Blog, Mission Possible, Oct 2016. Making A Mark At School. 2nd November, 2016
An eventful final day for the Mission Possible volunteers on deployment in Tanzania saw them enduring car trouble caused by drought-ending torrential downpours to saying fond farewells to local schoolchildren.
October is usually a dry month in Pangani district. However today was the third day in a row that we had torrential downpours first thing in the morning. This was fantastic news for the people of the district as the past few months had been very dry, causing major issues with crops and farming.
For us, it wasn't good news. The plan was to visit the village of Mrozo to distribute maize flour and seeds to a number of beneficiaries but the conditions meant our cars would have great difficulty in getting to this remote village which is a minimum of 90 minutes from our base.
When the rain subsided, both teams set off in their respective cars. Our team stayed close to the second team's car in our 4 x 4 in case of any issues. Little did we know that it would be our car that couldn't handle the journey on the washed out roads.
It was time for the team to become one and get up close and personal. We all piled into the one car, literally sitting on top of one another.
The journey took much longer than usual due to the muddied road and every time we came to a hill, the whole team disembarked, walked through the mud and got back in. On one occasion the boys had to push the van out of a ditch when it got stuck.
On arrival at Mrozo, we met the villagers and distributed the seeds and maize flour. This was the same as we had done in Kovukovu and Masaika villages on previous days. Being the first time we met these villagers, everyone was very grateful for what they received.
We then made our way to the school and met lots of the schoolchildren en route. Our second task of the day was to distribute stationery bags consisting of exercise books, pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners and rulers.
These would be distributed after a group educational session by the second group for children in nursery, standard 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The team made up the bags ready to distribute.
After the sanitation training by the other team, we asked all the children to come to the front and collect their school packs. It was amazing to see the smiles on the faces of all the children as we handed over their individual packs.
The things that we take for granted were so welcomed and will make such a huge difference to them.
After completing the school pack distribution, all the children sang a song to thank all the book volunteers for everything that they had done in Mrozo over the past few days including the sanitisation and water project, the distribution of seeds and maize flour and the school packs. We then had the opportunity to spend time with all the children and take photographs.
At the end of the day, we were asked to speak with one of the elders from the village who had received maize flour last year as part of the project. He was so appreciative of what we had given and thanked us continuously for helping make a change to his family's life.
This was a very humbling moment for the whole team as he had travelled from the other side of the village to meet us and give us thanks and prayers in person. Every day has been a different experience for us and each day we learnt more about ourselves and the local people around us, for which we will be grateful.
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