Tanzania

Five stages of being a Raleigh Tanzania homestay family

11th September 2017

During projects local families in the village open their homes to venturers and volunteer managers. Staying with a family offers an insight into village life and enables the venturers to build strong ties within the community. Alpha 2 spoke to their homestay families to find out what it has been like to open their homes so generously to Raleigh Tanzania volunteers. Here are their five stages of being a homestay family.

Words by Jack, Rachel and Oriana. Photos by volunteer manager Lewis.

One – Karibu! (Welcome!)

It’s important that volunteers feel welcome in the village. Fortunately this is one thing that the homestay families didn’t struggle with. Generosity is a characteristic of Tanzanian culture, and their big hearts were appreciated by us all. Homestay Mama Aloisi Lukwewe decided to take venturers Stefan and Rico into her home because, “The volunteers have come to do good work in our village.”

Two – Share Tanzanian delicacies

You definitely don’t want your volunteers to go hungry. Wonderful Tanzanian dishes await in the homestays such as ugali (made from maize flour), beans, fresh green leaf vegetables and fruit. You might experience a ‘Kilimanjaro’ dinner portion with a ‘mountain’ of food on your plate! This is all prepared by homestay mamas on small charcoal stoves with minimal cooking equipment.

Three – Learn about your cultural differences

Both international and Tanzanian volunteers have engaged one another through their cultural differences. A highlight for Homestay Mama Winfrida Nyayuigu was, “Seeing the international venturers trying ugali for the first time.” Cultural similarities can be just as great. A fond memory for volunteer manager Esther was the fun time she spent with Homestay Mama Jareeda simply preparing vegetables and dinner for the volunteers and family.

Four – Have a good time

Homestay families loved to build relationships with the venturers and engaging in conversation developed these bonds. However, it was great that there was a Tanzanian venturer in each homestay to translate for the international venturers. Alastair and Nik’s homestay family said, “We love chatting when we’re together in the evening and exchanging ideas.” Village Chairman Martin Shikwaelala enjoyed philosophical debates with his venturers Shoeb and Jack in spite of the language barrier.

Five – Say goodbye

After three weeks you will have to say goodbye to your venturers to make way for new ones. Homestay Mama Jareeda commented, “It makes me very sad and lonely when they leave” while Homestay Mama Farida Mohamedi said, “We feel as though they have become part of the family so it’s heartbreaking and hard to adjust to them leaving for it then to happen all over again with a new group.”

It’s clear that the local community have been happy to host venturers and that both homestay families and venturers enjoy being together and having fun. Thank-you homestay Mamas and Babas, we have loved our time getting to know you and your families!

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