A day in the life of an ICS volunteer

21st August 2013

Ever wondered what the ICS volunteers get up to on a normal day?

Well, this blog entry features a special edition feature: “A day in the life of Charlie 3: living the sweet life in Nkonkilangi”. We hope you enjoy it!

C3 Gareth

This interesting (and amusing) blog entry is brought to you courtesy of Gareth, the only UK male volunteer in Charlie 3!

06:30     Team exercise: Charlie 3 hits the sports ground bordering our camp for some laps and unconventional Tanzanian exercise. Expect us to have nothing less than perfect bodies when we return home.

07:30     Team breakfast: Charlie 3 tucks in to porridge or bread rolls from the market alongside a tasty hot drink. Following this, our weekly leader briefs us on the plan for the day.

08:00     Teaching: The budding teachers amongst the group make the 20m stroll down the road to Sekenke primary school, where we teach around an hour of English to classes of around 60 Tanzanian students who scream out answers at us in unison.

09:00     Action research/ Awareness Raising/ Construction: Charlie 3 cracks on with whatever task our weekly leaders have assigned us to out in the Tanzanian sun up until lunch.

13:00     Team lunch: Charlie 3 digs in to a delicious afternoon meal prepared by a UK + Tanzanian pair on “camp duty” for the day. All meals are based upon one of three staple carb-based foods: potato, rice or pasta, although we may occasionally mix things up by throwing in packets of instant noodles, kindly supplied by Raleigh Field Base.

13:30     Settling stomachs: Charlie 3 chills for a relatively short period to avoid the heat of the day, however; we are strongly advised against sunbathing by an old lady from the village who takes a firm stand against us getting a tan.

14:00     Teaching (round 2): If we have the chance, the budding teachers will pop back down the road to the school for another hour of teaching.

15:00     Action research/ Awareness Raising/ Construction: Charlie 3 completes the day’s assigned work before a much needed shower.

16:30     Join the shower queue: Often a complicated and well-debated matter (being in a team of 10 girls, all keen to wash their hair and shave their legs and whatnot!)

18:00     Team dinner: Charlie 3 digs in to the final meal of the day prepared by the camp duty pair to top off a hard day’s work. This is followed by a debrief to consolidate the team’s activities across the day.

19:00     Team review: Charlie 3 discusses the team performance during the day, perhaps throwing in a fluffy team-bonding exercise to leave everyone feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

20:00     Chill: Charlie 3 makes the most of some free time before getting an early night in anticipation of a poor night’s sleep…

02:00-06:00         Night disturbances: Who needs sleep when you can tune in to a live demon-expulsion session at the local church, broadcasted to the village over a fairly-out-of-place set of high quality speakers? Being quite close to a road, we also get to count the number of late-night drivers passing by, who may announce their presence with a kind-hearted honk of the horn. The sleepless night is wrapped up nicely by the arrival of pupils to the primary school, who give us a pleasant reminder that the sun is about to rise over another day in the life of Charlie 3.

In between all of this, we try our best to fit in the odd educational excursion, play in or referee local school sports matches and we even throw in the occasional community bonanza.

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love,

Charlie 3

C3 camp