After yesterday’s 4 hours hours of sleep and somewhere between 40 and 50 miles of hiking (12 hours), we took today off to recover. We woke up sore at noon, the first time I’ve woken up later than 8 this entire trip, ate breakfast for lunch, then checked in at the factory. During the night, the dala-dala (taxi/van) drivers had organized a strike against their employers, refusing to drive anywhere in or around Arusha. This caused riots downtown, near the Shoprite, and the police used teargas against the crowds. You can read more here: http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/-/13150-bus-operators-strike-renders-city-chaotic. Fortunately our village of Ngulelo is far enough away from the city center that the only effects of the strike we noticed were quieter streets and plenty of dala-dalas at the carwash across the street.
Without a way to get into town for supplies our day was an uneventful one. I used it mostly to catch up with blogging at the hotel and getting some (well-deserved) rest. I spent at least four or five hours catching up on the last few days, using my daily journal as a guide for remembering the basic outline and important details of the past few days. Every night I write a page or more on the day’s activities, so even if I don’t have internet access, or even a computer, I’ll be able to quickly write up a post for that day.
We made the most of our rest day. I soaked my sore legs in the pool, had some soda, charged my laptop and camera, and figured out our plan for tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do: firing the existing kiln, beginning work on the new kiln, making some filters (finally!) and cleaning up around the factory.
On the way back from the hotel at night I learned that our little house near the factory is going to be occupied as soon as we leave. Leslie, Tracy’s friend from Connecticut, and her family are moving to the house to work with SAFE Water Now. They’re arriving, coincidentally and symbolically, on the same plane that we will fly out in on Thursday. It reassured me to know that someone will be picking up where our group leaves off, and that our work that the factory will be put to good use under Leslie’s full-time management.
We found Kim at the factory at 9 p.m. making filters alone, and he taught Trent and I how to prepare the clay and press the filters with the molding machine. Tomorrow we’ll make some more. We also were invited into Kim’s house later and watched some Bollywood movie dubbed over in English; it was hilarious! Now to get some sleep and get ready for a hard day tomorrow.