28 hours of travel: 14 hours in a plane + 8.5 hours in a car + 3 continents + 4 airplane meals + 0 sleep= I am in Tanzania!
I am here with three of my students to volunteer at the Rift Valley Children’s Village in the outskirts of Karatu, Tanzania.
We arrived at the Mt. Kilimanjaro Airport last night and went straight to our lodge (an adorable place near the JRO Airport). I managed to steal one last hot shower and promptly fell asleep underneath my mosquito net. This morning the girls knocked on my door 30 minutes before our official meeting time to let me know they had already explored the property…I was tired! Jet lag is no joke, even as a morning person! We had a great breakfast and met our driver, Joseph, an older man who took us 6 hours to the village where we will be staying for the next 2 and a half weeks.
When we arrived to RVCV, we were greeted by Mama India and Heather who gave us a quick tour of the grounds and showed us the houses that we would be staying in. The property is situated atop a mountain on a coffee plantation. The views are gorgeous! I am in Eagle’s Nest (the young men’s house) and I live in a small room with 2 bunk beds for other volunteers. Currently, I am the only volunteer and there is one thirteen year old boy, Barraca, who also lives here. The rest are away at boarding school.
When we arrived to RVCV at 2:00, the older kids were away at the local government school (a 2 minute walk from RVCV), so it was just the younger children on the property. At 3:30 the rest of the children came home and the houses were abuzz with kids of all ages. They are all so friendly and excited to know about us (where we came from, how old we are, etc.)….we are certainly not the first volunteers to come here; there are people from the US who are in and out of the village, so I guess I expected them to be less curious and see us more as passers by rather than part of the community.
Here is a video that is a good representation of what India is doing here:
Tomorrow we will have orientation and then begin our duties as volunteers. I am looking forward to sharing my journey with you!