks fairly quick.
After lunch, we were split into 4 groups to play Cricket, Rounders, Football and Frisbee with roughly 20 children in each group.
In my group we played Cricket and Frisbee, the children enjoyed playing cricket as it gave them a chance to run around, throw the ball and to bat, however they didn’t feel quite the same with the frisbee as the wind kept changing the frisbees direction. Despite this, they were very happy with these simple games and showed great sportsmanship.
The first day visiting this school was amazing, we arrived at the school and were immediately greeted by kids smiling and waving. We were then given a tour of the school by the headmaster and we were all shocked to learn that the average class size was about 150. As well as this we got to see the classrooms and water towers that have been built by previous years and see the positive impact it had on the school, most notably the special needs classroom!
After the tour we had an afternoon of sports with Standard 5 children (year7) where we played football, cricket and parachute games with them. Despite it being challenging to organise initially we eventually got the hang of it and everyone got involved. The children were all so happy despite them having so little which brought things into perspective.
We also visited the Municipality Office where we were greeted by Mr John Wanga the Head of Education in Tanzania and showed us his gratitude for what we were doing and what we have done. Here is the picture below!
This was the first full day we’ve had in Mwanza.
First we travelled to the Forever Angels orphanage, to meet children aged up to two years old whose mothers passed away during childbirth, and some up to five years old who had been abandoned. The name Forever Angels is dedicated to the children who have passed away and not made it through their time at the orphanage : their pictures were posted across the walls.
Lunch was at a hotel in the city, with a sea view; a complete contrast to everything we’ve seen in Tanzania so far, and a lot more like home.
Then we went to the Hisani Orphanage. We met several children who we will meet from tomorrow onwards at Gedeli B school. We distributed toys and games with all the children, who were expecting to see us, and who were very happy. The whole team was swayed by how happy they were, despite how little they had, and found their excitement overwhelming.
Most of the children spoke basic English and introduced themselves, told us how old they were – there were a range of children from completely different lifestyles to us, and interacting with them was a preview of what we will face over the next two weeks at Gedeli B school.
After a good 25 hours of travelling, 13 DGS students and 3 teachers have finally made it safely to St Dominics Pastoral Centre in Mwanza.
Having left school on Friday morning, we made our way down to Heathrow for a 9 hour flight to Nairobi. When we arrived in Nairobi at 5am local time, we had a 3 hour wait before our next flight, and some people thought this would be a good time for a chicken burger and chips. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t leave them feeling 100%.
As we stepped onto the 70 seater propellor plane heading for Kilimanjaro, there were a few boys looking a bit pale, partly down to the burger and partly down to not having slept since the previous morning. Many of us fell asleep even before the safety briefing had finished.
As we were approaching Kilimanjaro Airport, we could see the summit Mt Kilimanjaro peeking through the clouds, a great reminder of the sheer scale of the mountain we have to climb later this month.
After a short stop at Kilimanjaro Airport, we stepped aboard another identical plane and headed for Mwanza. When we arrived, we were met by a cheerful Fred, a character we had heard a lot about from the previous years. He had organised a convoy to take us and all of our 32 bags from the airport to the hostel, and when we arrived, we discovered the rooms and the bathrooms were just about functional. For lunch, we had an omelette with chips, which was surprisingly nice, accompanied by some mango juice and some 30p bottles of Fanta.
We have spent most of the afternoon playing cards in the Tanzanian sunshine, and are looking forward to our evening meal of chicken or fish.