Volunteers of MAD

Reflections from a Family Volunteering Together in Africa



We end our time in Africa in Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean coast. We have been talking to our children over the past few days to hear what their reflections have been from this experience. We thought you might like to hear their thoughts. Here is what they had to say:

The problems we are often facing many days are not nearly as difficult as the ones many of the friends we have made in Africa have faced.      

– Grace

We see a happiness amongst many people here, despite the lack of material goods. 

The world is so much bigger than the U.S.   

– Sean

We watched CNN International the other day and a number of U.S. politicians were calling each other names. This all seems so insignificant in light of the events of the world – poverty, infrastructure collapses, global economic trade issues, etc . We’ve been able to watch international news while here which lets us learn about and see the events that are taking place around the world.


I know we have been so fortunate to be blessed to be able to come on this trip. I’m thankful to God for allowing this trip to happen. It’s been a prayer for many years that we would be able to return to Africa and show our children what life is like in a place so different from where they live. We wanted to shape them into the people we hope they will be- ready to see the needs of others and ready to understand a broader worldview than simply what they see in front of them. We also wanted them to see the wildlife that’s here, because that is simply quite awesome! Thank you to those who have walked alongside of us, prayed for our safety and supported the work of Make A Difference Now at the beginning of our trip through your donations of books, shoes, underwear and school supplies. Please pray that we will remember the lessons we have learned going forward.


Volunteers of MAD

Sperry Family- Goodbyes

Day 5 (7/18/18)-

We were really excited for today because we were given the opportunity to go to two of the students villages and get a glimpse inside their lives. We left earlier so we had longer to be with Innocence and Jonas at their home. Paul drove smoothly and we reached the place where we had to pick up Jonas. After we picked him up, we continued driving toward Rombo. Once we reached their village we climbed and stretched our legs. We were greeted by Innocence.

The two brothers introduced us to their aunt and uncle. Then we walked to the place where they grew up, and they talked to us about their past, and their family history. Then they showed us around their farm. They had so many delicious fruits. Some grew in the ground, others grew on tall trees. There were bananas, pineapples, coffee beans, yams, avocados, mangos, and papayas. After the tour of the farm the brothers introduced us to their grandfather, which was a huge honor.

After that, we watched them dig up some yams, that we were to take back to the guest house. Then we walked to their avocado tree, and Innocence climbed up into the tall tree, and picked some avocados for us to take back to Pina. The avocados were twice the size of the ones back in the United States! Once they had picked about 8 or 9 avocados, we climbed back into the van.

On our way home we ate lunch. Pina had packed homemade pizza. It was absolutely delicious. Then we dropped the boys off in Moshi. Paul offered to take us to meet his wife and grandmother. We were delighted to meet them, and he gave us a tour of his property too. Once we arrived at the guest house, we realized that we would have to say goodbye to everyone because we would be leaving tomorrow.

We said goodbye to Janeth and Paul and wished them all the best. Even though we were sad that our week of service in Moshi was over, we were happy that we had the opportunity to spend time with students, and the children. We had learned about the culture, the language and about their way of life.It has been the coolest experience of our lives, and we hope that we can come back soon!

-Sperry Family, Tanzania Visit

Volunteers of MAD

Sperry Family -A Sense of Peace

Day 3(7/16/18) –

On the third day, we jumped out of bed, ready for the adventure Janeth had planned for us. Today was a culture day! Today, we were going to travel around and see the Gates of Kili, the N’doro waterfalls, and the Chagga museum. Around 9:30, Paul, our lovely driver, picked us up. We drove toward the mountain, and picked up Stanley along the way. The car ride was very seemed short and before we knew it, we had reached our first destination, the Gates of Kili. The two peaks were hiding behind the smoky clouds, so we were unable to see them. That was not too bad because we had seen them earlier that week. We walked up to the starting point of the trail, but weren’t able climb any further because we were not registered, and we did not have an early start. We took some pictures in front of the sign, and studied the maps. Then, we got back in the car and headed to the waterfall.

Paul turned the van down a bumpy dusty road to the waterfall. We were met by a few locals who guided us down through the dense jungle-like vegetation to the roaring waterfall. The spray from the falling water washed over us, and we could smell the crisp water crashing on the rocks. A sense of peace swept through the gourd as we watched the mesmerizing water. We took pictures of each other standing on a rock, and hiked back up the steep stairs back to the van. Then we drove to a place where we could eat lunch.

The food was still warm, and we ate all of the beans, rice, and vegetables Pina had packed for us. We relaxed for a while before walking a short distance to the Chagga museum. The guide greeted us and he talked to us about the tribes, and what early Tanzania was like, and how the tribes lived. He led us inside a replica of a traditional house and explained the different parts of the house. Then we went into a exhibit of tools that the tribes used. We learned what each tool was used for. For example we learned that they used these big barrels for making banana beer. We said goodbye to the guide and started the drive home. After an amazing dinner, we went to bed, exhausted from the fantastic day we had.

-Sperry Family, Tanzania Visit