Posts Tagged ‘volunteering

Blogging is tiring… The last few days have been quite eventful. This post wont be long because I would rather facebook creep with my internet time rather than blog…. pole.

So Friday night we went to TGT which is this restaurant in some really western hotel with tourists who probably dont see the real Tanzania…. besides the animals and kili of course. The food was great!!!

Saturday in the day I went to Masai Market and bought a lot of things, it was a fun bartering experience “rafiki price” came in handy, especially when I brought it up. I will definitely be going back soon.

On Sunday A few of us went to Saki’s (the security guard) Masai Village which was a3 hour drive, an hour and a half which is off roading. It was an amazing experience, they welcomed up with song and dance, and I was able to join in on one of their dances. We got to tour where they live, the females and children live all on one side of the hut, while the male lives on the other. Only when they are having sex the female is allowed to sleep in the males bed. The females do all the work, while the male literally does whatever during the day. There was a ceremony for killing and eating a goat, which I did not partake in. I understand why they do it, and know they utilize the goat’s every orphus, I just have a weak stomach… Apparently it tasted good though. It was an amazing experience to see how they live, and awesome to meet Saki’s children

Monday we woke up and found out the Dala Dala’s are on strike…. which means it is impossible to get to my placement in a cheap manner… so instead I went into town looked at Tanzanite and got a hoodie from the second hand market for safari. Apparently there is tension between the police and dala drivers because when the dala drivers are stopped they are forced to give money to police, and if they dont then they are arrested, and they are fed up with how they are treated. Which is fair. We heard that one of the girls from the homestay was pulled into a store because of the Dala Dala mobs and there was tear gas…. The next day we thought it was better because some Dalas were working, but we only made it halfway to placement… there was extreme tension between the Dala drivers who wanted to drive and the Dalas who didnt… Today is the same and I am just laying low before SAFARI TOMORROWWWWW


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


I leave a week today, and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed…. Not so much nervous, more so I have plenty to do before I go, and would rather just do nothing…. (procrastinating as usual). Last week I was out of the city, so I lost a week of preparation, but the place I was at was worth it, so it’s ok! I found out where I am volunteering and I am very excited! It is called Cradle of Love Baby Home and it serves babies/toddlers from 2 months to 4 years of age, who have either been abandoned, their parents couldn’t care for them, or their mothers had died of HIV. It will be pretty powerful, but I checked out the website, and the babies/toddlers are adorable 🙂 When I received my placement, I was told that COL is in need of disposable diapers and hand sanitizer… so if anyone would like to donate some, it would be much appreciated! I will probably go and get Costco sized ones!

Cradle of Love (go here for more information).

This is all for now!

Thank you (or in Swahili Asante Sana)



Posted on: June 11, 2011

My internet is back to normal speed yay! Therefore I can post videos after watching them and not judging their credibility just by the title!

32 days! Just an update because I wanted to share this link:

Arusha Times

this is the online newspaper for Arusha, enjoy!



Posted on: June 7, 2011

Since I posted about Arusha, I should probably write about the organization I will be going with, and why I chose them.

IVHQ, or International Volunteer HQ, is an organization based out of New Zealand (quite the distance from Winnipeg) created in 2007 by Daniel Radcliffe (not Harry Potter). Their statement of intent is

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) aims to provide volunteer travellers with quality, flexible, safe and highly affordable volunteering placements in developing countries. In addition to providing aid and assistance to these countries, IVHQ endeavors to increase education and heighten awareness through not only the skills and expertise taken by volunteers to their host communities and institutions, but also through the experiences and lessons volunteers will in turn take back to their own countries and cultures.

The reason I chose to volunteer with IVHQ, or more importantly, inquire more about the program, was because how affordable it was. I understand that it costs money to volunteer overseas, but the prices I found through other companies were just ridiculous. IVHQ had a per-week scale, and a deposit amount to reserve a spot. Another reason that solidified my interest with them was because they responded almost immediately to my email, and it was not a standardized email that one usually receives from an organization. The fees that a volunteer does pay, is strictly for boarding/food and money for where each volunteer, volunteers. IVHQ primary interest is not in making a profit, which was intriguing!

For more information


36 days 🙂

Arusha is where I will be volunteering! But more importantly, according to Wikipedia Arusha is:

  • city in northern Tanzania- capital of its region (Arusha region)  has a population of 1,288,088
  • situated below Mount Meru- close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge etc…
  • the de-facto capital of East Africa
  • hosted the ICTRs since 1994 (as a student, this excites me)
  • founded by German colonialists when the territory was part of “German East Africa”
  • named after the coal tribe “Wa-Arusha”
37 days!

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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