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Tanzania | Ceremony & End of Save the Rain Project

March 14, 2016

March 9, 2016

After six days of challenging labor building the water tanks, we finally completed the rain catching systems. While building these systems, we made leaps and bounds communicating and building relationships with our host families. These connections will last us a lifetime, and even though we may not see these families ever again, the memories we shared will be forever engraved in our brains. Our new brothers and sisters, moms and dads became a part of each of our families. We may not have a lot in common, but one of the most important things that we learned was that we are all human. As humans, water is one of the key components to survival, and these water tanks that we made will allow them to collect water and, in turn, allow more time to enhance their economic growth. Most of us realized that these tanks would have a significant impact on our family’s daily lives, but until the closing ceremony most of us had no idea of just how much the clean and accessible water would truly mean. As the closing ceremony commenced, some CSS students began to weep tears of sadness and joy. As the kids welcomed us with harmonious songs of welcoming and love, we were overwhelmed with the hospitality and support the community showed, as well as the realization of how thankful the villagers were for the water tanks. The families who received the water tanks will benefit for generations. These people, the ones who have had to walk miles each day just to find contaminated and dangerous water, then gifted us with traditional clothing and beautiful flower leis. To all of us, this meant more than the most expensive gifts because it came from their hearts. The continuous and heartwarming singing coming from the children induced many tears from the participants of the ceremony. The children, aged from about three years old to thirteen years old, took the time and effort to learn some of their songs in English, although they mostly sang in Swahili. Even without knowing the meanings behind the words of their songs, many of us felt that they accepted us and even loved us from the short period of time we were immersed in their culture. Sure enough, one of the most heart wrenching songs they sang was about how they were sorry to see us leave but that they will always keep us in their hearts and welcome us back with open arms. As the ceremony came to a close, tears continued to flow freely from both sides as everyone was saying final goodbyes. The youngest children did not comprehend that we will most likely never see them again, but we knew all too well, and that was heartbreaking. Even with the heat and exhaustion, sore muscles and language barriers, we would never trade this experience for the world. This experience brought us more than we could have ever expected because we did something with our hands and our hearts.