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Tanzania | The REAL Work Begins

March 04, 2016

Digging the Foundation for a Home Water Tank Today was the first day working for our family with our masons. First, we dug in a rocky terrain with shovels and a pickaxe and quickly realized how strong these ladies were. While many of us were struggling to even make a mark in the ground, our masons ceaselessly broke up the dirt. With precise measurement, we made a 1m-radius circle next to the house. After shoveling about three hours, we took a lunch break with a delicious meal made by our cooks back at the Danish Center and had time to learn about our family and the culture in depth. In Kaela’s and my case, when we heard that our mamas share a husband, we were very shocked. Polygamy, which is often criticized in many countries, is an open part of the Tanzanian culture, especially in rural villages. We also learned about the education system in Tanzania. Unlike the United States, Tanzanians have primary school — from 1st grade to 7th grade; secondary school —form 1 to form 4; A-level — form 5 to form 6; and college — all levels 4 years. They have to pass a national exam to move to a different level school except for primary, and only about 35% of Tanzanian people graduate from college. Increasing the literacy and education level will enhance the country’s potential to grow indefinitely, and building a Save the Rain tank next to our family’s house will reduce the time required to acquire water and will help the children not miss school. After a short lunch break, we went back to the work. We put rocks around the circle we dug to build a strong foundation, cut the wires into pieces for maintenance, and started mixing sand and cement. After working for about 6 hours, we walked back to the school and got on the bus for the end of the day. The bus returning to the Danish Center was as silent as a gentle night breeze. Today was a heavy work day, but all of us felt satisfied and accomplished: we had lain the first small stones to make the paths of the lives of our new host families better.

Investigating a home water tank Here is the Tanzanian song of welcome that some of our host brothers and sisters taught us:

Jambo, Jambo Bwanaa
Habari Gani, Nzuri Sanaa
Wageni, Wakanibishwa
Tanzania Yefu Hakuna Matata

Digging the Foundation for a Home Water Tank
Investigating a home water tank