After an incredible evening with the kids the night before, our crew geared up this morning for our final day of volunteering with “Make a Difference Now”. We kicked off our day with a filling breakfast; oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs and toast all lovingly prepared by Pina and my mom, Susanne. By 9:45am we hit the road en route to The Royal School.
We reached the campus and were welcomed by bright, smiling faces from all corners of the yard. Some of us even caught a glimpse of Mrs. Njike greeting us from her office, on our walk to the library. We had a long day ahead to “sand, paint, sand, paint, paint, paint” the library’s interior walls but we would not do it alone. Benny, Christina, Exuper, Inno, Jonasi, Mwenda and Shabani joined us to help finish the task. It was a great way to spend more time with the children and enjoy each other’s company.
During water breaks you could catch some of us playing games, taking pictures and stepping, a traditional percussive dance common amongst African-American fraternities and sororities. Though school was in session for some, Christopher, Elliona, Gift, Juma, Peter and Upendo occasionally stopped by during recess breaks to check-in, say “hi” and give big hugs!
Shortly after lunch, Alexa and Sam headed out for the airport to begin their journey home. A few tears were shed as we and the kids came to the understanding that although our time was brief, we had made a change in each others’ lives and will miss each other dearly. Though quite a resilient bunch, we composed ourselves and quickly got back to work.
By the day’s end, the walls were freshly painted and our job was done. We gave the kids more hugs and said our “see you laters” as they ran for the school bus and headed home. Before we left the school, Mrs. Njike thanked us for our time and chatted about plans for the computer lab and the next development stage for the library.
With a promise to stay in touch and encourage others to make a similar impact here in Tanzania we packed up and headed back to the guesthouse where we were greeted with yet another extraordinary meal by Pina and Susanne.
We have all been touched by the wonderful people, both children and adults, whom we have encountered during our journey. The children are extraordinary and each of us have committed to building last relationships with them. We will miss them.
Another best day ever.