Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Team on their way home!

Just a note to let you know the team have been dropped at the airport and are on their way home!

It has been a pleasure as always working with the Karimu Foundation and we hope you have enjoyed reading their blogs. 

Here's to next year!!! 
Josh and Beth, Inspire Worldwide

Some final thoughts from Christine:

On the eve of our departure from this beautiful place my heart is full of gratitude. 

I am grateful for the institute, for its loveliness and peace, for the almost two weeks it has been our home and supported us in our work. I am grateful for the beauty of its early morning light. I am grateful for the freshness of our morning walks to each days work, for comrades, the daily interaction with the kids along the way and the beauty of the vistas that moved my heart. 

I am grateful to the institute staff, for their kindness and open hearted connection. I am grateful for Sarah and peter who reached out on Xing XIng's family day to understand what the day meant and helped to decorate the poster I was making, completing it with fresh flowers after I had pasted it to the door. I am grateful for their warm good wishes for our journey, expressions of friendships and offers of welcome for another year. 

I am grateful for the fundis who greet us each day, the kitchen staff that tend to us and sing beautifully and joyfully often as they prepare our food. 

I am grateful for this incredible group with its individuals and collective talents: smart, funny, generous, enthusiastic, energetic, determined with a sense of fun and generosity of heart and further many interests that have entertained us. 

I am grateful for the great privilege of participating in this incredible intimate journey courtesy of marianne where 10 years of building relationships and responding to the needs of these communities has created a connection that embraces each volunteer 

I am grateful to the Inspire leaders for their 24/7 care, whether fixing mosquitos nets, attending to the sick, or rallying the troops. 

I am grateful for my beautiful and open hearted daughters who responded to the challenge with good humour and to their new connections with love.

Finally, and and above all, I am grateful to the people of the village who have invited us into their homes, their lives and their hearts, showering us with gifts of kindness, food, songs and dance, teaching us through their example a way of life that focusses on community and caring for each other, dedication, nurturing of spirit, joyful celebration, humanity and dignity. I am deeply grateful for their gifts and know they will nurture my heart for the rest of my life.  

By Christine Hunt

Monday, 3 July 2017

Thoughts on the trip

By Paloma

Last day in Tanzania (part 1): 
The sky was a dark blue - violet when we woke up. It was our second day of Safari and our last full day together. We quickly ate our breakfast, sleepily piled into the safari vehicles, and started the long climb to Ngorongoro National Park. 

As the road tilted upwards, the clouds grew heavy around us until we were throughly surrounded by walls of pure white on all sides, tall mossy trees emerging into visibility like ghosts every now and then. Suddenly, the tilt of the road changed and we broke out of the cloud bank and forward over the lip of the crater. I remember the soft blue of the mountain sky through the open roof, the feel of the cool paper-thin air on my shoulders, and my first view of the NgoroNgoro crater. It was like driving back in time to when humans were just another dot on the food chain. 

The lush mountains dipped down to expose the untouched golden plains at the base. Standing looking out through the open roof I felt my heart expanding to the size of the crater and for the millionth time I really wished I could fly. 

We saw so many beautiful animals today. I will never forget the feeling of seeing them up close for the first time. 

As the sun began to dip at the end of the day we ascended the crater walls for sunset drinks at a luxurious lodge. At long last, with a royal view of Manyara Lake in the background, we settled down in poolside lounge chairs to reflect on the trip as whole. 

Last day in Tanzania (part 2):
This is where I run into a problem. I feel a lot of pressure to match the level of writing to my very first blog. But as a story teller, it is my job to be honest and not let my own ego get in the way. So that is what I'm going to try to do. And let the volunteers speak for themselves:

We all shared our favourite  parts of the trip, our memories. Like the smiles of the children, the feeling of their rough hands in ours in the fading sunlight. The firm handshakes of the villagers, warm in temperature and genuine-ness. Seeing women wearing pants again after two weeks and feeling an outsider in your own culture. Learning hand games from the Masai and teaching some back in return. The grand sky-blue views from the road to Bacho work site. And winning the first game of Mafia in the dim dining hall fluorescents. 

Though I did not share, I could feel all these beautiful memories. Precious and delicate as glass beads strung along in a necklace everyone of us now wears. 

I cannot say what each individual took away from this trip, the colors of their beads, but I know what ever it is will change them forever.
So now we all go to our beds and from there to our homes. Wearing glass memories of the human connections we made here. The beauty we added to Dareda, to the world, and most importantly, to ourselves.


Today we woke up very early and waved goodbye to Dareda and our lovely friends there. We headed straight to Tarangire National Park where we had a wonderful safari and saw: 

Dik dik 
Herds of Zebra 
Kissing giraffe 
Monkeys (stealing our food)
Naughty (lions)
Pumba (a warthog)
Quite cute baby elephants
Running herds
Superb starlings
Tara River
Undulating hills
X-rated animals 
Yodelling elephants 
A Safari Haiku:
Safari is great,
Animals were running 
The dust flew fast.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Last day on project

Todays blog from Marianne....

Today was the last day on the work site. The volunteers have done a fantastic job of hauling bricks, laying cement floors, and painting walls. While the volunteers worked, Nelson and I went to Babati ( a town about 30 minutes from the village).  We met with our Karimu project manager, Mr. Kahembe. Together we discussed the  number inone project for the upcoming year, which is bringing water to the village of Gajal.  It thrills me to think this time next year, five hundred Gajal families will have water. 

Upon our return to Dareda, we noticed that it was hard to pass through the main road. It was not a traffic jam but a goat brigade being led to market.

The open market was a huge display of chaos  and color. The market is a monthly event that draws everyone. In this remote region it is a chance to buy essentials that people 
cannot find in the village.

After the market we took our last walk toward home--down the red dirt, and into the lush green valley below.  As we walked, we watched the sun sinking behind the Rift Valley wall.

This is my tenth trip to this village, and each time I come, I find it more difficult to say good bye.  Tomorrow at the farewell ceremony the volunteers will be honored for their hard work and contribution to the community. 

I have such admiration for this team of talented and dedicated volunteers. If these intelligent, generous, and skilled people were leaders of countries, the world would definitely be a better place. 

Asante Sana

Thursday, 29 June 2017


Blog by Marianna and Paulo: 

Today we have a new surprise: the newest couple in Dareda were designated to write the blog!

At breakfast we had french toast, thanks to UK Matt - delicious!

During the morning, Tung was in charge to teach the Bacho teachers how to use Excel. They expected fewer students then Tuesday, but actually 29 showed up! Another incredible fact is that the Facebook group is running at full speed and the teachers are already using it. Let's stay connected with the community!!

Marianne and some of the volunteers went to a microfinance meeting with the community, while the rest of the group went to Bacho school to help with the construction. Almost one third of the walls are ready and it is starting to look a beautiful school!

The little lion had a great time too and the rain drops during the morning did not affect the construction flow!

Liz and Brian brought a nice game and we played such a competitive "hot potato"! 

It was another pleasant day -- or awesome as the Californians would say -- full of achievements and fun. We, Brazilians, are learning a lot of new words and about other cultures. Beru is the best Swahili teacher in the world and Julia is always sharing her knowledge! 

While writing this blog we realise we are going to need to teach a new word to the group: in Portuguese, when a person really misses someone, we have a word called saudade. After this magical time with this amazing group, we definitely are going to feel a lot of saudades!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Lunch, soccer and shopping

Blog from Claudia:

Today I was  volunteered to write the blog. Since I couldn't find a good excuse not to do it, here I go!

After breakfast we headed to Bacho school where the volunteers split in  groups.  Some volunteers worked with the school children creating amazing pieces of art; others worked on the construction, piling bricks while the rest had the pleasure of being gardeners facing the difficult task of differentiating weeds from the real seedlings. 

Around noon, the volunteers split again in different groups. One group had lunch at Bacho and thereafter headed to an exciting soccer game against the locals. Luckily the volunteers had two locals joining their team and they were the ones who scored! The game finished on a tie: 3x3. 

The other group had lunch with Marianne who was invited by a very good local friend to her house. The food was delicious and we all had a lot of fun singing and dancing with them. 

In the meantime, Nelson and his brother went shopping in Babati. They bought 30 modems to connect all teachers to the internet and 492 pieces of clothing and 282 pairs of shoes for the children in most need. Although the day was not a very strenuous one, it was nevertheless a productive and fun day.

Foundations done!

Blog for the day by Darren:

We finished the foundation for Bacho Primary School! I'm really proud for all of the volunteers who worked really hard to help finish the work. 

Today we worked half day with 15 people on the work site because we have other group teaching in Dareda and giving training for the midwives also in Dareda. 

As a foreman for the day I'm just amazed with how the volunteers were easy to cooperate with and made the work gets done quicker and more efficient. There were a few jobs that we accomplished that were moving the sand, stones, and cement to build the concrete for the foundation. 

They worked without complaining or at least I didn't heard their complains. When we are on the project site, we always prioritise health and safety to the workers as they are required to wear mask and goggles particularly if they are working with sand or cements to prevent any unnecessary accidents. 

When you are a foreman for the day everyone will be literally going to you or even yell out your name and just tell you any problems or stuff that goes wrong on the site and let you solve it. 

It was a different case for me because everyone was helping me to solve the problems.It turned out that working with the adults for the first time was fun and actually they were fairly easy to organise and they are being helpful knowing that I'm a 16 year old teenager and clueless about being a leader and working with adults.

For example when we need 2 lines for passing the sand and stones to the mixer and we didn't have enough people to do that and NewPaulo which is an adult said that we can merge the line and then we can carry sand and stones on the same line and it worked perfectly well. 

A shoutout also to the fundies which are the local workers for working so hard and really help us on the process and teaching us how to do the work properly. I thought being a teen foreman would be a nightmare because no adults won't listen to the instructions but I was wrong because I worked with an amazingly great team that I'm really proud and grateful of. They did a really wonderful job. 

Last but not least the teaching team and the midwives training team did an equally amazing job from what I heard from their stories. Keep up the great work everyone! 

- Darren Radyan