A Travellerspoint blog

Kilimanjaro tomorrow!!

SPONSOR LINK Link: angelacoleman.chipin.give.a.he​art.to.africa.

sunny 26 °C
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Today was the day of the briefing..

I was at Gladys's the tour operator for 8am.. ok 10 past Tanzanian time for full kit allocation and then to meet my guide August!

I am way under prepared as I had no list with what i needed but luckily they had and started throwing things my way to be tried on and added to the pile.. included in the pile was

One Flourescent orange jacket

One Brighter than bright yellow poncho

An over sized fleece.. the smallest they had

A balaclavar.. yes I do plan to rob a bank after!

2 walking poles.. starting to look the part!

A lot of thermals tops and bottoms

A super thick sleeping bag

etc..etc..

Today Kilimanjaro was out from hiding behind the clouds for most of the day.. which is a rare treat recently! It was most amazing at sunset.. unfortunately we were in the middle of town but it was still very lovely.

I am feeling pretty nervous about making it to the top but I will get there!!

A BIG THANK YOU to all those who have sponsored me and if you haven't please do so, angela all money is going to go directly to fund a former students further education.. a true gift to give here in Africa and something that will motivate me to the summit!!

Link: angelacoleman.chipin.give.a.he​art.to.africa.

Posted by angcoleman 12:20 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

Climbing Kili in 9 days - Please sponsor me!!

PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!!! chipin paypal link http://angelacoleman.chipin.com/give-a-heart-to-africa

sunny 25 °C
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I will be climbing Kili on the 13th July for 1 week in aid of Give a Heart to Africa a fantastic NGO I have been volunteering at for 3 months.

The trek will take me 7 days to reach the top of the highest mountain in Africa - almost 6000 meters. It is going to be super tough getting up but I am totally sure I will make it!

i will reach the top of the highest mountain in Africa!!

i will reach the top of the highest mountain in Africa!!

The NGO is a vocational school educating the poorest women of Moshi, giving them and their families the opportunity to get a better life here in Africa. I would love to use the money to help some of the graduating students to further their education or start a small independent business.

Me teaching English

Me teaching English

Please give generously through the following chipin paypal link http://angelacoleman.chipin.com/give-a-heart-to-africa

More information about the NGO can be found www.giveahearttoafrica.org

Please pass the word on, the more money I raise the more likely I am to make it!!

Thanks

Posted by angcoleman 13:32 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

Getting to Rwanda

Hours by bus = 67, countries = 4, numb bums = 3, amount of dust swallowed = ALOT!

overcast 23 °C
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Monika, Lusajo and I embarked on a mammoth trip to Rwanda by bus – it is really expensive to fly within Africa so we decided instead to take the bus. There are 2 ways to get to the west of Africa through the Serengeti – costing $90 for the privilege of driving through at high speed seeing nothing or going round a mere 16 hours to Mwenza the first stop! The issue was the bus through the Serengeti about half the time wasn’t running that day so off we went on the 16 hour journey.

LEG ONE

Thursday – 5am
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We embarked the 16 hours in high spirits with Monika singing “we’re going to Rwanda, we’re going to Kigali, to see hotel Rwanda and the chimpanzees! wohoo” we were pretty much sitting of top of each other the seats were so small and the people in front were almost sitting in our laps.. People were also standing up in the aisles and loafs of bread swinging from the ceiling!! After 2 hours Monika and I both agreed that we would fly home!

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The road conditions were terrible, bumpy and full of pot holes, however I got a surprising amount of sleep! We had packed sarnies so the 10 minute stop we had consisted of queuing up in a very long line for a disgusting unisex toilet – OK so a stinky hole in the ground! We finally arrived at Mwenza at 10pm the bread still swinging from the ceiling of the bus.. my legs were practically falling off, we could hardly walk and my bum had gone to sleep but we survived! We checked into a nice local hotel and I anti socially went straight to bed

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Friday

After a traditional Swahili buffet breakfast consisting of egg, meat and fruit – I had very little and lots of coffee we headed out to find the internet and explore! Monika hadn’t got her visa back from Rwanda immigration yet so we were all hoping it would be in her inbox.. and it wasn’t.. we couldn’t leave TZ without it!

Mwanza is lovely, it is a beach town on lake Victoria, there is a huge divide between the rich and poor, this is evident from the beach houses and the houses set into the hills overlooking the city. However after walking through the town you see the poverty just like in Moshi and Dar.

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In the middle of Mwenza there is a lovely hotel and just visable from the road was a roof top bar! I decided that we should go up there to view the town properly, watch the sun set and if they served alcohol have a little cheeky one!

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The bar was lovely and the view was amazing from the top! We had fresh fish from the lake served with the head on (ewww). Lusajo has a few friends that live in Mwanza – one of them Coco owns a nightclub so that night we headed out to the club – it was slightly rough with some bizarre art on the wall but great for a few drinks and a good boogie until 3am!

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Saturday

After a slow start, plenty of coffee and the good news that Monika had her visa yay we headed in search of the beach. We got driven there by another of Sajo’s friends.. his car was very bizarre with fluffy covers on the seats and stuffed toys in the back weird but nice for a lift!

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We arrived at a super posh beach resort in the middle of a poverty stricken neighbourhood, it was in the middle of nowhere but so nice. The hotel was built around a massive rock with water flowing through the middle of the restaurant and an infinity pool amazing and just $200 a night! We stayed for a drink and enjoyed the beach, the water was cool so we just paddled.

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We booked our tickets for the bus in the middle of a car park, paying 2 random guys sitting on chairs – very bizarre I questioned if they were actual tickets but they looked real and Sajo and Monika thought it was OK. The bus was due to leave at 5:30 am so after a quick yummy pasta with mushrooms I got an early night.

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LEG 2 Mwanza to Russomo (border)

Sunday 5 am we got up during a power cut – I had not planned on that and couldn’t find my torch so I got ready using the light from my phone and finished packing my bag. The bus was in a similar filthy condition to the bus from Moshi, it was already packed, we pushed our way on as I got to my seat I felt something in my bag.. A pick pocket had opened my bag but didn’t get chance to take anything before I pushed past him – quite a shock – note to self hold valuables firmly and keep an eye on them!

We were jammed in again but pleased to be finally on route to the border. After 7 hours of bumpy roads we heard people start talking about the border, we had turned down many offers offood and crazy alcohol being offered from traders on the side of the street through the bus window, but now I was starving and ready for some food!

LEG 3 Russomo to Rwanada border

We jumped off the bus in the middle of nowhere but were greeted by many taxi drivers all keen on getting us to the border. One taxi driver looked at me and Monika and decided we could fit in the boot of his car and he could still get us there not stopped by the fact he only had half a seat in the car left! We declined his generous offer and following an argument between a few taxi drivers squeezed ourselves in the back of another taxi with 2 locals we were now just 25 mins from the border!!

LEG 4 The border of Rwanda

Once we arrived at the border we had to try and work out which building to get our departure stamp marked, no one seemed that keen to help us or show us which way to go but we found it eventually!

Cars cannot cross the border at Russomo so we crossed by foot over a bridge with a lovely waterfall, over the other side of the bridge was a welcome to Rwanda sign!! We had made it . After a quick photo at the Rwanda sign we found immigration and got our arrival stamps.. Monika is from Canada and was the only one that had to pay $60 entry, it is free for us Brits! 

LEG 5 The border to Kigali

Instantly on arrival we saw big differences in the cleanliness of Rwanda and the friendliness of the locals. There were modern lorries at the border that Sajo said he had never seen in Tanzania! We stopped at a café next to the border for chapatti and a drink before our final leg into the capital another 3 hours!! The people working in the café were lovely. We got talking to one lady who told us she had lost the majority of her family were killed in the genocide when she was a toddler; it was such a shocking realization to how real and recent the atrocities happened.

We took a classy bus – everyone had a spacious seat, the seats were cushioned and I had leg room!! Rwanda is known as the land of many hills and hundreds of smiles and now I know why. The locals were very welcoming, a few people said hello to us on the bus and as we arrived in Kigali they advised us on where to stay. I noticed as we were passing through the villages they all had power and people seemed busy but it wasn’t chaos like Tanzania.

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Finally after 30+ hours and over $300 better off we had arrived in one piece in Kigali – Woopie!

Posted by angcoleman 22:15 Archived in Rwanda Comments (0)

Our trip to Arusha

"Kindness is a language that blind people see and deaf people hear" Shangra, Arusha

sunny 23 °C
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Our trip to Arusha

Arusha is the largest city in Tanzania; it is not the capital of the country but is where all of the tourists go, as it is the main departure point for Kilimanjaro and all the safaris. It is sprawling, the traffic is manic and it is much busier than Moshi.

Monika and I went to Arusha on Saturday to go and visit Haleema; she is a former student that is now being sponsored by the NGO to go to journalism school. A previous volunteer’s work sponsored her first year at school. It costs approximately £640 a year ($1000) for school fees, food and accommodation. We are now looking for a sponsor for the second year (if you’re interested in helping please let me know!).
Haleema is from Moshi and lives with her mum who is very sick with diabetes and her sister who is now making and selling chapatti to keep the house running.

We caught a Dallah Dallah to Arusha, it is about an hour away from here, to get there you go past many villages which is always interesting to see. At all the major stops street sellers come up to the window selling you anything you may want for the journey – newspapers, sweets, water etc… Most of them are carrying these things on their head which I am getting used to seeing now.

Haleema’s journalism school is about 15 mins out of town in the middle of no where, I have been to a few schools now and I am always surprised in the location of the school, usually in the middle of a housing district up a dirt road. This one was no different cows and goats were munching in the grass in between a small shack, a house and the school.

Haleema outside the college

Haleema outside the college

Haleema seemed very happy to see us – she has been at school for a month now and is really enjoying it! She has definitely grown in confidence and seemed very comfortable showing us around. They have their own small recording studio and PA system which we went to see, all the students get time to present on the PA system – it was a nice little set up!

Haleema in the recording studio

Haleema in the recording studio

Haleema's fellow students in the recording studio

Haleema's fellow students in the recording studio

We then headed in a taxi to Shanga, an organization set up by a Dutch women for disabled people – it is evident here that disabled people really don’t have that many opportunities hear. As there aren’t enough jobs to go around common practice would not be to give a job to a disabled person. The organization make beads (Shanga in Ki Swahili) from recycled glass bottles. They use local resources kanga – local fabric to make the chain. They are also diversifying their business to bags, plates, mirror decorations etc.. The website for this organization is http://www.shanga.org.

A fantastic quote outside Shanga on the wall as you go in <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

A fantastic quote outside Shanga on the wall as you go in :)

Shanga

Shanga

The necklaces

The necklaces

We sat in the garden in Shanga and chilled and had a coffee and juice– the atmosphere was lovely comfy sofas and trees and grass all around. The idea is excellent and the setting is just perfect! The restaurant was also beautiful and the food is apparently pricey but very nice.

Monika relaxed on the lovely sofas in the Shanga garden

Monika relaxed on the lovely sofas in the Shanga garden

We then headed back into the hustle and bustle of Arusha, there is a supermarket stocking Western food there (shoprite), which is small by western standards but in comparison to shops here it is a hypermarket!! The area surrounding Shop Rite is touristy there are a few boutique shops and some cafes – one that sold me my scolding cup of coffee on the Safari journey! Monika and I headed into the maasai jewelry shop, they had some lovely jewelry and the money goes to maasai villages (www.tanzaniamaasaiwomenart.com). After that we headed to Stiggbucks for a fantastic lunch and planned our attack on Shoprite!

Stiggbucks!!

Stiggbucks!!

So it turns out the people that price the goods in shoprite obviously don’t know the going rate for many western items.. some of the pricing was crazy!! A small box of grapes for 17,000 tsh that 8 pounds or $12! But the parmesan cheese was more ridiculous 50,000 Tsh 20 pounds or $33!! um no! But there were some more reasonable things that had to come with us digestive biscuits and muesli naming a few oh and a BBQ!! Monika had been thinking about getting one for a while and they were only 50,000 – I did ask her if she wanted to reconsider and buy the parmesan cheese instead but she hastily declined!

OMG the most expensive grapes EVER!!

OMG the most expensive grapes EVER!!

We piled in the bus with all our purchases and headed back to Moshi.. on the way back we realized we forgot the charcoal! Monika located it at the local shack and then there was just the challenge of building it. This was very funny seeing as there was no power on our return at 8pm so we made it in the dark with the help of torches and candles! We now have options for cooking other than boiling and frying yippee!!

Monika making the BBQ

Monika making the BBQ

Whalla! Veggie burgers for 2 :-)

Whalla! Veggie burgers for 2 :-)

Posted by angcoleman 09:14 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

A visit to Viviani's families house

A family with nothing

overcast 27 °C
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Vivian caught my eye as a student that needed lots of help from my first day teaching here, she is painfully shy and her English is still very bad after 6 weeks of lessons. She tries well in class but really struggles, she comes to extra help on Tuesdays and Wednesdays whcih is more one on one and is really helping her.

This Friday (20th) we were scheduled to go to Vivians house, she lives about 20 mins walk from the school with a friend of her families. The family live an hour drive away so she stays in town to come to school and goes home at weekends..

We met Vivian at 9 am at the bus station and got on the Dalah Dallah heading to merangu, this is a small town about an hour away from moshi. Once we got off we started walking up the hill on a dirt road away from the main road, it was quite a hike and pretty steep.

At the top Vivian lead us through a few small paths till we came out in a beautiful opening in the trees to look down on a family house, there was bannana trees and coffee plants all around us as we walked down towards the house. We went into Vivians room which is also the dining room. She served us all Chai tea and Caki - a traditional cake deep fried in oil - it didn't taste of much but it was polite to eat the whole piece!

Vivianis room

Vivianis room

Vivians a 29 year old girl, she has 2 sisters and a brother, she is the oldest daughter. her sisters are house girls - live in cleaners - a terrible job very poorly paid and the girls are often abused by the man of the house hold... Her brother is unemployed. All the children except for Vivian have not been home for 2-3 years..

Vivian lives with her mother, Uncle and niece. her father died a while ago - his family requested on his death that her mum take his brother as her husband instead.. unbelievable, I can't imagine this happening in the Western world.. The husband's family is controlling in this culture and women will get turned out of their homes with nothing if they do not agree to their requests.

Unbelievably the uncle was in a crocodile attack at a local lake in 2001 and has lost both his arms.. I imagine he was washing clothes in the lake and got attacked. As he has no arms he cannot work and provides no income to the family... Vivians mum makes Caki and sells it in the local market. The family clearly have nothing and make very little money every month. The uncles English was good and he was able to tell us a bit about the family, they have lived in the same spot on the mountain for many generations.

Herman our business translator comes to home visit to help us with translation. He asks the students our questions so we can communicate. Vivian told us she really enjoys school, she isn't sure what she wants to do after school but expects she will come home to support her mum make cake.. this is understandable but such a shame having this education but not being able to do much with it.. Vivian also told us she is really struggling to see the board.. we are finding many of the students have eye sight problems but have never had glasses. The NGO funds glasses for all students that need them - we have a few frames donated from the Western world which cuts the cost down considerably as they are just replacing the lenses. Uncle and mum told us how pleased they are that Viviani has this opportunity for education.

Viviani, mum and uncle

Viviani, mum and uncle

After we had finished our tea and our chat we headed to Vivianis grandparents house. They live just next door but their home was very different, they where small huts all over the areas filled with a few goats, 2 cows and some chickens - Grandma (Bibi) and Grandpa (babu) live in the shacks too with the animals - bizarre but true. Grandpa didn't look too good, he told us he was sick. He was very pleased to see us and welcomed us warmly. he was pretty shocked after I took his photo at his appearance - I presume it has been a while since he has seen his apperance!!

The family with Grandpa

The family with Grandpa

Me and Babu!

Me and Babu!

Posted by angcoleman 11:17 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

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