Posts Tagged ‘africa

Clara during Chakula time

To keep being able to feed these children click HERE


I know I haven’t written on here in a long time, but I am writing with a plea!! Cradle of Love is running low on funds, and is strictly run by donations only. After they pay the Mamas this month, there will be no more money. They need money to pay the Mamas who work 12 hour shifts and are the main caregivers for the babies. On top of paying the Mamas, COL is going through legal issues, so they need money to cover those costs as well!

Why give material objects this Holiday season when a child’s basic human right is being compromised?!

You can donate here
(As much as they need material objects like clothes and diapers… right now they need money donations)

Asante Sana

If you aren’t convinced, then look at these pictures:



So today was my last day of placement…. which means I am currently sad. Cradle gets plenty of volunteers going through which is amazing, but it is sad when the children get attached to one or two volunteers, then they never show up again…. One little girl became attached to me, and when I was saying goodbye today, I had to pass her to a different volunteer so she wouldn’t cry (like she has in the past when I leave for the day, or even go to the washroom).

Leaving Tanzania tomorrow will be bittersweet because as much as I love it here, I do miss some of the selfish luxuries of home (writing that itself is selfish). I definitely took things back at home for granted until I came here, such as power, food, water and showers. I will be more cautious of these when I return, except for the one long hot shower I will be taking when I get home. The people here have been amazing, even if they do grab me at the sides trying to get me to come into their DalaDala. At home it is definitely not normal to say “Hi how are you” to strangers on the street, yet here it is not normal to not say those things… I will miss the “Mambo” “Poa” exchange as well as the “Jambo” “Sijambo.” I will also miss the cheap price of everything, so my value of a dollar has most definitely changed as well.

Cradle of Love, although well funded, can always be more well funded, so if you would like to/have the funds to donate money, you can do it through their paypal page on their website: (sorry for the shameless promotion, once you go to the website and see the babies, you will know why)

I am back Saturday night, so talk to you all then!



Posted on: July 22, 2011

So I am really not good at this whole blog thing…. getting to a computer is just not high on my priority list, and I would rather hang out or go into town….

This post will be a bit shorter because I don’t have my real journal with me so I don’t really remember what went on… Tuesday was the first real day of placement, and it was good, but long. Many of the children have abandonment issues because of their situation, so constant attention is given. We feed them breakfast (if  we make it there on time haha) and lunch, and they are pretty well fed. Since Cradle is so well funded, these kids are very privileged, which makes me wonder what their lives will be like after they are too old for Cradle. I asked Claire, one of the workers, what happens and some children move onto different orphanages (where I am assuming are up to Cradle standards, since Cradle moves them) or back with their parents. This worries me, because these children are pretty much spoiled as they get 3 full meals a day, have plenty of toys, attention and clothing. I think they will have a culture shock when they are to be moved.

On Wednesday, we went to placement again, and I went to town to exchange money at the bureau- which is always an adventure. In the evening some of us went to Africafe for some dessert (I obviously had ice cream). Africafe is pretty much a starbucks but with more food options, and in Africa….. Some people went to do Karaoke after, but I surprisingly declined..

On Thursday when we got to placement, they needed adults to take some of the babies to the clinic, so I volunteered to do so. The clinic was about five minutes away and very nice. It was a free clinic, and the facilities were legit, with proper scales etc…. And while you are waiting they hand our packages of cookies and juice. The babies needed to go for HIV testing and checkups, but we only had time for one baby to actually get tested. Sometimes testing can be a more than one time thing, and this baby, Irene, had her last test, and she is negative! We left early that day because the babies went to sleep early, which meant there was nothing for us to do, so I slept. At night was Social Night which is when all of the volunteers from homestays come have dinner at the volunteer house, it gets really crowded, but the food is awesome. I had like 4 Chipati…. all I eat here is carbs, and I have had to ignore my intolerance to wheat/gluten because it is barely possible to eat otherwise… I have come to embrace the burn.


Today we dropped off our diapers and hand sani at placement and they werent as thankful as I would have hoped… maybe because it was at a bad time. Today was nice because we got to play outside with the children, which made time go by fast. We left, but this afternoon they are having a Birthday Celebration for all of the July birthdays, and by the set up, it looks really cute.

Tonight there is talk about going for Pizza, so I will probably do that! Tomorrow some of us are going to the Masai Market and Second-Hand market for some touristy things as well as clothing for Safari…. apparently 13 years of camp didn’t sit with me while packing for Africa. Oh well. And on Sunday I am probably going to the Masai Village of one of the security guards at the house… I am excited but not too sure how I feel about seeing a goat being killed (I will shut my eyes probably). I understand it is their culture, so I am not against them doing it, I am against myself watching it 🙂

This was boring, Pole.


p.s. if you want something from the market and have the balls to text a Tanzanian phone number…. then text me 🙂


So I am currently updating my blog via gmail because the wordpress site is taking forever to load! Tanzania is Great!!!! Sorry I haven’t written sooner…. I don’t like being bound to a computer and I am lazy… So here is a long update!
The flights were good, except for one seat neighbour who was a bit obnoxious… ok, extremely obnoxious… but I dealt with it……
When I arrived I noticed the lack of lines and more of like a huddle? I squeezed my way to the front of the visa line (haha). Elizah, the Volunteer House Manager picked me and another volunteer up, and we were on our way! It was about a 45 minute drive to the house, and arriving was probably one of the most overwhelming experiences… On Thursday nights the volunteers have Social Night, where all the volunteers from homestays come to the house and have dinner than go out if they choose afterward…. we arrived during the drinking portion of the evening…. not going to lie, we stayed in the car for a couple of minutes because we were so overwhelmed. Everyone for the most part ended up being friendly and introducing themselves, so it wasn’t bad afterall. The house is very nice and has space for over 30 volunteers. I live in the female back room, which is 12, now 14, beds filled… feels like camp!!!! If we are lucky we have water… if we are really lucky, we have hot water. The shower comes out of a faucet that is low, so showers are done in sections; first the hair, than the limbs and body. The food is good and pretty standard, bread (or toast if we are lucky) with peanut butter, marg, jam on top and I bought nutella…. as well as mandazzi which is like deep fried dough, which is awesome… Lunches vary and I don’t really eat them because I usually am not home for them… and dinner is interesting combo’s of food… either way I leave dinner full.
Friday morning I had IVHQ orientation which was a lot of paperwork and a tour around Arusha. Arusha is bustlin (is that a word?). We then went to the Masai Market which I will definitely be going back to because it has the coolest things which are both authentic and touristy. Friday was a lazy day afterwards, and I went to bed at like 8pm.

Saturday morning about 11 of us went on a waterfall hike. It is at the base of Mt. Meru and the hike begins after about a 30 minute walk, or as I like to call it, another hike. The hike was strenuous, but the hardest part consisted of these mud steps we had to walk down. They were so steep a few of us fell (I survived that part). We then got to like a river bend, which was where we were to put on our sandals. I heard flipflops were ok to wear, but boy was I wrong! I fell in the water a few times, but luckily my camera didn’t get wet!!  The end result was beautiful and very worth the pain I am still feeling two days later… when I have more patience I might upload some pictures. In the afternoon that day, a few of our group went to town to look for random things. It became chaotic and a couple of the people tried being heroes and pretended to know where the Dala Dala was…… nope. they didn’t. Finally someone stepped up and asked. At night a few people went out, but the rest of us stayed in and watched Mean Girls (I would say that is a perfect night).

Sunday I wasn’t going to do anything but then last minute I decided to join a group to go to Shanga, which is a bead factory that employs Tanzanians with disabilities. It was very cool looking and reminded me a lot of that scene in Harriet the Spy with all of the bottles…. I took a picture so I can prove it. We payed 20,000 tsh for lunch and it was phenomenal. I want to go back and will try to. In the afternoon we just came back and laid outside, it was so nice and relaxing!!

Today I started my placement at Cradle of Love Baby Home, which was hectic at first. The person who was assigned to show us the way wasn’t actually going there, so we (another volunteer and I) had to wait until 11 to go. We take 2 Dala Dala’s there and its about 45 minutes away on a good day. The babies are adorable but we were given no instruction at first so we just did whatever. It is very well funded so there a lot of staff, so the volunteers are just extra help. I already fell in love with like five different babies and I was only there 2 hours. I will usually be there from about 9-2 everyday.

I feel like I should explain the Dala Dala’s….. they are this minivan that is meant to sit 12 but usually sit at least 16. They are all named and many of the names are about God (like God is Power, Jesus Power). They have broken my comfort zone, but now I am used to people climbing on me… They cost from 300tsh to 500tsh and get you to where you probably need to go. The one I was on just coming from placement backseat was broken and, yep, I sat on it! haha.

The currency here is tsh (or tanzania shilling) and roughly 1500tsh is equal to 1 dollar… so everything is extremely cheap, making me even cheaper than I already am! I cringe when I spend over 5000, but that is really like maybe $2.50….

Everything else is good so far! had a health scare this morning, but pepto solved that one! I am going on a Safari the weekend of the 29th, and could not be more excited!!!!!

I am going to try and go to the ICTRs but I hear rumours that they are closed for now 😦 I am not sure if it means closed session or closed for good… I will find out!

ps if you care to text me my number is +255 075 443 1268

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Today it hit me that I have a lot to do, eek! I feel that if I post what I need to do here, than I won’t forget (or at least hope to not forget).

To Do:

1. Yellow Fever shot ( the one shot that I actually need is the only one I do not have)

2. Bag- figure out if I am taking a suitcase, or a duffle (probably a duffle so I can fit more in!)

3. School supplies- I heard that the quality of pencils/sharpeners are not the best in Tanzania so I want to gather some Canadian pencils/sharpeners before I go and bring them over- if any of you have pencils/sharpeners/school supplies that you no longer need/want, pass them over!

4. Other gifts- For some reason my house has a weird amount of children’s toothbrushes… so I will bring those over as well, and some books/colouring books.

5. Travel essentials (no detail necessary)

Pretty much… if anyone has any supplies that they want to donate to a needing/deserving orphanage in Tanzania, then pass the stuff over to me and I will bring it! I only plan on bringing like a weeks worth of clothing because I can rinse my clothes there, and so I should have lots of room!


PS this is someones video I stole off of youtube that I guess went to Tanzania via IVHQ… my computer is really slow so I haven’t watched the video….I hope its appropriate!!

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