Report by Trixinne Silangan, Student
Each group went to the Imbaseni School to start the foundation of a new room. We were immediately split into 3 groups: the first group went to mix concrete with materials such as stone, sand, and concrete powder, the second helped build 2 tables, and the third group went to gather rocks to put on the base of the room. By lunchtime, we all enjoyed a great time playing and spending time with the children in the Seeway HQ and visiting the newly finished school that the previous year’s Year 12 all partook in building. It definitely goes to show that with enough effort in such a short time, building a school despite with limited resources is possible.
By the end of the second day, we managed to achieve the entire base of the floor along with the a third of the concrete base above it, we were all happy with how much we managed to achieve in such a short time and the hard work we put into this. We learned that it’s much more difficult to build an essential building, like a school, when there is little to no technology to work with.
In the morning after our camp out, we had an early start to the day due to the preparations and the drive to the 3 different families where we were split up into 3 groups, was further split up and given 3 different jobs, similar to the school building: two people were required to build a solar system in the roof of the family’s house and the rest would build the goat shed, and in the afternoon, 2 people were required to build the smoke-free stove, while the rest would finish up on the goat shed. Each group had the opportunity to name their goat. At the end, it was baffling to learn how different it felt between seeing images or videos from the Internet and actually being there to witness it happening in front of our eyes. One of the students told me that she “feels that if we were to live in their position, we would not be as happy as they are.” She has felt that the African people of Tanzania are incredibly resilient in finding ways to handle the hardships they go through in their lives.
Our trip to Tanzania definitely exposed our eyes on the difficulties other people may face that we are privileged enough not to and have given us an idea on how we could improve our lifestyles by small but significant amounts, such as turning off the light as we leave the room or making sure that no food is wasted, to save up on more energy. Along with the community work that we had a chance to experience, we equally handled this as an opportunity to appreciate the culture of Tanzania and produce significant memories.