Taken from my journal July 2019 on my second trip to Hostel Hoff, Moshi Town, Tanzania.
It’s 7.00 am and the sound of life in the Hostel kitchen has awoken me. I hear breakfast cooking and I pray that today I will be blessed with Samosas. My ultimate favourite breakfast, made by Vicky, the Hostel Hoff chef. I remove my mosquito net and jumped down from off my bunk bed that continuously provides me with a content sleep. I dress for the day and head for the kitchen.
As I enter the kitchen, I am greeted by the wonderful Vicky who has brought beautiful, colourful, African designed fabrics with her today. She intends to make me a new outfit that I can wear at the weekend when me and my fellow Hostel friends go out to the local nightclub. Yes, believe it or not, there are night clubs in Africa!
Breakfast this morning is pancakes. Which I fill with banana and peanut butter and enjoyed with cup of African coffee whilst chatting to my fellow Hostel members. Each Hostel member is volunteering at a different project. Some are working with children with Special Needs, some in Agriculture, some in Medical Care and others in Schools; like me. Over breakfast we chat about the day ahead.
My project just so happens to be the furthest away. So, I bid farewell and set off on my forty-minute journey through town to my bus stop. As I walk through the crowded streets of Moshi Town responding 'Poa' (Good) to the friendly greetings of 'Mambo' and 'Jambo'. I wonder what the new day in beautiful Tanzania will bring. I am on my way to catch the 'Dala Dala' bus to Newlands village school. A place that captured my heart 4 years ago when I was just starting out on my travel journey. On my way I pick up some 'Spider Man' and 'Cinderella' stickers and a handful of lollipops. The children in Tanzania love receiving stickers or any type of sweets! So, I ensure I always take some in case I need to keep up their concentration levels and promote positive enforcement.
I board the crowded Dala Dala Bus. The Dala Dala is packed out as always. It is a small 'mini-van' crammed with seats for people travelling from towns to villages. More often, than not these Dala Dala's are normally falling apart, but Tanzanians travel this way every day, so I climb aboard. Sometimes there are even chickens on board and one time I even encountered a goat! I am greeted by the friendly looking man sat next to me. His English is good, so we have a chat about what I am doing in Tanzania as we wait for the Dala Dala to fill up, even more; if that's even possible! They truly will squeeze as many people as humanly possible into these things! The man buys a piece of corn from a man sticking it through the Dala Dala window on a stick, he splits it in half, and gives half to me. I accept graciously and happily get to work on eating my corn.
After a long, bumpy ride to the village I pay the driver and head towards Newlands School. I am greeted by Eema the youngest child at the school and he takes my hand and leads me to where the other children are settling down for their mid-morning snack.
At 9.00 am I take the children outside into the yard. It’s the school holidays this year whilst I am here, so there are not many children attending the school. Because of this I have decided to make the day more fun for the children. We start the morning singing English songs and playing English bingo. We then practice simple English words with pictures and actions. Some of the older children are really coming on with their English speaking, so we started practising their pronunciation.
It is then lunch time and we all go to the cafe for beans and rice which the children scoop up happily with their fingers, the youngest child, Eema, chats happily away to me in Swahili. Which always makes me smile because I have no idea what he is saying to me, but he seems blissfully unaware of this, and continues.
In the afternoon it is up to the children to decide what they would like to do. The older girls call me over to their bedrooms as they always do. It is a tiny crowded room with three bunk beds. They braid my hair and ask me to tell them stories of my country. We laugh and sip on Chai sweet tea. We then play cards until we hear the horn blaring through the village from the Dala Dala.
The Dala Dala has arrived and the younger children race to get me. They hold my hands and lead me towards my transportation. They hug me goodbye and I climb aboard ready for my trip back into town.
By the time I arrive back at the hostel I am exhausted. I sit and and we share stories of our day before we head out to watch the sunset at the train station.
Dinner time at the Hostel!
This is one of my favorite times of the day because no matter what, dinner is always truly delicious. Today we are having a chicken stew over rice, which I always pile onto my plate. There is also always a selection of fruits to go with the main course. The avocado in Tanzania is the best avocado I have ever tasted in my life, and is also served with every meal.
After dinner and some card games with the other members of the hostel. I am back in my bunk bed writing in my daily journal. Reflecting on my day and preparing myself for the next day, in the wonderful town of Moshi, in my favourite country; Tanzania.
What was the name of the Hostel?
What was the name of the school?
Newlands School and Orphanage
How do you spend your weekends?
There is so much to do on weekends. I spend my weekends on safari, in Zanzibar, visiting lake Chala, exploring Arusha, or visiting a swimming pool in Moshi and relaxing. Sometimes we head out to Club Alberto for drinks.
Feel free to ask me any more questions about my voluntary work in Tanzania, Africa.