Here we go… About to start a new series of almost-daily blog posts from here in Arusha, Tanzania. Thanks again to all the generous people who made my project possible. You can keep checking in here and I’ll try to keep it updated each day.
Karibu! Welcome (in Swahili)! We definitely felt welcomed when we got through Tanzanian customs and immigration (after a little trouble with my non-existent yellow fever vaccination) and met Kim, the manager of the filter factory here in Arusha, who took us back to the city in a crowded 7-seater van loaded with 8 people (Tracy (the executive director of SAFE Water Now), the three other youth volunteers (Trent, Kedar, and Kunal), Tom (our adult project and group leader), Kim, our driver and me, as well as all of our luggage.
We got unpacked after 45 minutes or so of driving through the beautiful countryside, shades of brown speckled with green shrubs shadowed by Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru in the distance on each side. We unpacked at our little home (sans running water or electricity), they put in a few beds for us, and we got settled. We had a tasty lunch of steamed rice with fish curry and avocados, prepared by our motherly housekeeper (our “house-mom”), Christina.
We walked down to the workshop, which was about 2 minutes away. We talked with Omari, a 24 year-old relative of Kim who basically runs the factory, about what our projects would be during our stay here. We planned to begin working on a new roof to cover the filters as they dry, and a new set of shelves for the filters within the next few days.
Later, we walked around the streets near our house, had another delicious meal by Christina, and slept around 10.