Not Your Usual School Trip (Part 2)

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Andrew telling us about the water storage unit.

So a 30 minute journey into the countryside near Musoma and we arrived at a small village. We walked a short distance and stopped in front of a construction that looked like a small concrete cylinder about 8 feet high.  Andrew, the NGO worker, told us that the cylinder was a water storage container made from concrete – the inside was perfectly smooth so no bacteria can ‘grow’ on it.  The tank was fed by two drainpipes which ran from the roof of a nearby building.  The tank relied upon rainfall and took a total of 45,000 litres. Enough to serve the health clinic and also a lot of the local community. The tap was in a small box to which the doctor had the only key. The health clinic served about 8 t 10 thousand people.

This health clinic serves between 8 and 10 thousand people.
This health clinic serves between 8 and 10 thousand people.

Health care isn’t free so people have to pay for services so families are encourage to pay an annual amount – effectively health insurance.  Incredibly, to provide for a family of 6 it costs Tzs10,000 per year which amounts to £3.61. and the shocking fact is that most families can’t afford it.  By the time we had finished we had quite a group of local school children who had come to see us.  The whole afternoon was really informative and the children asked some excellent questions but it was also quite a sobering afternoon as the thought that a family couldn’t afford such a small amount  for a year’s health care was  quite depressing. If you feel moved to help then you can donate to http://gomakeadifference.co.uk/

After the water project it was back to camp for some relaxing.

Relaxing on the beach.
Relaxing on the beach.

In the evening it was the ‘talent’ show by the children which proved to be totally surreal: card tricks that didn’t work, jokes that weren’t funny, singing that was out of tune etc !!  Still it entertained the teachers. Thankfully the children were so tired they were all asleep by 10.30. And we followed soon after!!

After a reasonably good night’s sleep it was tents down and back on the buses ready for a four hour drive back to Mwanza including a lunch stop. We’d decided that the best place to have lunch was going to be the entrance to the Serengeti – so after about an hour and a half we duly arrived.  Sadly some of the children were foolish enough to put their food on the tables and walk away from them to go to the toilet – thank you very much said the baboons as they took their dinners away !!!  After lunch it was back to Mwanza with no mishaps although there was some hairy driving in terms of speeds reached – our bus obviously had a warning when it exceeded 75mph – it sounded for pretty much the whole journey.

Being overtaken by a dala dala - we were doing at least 70mph !!
Being overtaken by a dala dala – we were doing at least 70mph !!

After 3 days we arrived back safely, with the right amount of children and everyone exhausted. It had been a fantastic trip.  For those of you who have a teaching interest you may be wondering about health and safety.  Well, in all honesty, there isn’t any. We used two coaches that were recommended by one of our P.E. teachers,  alive snake was draped around the shoulders of several children, and one was hanging from the rafters, we rode bikes in a busy town on main roads, drove at more than 75mph, sat and had lunch by the entrance to the Serengeti where there were wild baboons. And finally we didn’t take a first aid kit and there wasn’t a single child sick on the coaches – good job as no sick bags were taken. On the back of the trip some H & S recommendations might be made. But given that we have trips to Rwanda and Kenya it might be hard!

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