Jambo from Africa!
Today marked our first official day of volunteering with “Make a Difference Now” in Tanzania. We had a full day of exploring, learning about the culture, and, the highlight, meeting the children at Kilamanjaro Kids!
We started the day with a delicious breakfast of fruit and eggs, prepared by the delightful Pena who helps run the household at MAD.
Next, we headed to the orphanage to pick up the three children who would be joining us on our adventure for the day. Benny, 14, is quick with a smile and eager to play. Christina, 14, is spirited and clever. And at 15, Mwenda is very mature and poised to enter Secondary School in the winter.
With kids in tow, we traveled to the Chaga Caves. In this stunning and culturally rich destination, we learned about the Chaga tribe and the history of the caves used for hiding during tribal wars. The session was led by Daniel, an engaging guide who, throughout his lesson, reminded us to live as vehicles for love and peace. This philosophy is present in Tanzanian culture, where friends are considered family, and relationships, one’s greatest asset.
Afterwards, we enjoyed an authentic lunch of banana stew and rice, followed by a short drive to a hike to the Ndoro waterfalls. Steep and lush, the hike led us to a icy pool at the base of the waterfall which proved perfect for a cool swim.
Finally, we headed to Kilamanjaro Kids for the best part of the day – meeting and playing with the kids. They embraced us at the door with hugs and bright smiles, and we immediately felt at home! Laughter filled the house throughout introductions and play. The group of 14 included future pilots, politicians, and police officers. We left energized and won over by this enchanting group, and feel excited and fortunate to spend the week with them.