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Tanzania | First Day in Tanzania

March 03, 2016

Carrying water to our homestay locations After a long day of traveling, we were introduced to the Danish center near Arusha, where we will stay for the next few days. We also met the group leaders from Rustic Pathways. About half of the day was spent preparing for the trip to the village and being educated on the water issues that people in Tanzania face. After a very tasty lunch, we loaded the bus and headed to the village to meet our host families. As we arrived at the village school, we were welcomed by the students singing a song to us. Quoting a lot of CSS students: “We felt so welcomed and accepted into the culture.” Many kids smiled and waved back at us, truly warming our hearts. As soon as we met our “mamas,” we carried water to the homestay locations in extremely heavy buckets. When the children accompanying us saw us struggling, they immediately offered to help us. It looked so easy for them as they marched at a fast pace ahead of us. Later, as we sat down to dinner, we shared first impressions that we had felt. Most of us hadn’t known how tremendous an issue water is for many people. For instance, some village children have had to miss school to get water for their families, and many family members have suffered from life-threatening diseases caused by contaminated water. It takes, on average, about six hours for families to reach a water source about 10 kilometers away and bring it back, and sadly, the water still isn’t clean and often makes them very ill. This firsthand experience gave us a glimpse into the struggles these villagers endure nearly every day, as well as the impact our service work may have on their lives.

Carrying water to our homestay locations