Mainly the weekends are when we do different things as everyones busy in the week (the hostels become a bit of an arts and crafts centre with everyone preparing lessons for the next day). We went to an Oasis a couple of weekends ago which really was like a little bit of paradise. It was a bit of a drive along bumpy roads (at one point the car we were in literally swam through a flooded part of the road we were seriously impressed). But when we got there it was breathtaking. On the way a whole family of baboons ran across the road, it was amazing! All the kids also ran around the car when we were driving through the villages they were so excitted to see a car.The water was totally clear so you could see everything and there were little tree branches to sit on in the water which was a beautiful temperature. There were also those little fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet so it was like a free pedicure. Although actually its a very odd feeling so I didnt give them much chance to get at mine! Afterwards we went out onto the dirt road to escape the shade and get some warmth. It was quite short lived because it was so hot it was burning through the towel, but more importantly than that a goat rocked up.
A group of us took the kids from special needs on a picnic the other day. It was great they were so excited and it was so sweet. We did walk pretty far though, probably a little too far but we managed to convince the leader to stop finally thankfully for sandwiches and fruit. The views were amazing- we walked to the top of a big hill from which you could see all of Arusha. We were however pretty tired by the time we got home!
The other day I went back to one of the teacher's houses for lunch after we finished at the primary school. It was really quite a trek (a little longer than expected) but it didn't matter at all because it was such stunning scenery. We crossed a little river with stepping stones and walked through paths lined with banana trees. Then she made us fried bananas which are surprisingly tasty! I went to another teachers house today which was also amazing. Less far to walk but much steeper - not sure which is better. She gave me hard boiled eggs and tea (the tea I have to say I did regret asking for because it was basically made up of milk straight from her cow and was not at all like the beloved pg tips) but she was really sweet and gave me a kanga because she loves me. I'm a very lucky girl.
Last weekend a group of us from the hostel went to Moshi which is another city in Tanzania. It was realy fun and nice for a slight change of scene. On the bus ride there however someone a few seats in front spat out the window and it came right back in and landed on me and my friend which was an interesting start!! On the Saturday night we went to this club called La Ligua which is seriously cool. They have cars you can sit in in the middle of the club, really good music and pool tables. On the Sunday we went on a tour of Moshi. We started off looking at one of the starting points for the climb of Kili which really makes me want a go but that'll have to wait a while. Then we went to a Chugga museum - the Chugga's are the opposition tribe to the Masai's here and originally were all pygmies which was really interesting (hilarious guide). We then went to these caves the Chugga's built when they were fighting Masai (the Masai believed that all cows belonged to them so where fighting the Chugga's about it). It was actually not the most pleasant of experiences, it was so dark and damp in there and you couldn't stand at all - apparently the Chugga women and children hid there for 5 years which would pretty much be my worst nightmare. After this we went to this stunning waterfall, and you could see a little cave about half way up where the Chugga women would climb out to do washing and collect water. We went further downstream and swam for a bit, if you sit in one of the parts with faster flowing water (not fast enough to be dangerous) it feels like a massage. After this we went to a banana and coffee plantation and learnt how to make coffee. We made our own coffee, tasted it and got a bag to take home it was great. On the way home we stopped off at a local bar to sample the local "banana beer" which I would not reccomend anyone ever drink - it looks sort of like sick and tastes like bananay vinegar - but it did come in these really cool cups which have a stick through to hold them on.
Yesterday was International Womens Day so we went with the girls from Farajah to do a march through this village protesting against violence against women. Some of the stuff that happens here can be pretty awful. In some of the Masai cultures they still perform female circumcision - apart from the obvious horror of it I also found out the other day that it causes a lot of problem with having babies as the babies can't get out so many of the women's babies die in birth. It was really an amazing day. The girls all sung Swahili songs about womens rights then we walked around the village singing these songs and handing out posters and leaflets to the locals. It was actually wonderful to see how many men took them and read them - one truck of men stopped specifically to get one and all of them were reading it as they drove away (minus the driver of course). Later on this group of performers came which was really like a surreal dream. I thought the dala dala was coming to take us home and instead this open bus of dancers and rappers and singers rocks up, jumps off the bus, and starts rapping for the circle of people. One of the dancers took me into the middle and made me dance with her, which I have to say I did not appreciate at all, but thankfully the second time around my friend Paige also came in and had the genius idea of getting everyone else to join in!!
So I think that's me all up to date so far, I'm going to a Masai village for 2 nights this weekend so I'll keep you posted on that but in the meantime lots of love to everyone missing you all lots xxxxxxxxxxx