30th March 2015
From the moment we arrived in Miganga the community welcomed the new team, making us all feel comfortable in our new homes for the weeks ahead. We were a strong and spirited team full of different characters. Swiftly, hilarious nicknames were taken on, such as General Q - a.k.a Mike, who was Quartermaster of the storage tent. Sir Lion (Ryan) and King Gasper (Jasper) quickly gained a following among the children of the village.
Raleigh venturers, Miganga, Tanzania.
On our first day off from the construction work in the village we made the adventure up the highest hill in the region to see the phenomenal views from the top. Despite us all anticipating a 3 hour round trip, it soon turned into 5, thanks to an interesting and slightly off-trail descent under bushes and low-hanging trees down the hill. Ryan, being six foot and five inches struggled with all the low branches but stayed good natured even after falling into a bush and managing to forget his water bottle. We enjoyed time spent together sitting on a huge fallen baobab tree, named ‘The Hanging Tree’, chatting away and Mama Sylvia took a terrific group photo.
Our projects this phase were a real success. Everyone in the group was really happy to see the completion of the 10m long, double sided, cattle trough. We also began work on a second project, building a demonstration latrine for the community to see the construction process and hopefully encouraging them to build their own. We all took turns at digging the 7ft deep long drop, keeping spirits up by singing “mud, glorious mud, nothing quite like it for curing the blood”. It was hard work, breathing in the smell of potatoes, sweating in the high temperatures, and getting covered in a thick layer of vumbi (dust), a new swahili word we became very familiar with.
Community engagment, Raligh Tanzania.
A wonderful day for the group was the UN World Water Day. We set up a water information station around a baobab tree in the village centre, with posters that drew in many of the village elders. On the nearby football pitch we played water related games with the village children accompanied by booming Tanzanian music, kindly supplied by the Apostle church. One of the games involved balancing a water bottle on their heads and walking around in a circle we had etched in the sand. A young girl called Veronica won this with seventeen full circles and even started running after circle fifteen! None of our group had even managed to do one!
All in all Miganga was an unforgettable experience for us all. Our team were very sad to leave the smiling faces of their mamas and babas. As we now head to our final expedition phase the vibrance and greetings of the happy villagers will remain etched into our memories for a long time.
By Ella Ramsden, Venturer