Fern in Tanzania
If I liked the taste of coffee, I would currently be drinking about ten cups of it a day, instead I have resorted to sugary food in an effort to stay awake and keep going. This weekend was possibly one of the best but yet most exhausting of my time in Tanzania. From Orkeeswa School, 63 students and ten staff members set off on Friday morning to spend the weekend competing at sports at an international boarding school in Moshi (a town near Kilimanjaro). I never realised how much work goes into organising something such as this before doing it myself. A large majority of last week was spent in preparation from working out team lists, packing everything from sports equipment to first aid kits and toothpaste and soap for the students. Friday morning, three dala's, the school minibus and the pickup truck set off with some very excited students. For some of these students it was their first time traveling so far- this unfortunately meant that for some of them they had no idea they got motion sick until they were throwing up on the bus. As the dalas wouldn't drive the three hours to Moshi we had to change transport on route to something that was halfway between a bus and a minibus. We arrived at Moshi at lunchtime, checked in and entered the dining room for lunch. Other than watching the students play really well in sports, the highlight of the weekend had to be the food! As the school caters for international boarding students the cafeteria was adept at catering for many people very well. We had meat two times a day, eggs for breakfast, and banana cake and cinnamon rolls- we were even provided with hot chocolate. It was fairly amazing and I'm not sure if our volunteers or our students were more amazed by it all! Safe to say we all agreed at the end of the weekend that we ate too much, have forgotten most of our table manners and are in trouble when we come home from Christmas to not just go mad at being reunited with food we have missed! The weekend was very full of sports, some of our students ended up going from sport to sport without much of a break. We competed in volleyball, basketball, football, netball, softball, ultimate frisbee and rugby. All in all we managed to get 8 trophies which was pretty good going! The highlight of the weekend- sport wise was definitely the rugby games. Our students were about half the size of their opponents but won the tournament- with the score in the finals being 21-0. I had to attend daily staff meetings to represent Orkeeswa and it was the talk of the meeting! The students were really fantastic. Who knew Masai jumping could come in handy for missing a tackle! It was very interesting being at the school, which was very different from not only Orkeeswa but also the schools I went to. There was a swimming pool, horses, massive grounds, a shop/ cafe on campus as well as the cafeteria and a fairly large play park. I ended up being at an event where the referee was in charge of boarding at the school- she said the youngest boarder was five years old! A lot of the coaches and staff at the weekend were international and it was pretty strange to hear so many British accents! There was also quite a lot of staff pranking behind the scenes as well. We all had to sleep in classrooms on mattresses on the floor- one teacher didn't want to be in the same room as the students and so moved into a tent outside the classroom for the weekend. Mysteriously, the ropes from his tent suddenly became unattached to the tent pegs in the middle of the night! Sunday, we finished the day by winning both under 19 boys and girls basketball finals before all returning on our trip home. It was a fairly long one as we had to stop to change transport again on the way. This also was dinner time for the students so we had them all stand around two trolleys in a supermarket car park as they were provided with four slices of bread and two bananas each. Back in the town, the female students had to be escorted home for safety but we made it back home not too late in the end. This week is my final week here this year which is very strange! It has gone extremely fast and yet feels like it was ages since I left home. It is activities week at school which I am in charge of organising so its going to be fairly hectic and I am looking forward to sleeping next week when I get back home! Wednesday we are going for a staff meal for our final chipsi mayai and are swapping secret santa presents, Friday is then an assembly with parents and Sunday I fly home!