The official Newsletter of Projects Abroad TANZANA Issue No. 07 ...

The official Newsletter of Projects Abroad TANZANA Issue No. 07 ...

Karibu Sana

The official Newsletter of Projects Abroad TANZANA

Issue No. 07, July 2011

What’s Inside…

Pg 2 Editorial note

Pg 3-4 Tanzania inside and out

Pg 5-10 Volunteer’s Story

Pg.11 Volunteers’ Moment

Pg. 12-14 Two Weeks Special 1 st Group

Pg. 15 News and update

Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

Editor`s note

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the July edition of the official newsletter of Projects Abroad Tanzania.

This newsletter aims to inform all our volunteers with information about the latest

happenings in Projects Abroad Tanzania and the country in general.

We would like to thank all the people who have volunteered with us. We really

appreciate all the valuable time and great help you gave at the different placements. We

would like to say thank you to all the volunteers who decided to choose Tanzania for

volunteering through Projects Abroad.

This month we were very busy with our first group of two‐week special volunteers who

are here for just 15 days, but that doesn’t mean that their effort is less than anyone else’s.

They did a great job doing the care and medical placements.

In this edition of the newsletter we have stories from volunteers as well as pictures of

different events that have been happening in Tanzania.

I would like to thank all volunteers who gave time to be part of this newsletter. I wish

you all the best for your arrival in Tanzania and back home.

Have a great month!

Georgina Tenga.

Social Manager



Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

Tanzania Inside and Out


Welcome to Tanzania and Zanzibar!!

The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 with the union of the mainland country of

Tanganyika and the Zanzibar islands, which

comprises the islands of Unguja and Pemba.

Unguja is the much larger and the more

populous of the two islands and is commonly

referred to as Zanzibar, as is the main city, Stone

Town. The legislative capital of Tanzania is

Dodoma. Dar Es Salaam is the commercial

capital city of Tanzania.

The romantic capital of Zanzibar is celebrated

around the world for its beautiful beaches and

history. The semi‐autonomous archipelago has a

very different history from that of the mainland.

Zanzibar was the capital of Oman for well over a

century and was eventually colonized by Great

Britain while the mainland became a Germany

colony. Evident in the architecture of Stone

Town, a captivating city that has been declared a

UNESCO World Heritage Site, are the multicultural influences of the people who have made Zanzibar

their home.

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Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

The Eastern and African people who historically traded and did

business on the Island of Zanzibar lived there together for

centuries, their traditions and customs intermixing. While in

Zanzibar don’t go without a guided tour through Stone Town and

wander the alley ways amidst intricately carved doorways with

ornate balconies overhead.

Other place of interest to visit are the Anglican Cathedral that was

built on the site of the slave market, the house of wonders, built

by an Oman Sultan as a ceremonial hall which is now a national


Within Stone Town there are several atmospheric and world‐class hotels. The spectacular east coast is

dotted with both large resorts and small, intimate hotels. Diving, snorkelling, sport fishing and

windsurfing on the sparkling clear water of the Indian Ocean are just a few of the benefits of staying in


By Georgina Tenga



Volunteer Story

Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA


The first thing you notice about Engikaret is how dry, dusty and barren it is. The second thing you

notice is how everyone who passes by smiles and calls out to you – “Mambo!” (“Poa!” is the appropriate

response). How could this be? I thought we were here because this community was suffering from a

lack of water? I’m from Canada – a country that has such an abundance of clean water that we turn on

the taps every day and never think twice about where it comes from or what we would do if it ever ran

out. When I first set foot on the dusty ground at Engikaret I had no idea that I would be taking my first

step towards truly

understanding the true

power of water.

Engikaret is the location of a

Catholic mission that houses

a primary school, secondary

school, medical centre, and

of course, a church that are

used by the local Maasai.

The mission is run by a

Tanzanian priest named

Father Renatus, who was

also our billet host (we lived

on the mission campus).

Make a mental image of a Catholic priest. Now, replace the stoic expression with a mischievous grin, a

booming (although sometimes evil‐sounding) laugh, and a motor‐mouth full of stories. Next, replace the

traditional robes with an Arsenal Football Club uniform (yup, shorts and knee socks, too…the man is a


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Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

Next, put three cell phones in his hands, with at least one firmly glued

to his ear at any given time. Finally, put some white dress shoes on him

and picture him doing the Electric Slide (that’s a country and western

line‐dance for those of you not in the know!). There you have it – Father

Renatus – the most charismatic and atypical priest you could ever meet!

When Father Renatus was first sent to Engikaret over two years ago, his

mandate was to close down the mission. The Catholic Church had just

about given up on it due to the lack of water and the various issues it

posed. But Father Renatus believed otherwise. He began a campaign to find a way – any way – to get

water to the mission at Engikaret. Through various contacts and lots of internet research, he came upon

BridgIT Water Foundation. BridgIT Water Foundation is an organization founded and run by Wendy

and Mark Tisdell who run a successful industrial water pumping business in Australia. They have

devoted expertise, finances, and most importantly, their compassion to various projects that seek to

bring safe, secure and sustainable water to needy communities in developing countries ever since.

The Engikaret project was perhaps one of the most daunting that even they had encountered. The

original project vision was to drill for potential underground water at sites around the village. But a

after a few test holes were drilled, BridgIT’s optimism quickly “dried up”. It was then on to Plan B –

water harvesting.

The concept of water harvesting is simple: catch water falling as rain and store it for future use. One

thing that Engikaret has a decent rainy season!



Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

With the numerous

buildings at the medical

centre, primary school and

secondary school, there are

many roofs that facilitate

water harvesting. With

Wendy and Mark’s

expertise in water systems,

a plan was hatched to put

new gutters on the

buildings and create an

underground plumbing

system that would collect

all this water into various

tanks around the campus. BridgIT hired some local builders to construct a massive main water tank, but

lots of additional hands were needed to do help with the grunt work. That’s where we, the Projects

Abroad volunteers, came into the picture.

We were to be the rookie labourers (some of the finest that France, Denmark, Australia, UK, US and

Canada had to offer) that Mark and Wendy had to train and mould into passable trench‐diggers, pipefitters,

tool‐operators and surveyors – I think they did a pretty good job, and we have the blisters to

prove it! We knew we’d be in for some hard work, but I don’t think any of us truly understood how

difficult the work would be. Everything you see construction workers back home doing with large

power tools (jackhammers, back‐hoes, power saws, surveying equipment, etc.) we did – manually!

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Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

We dug ditches with shovels and pick‐axes, we broke rocks with hand chisels, sifted rocky dirt with a

mesh to make sand, cut trees with hand‐saws, hauled loads of concrete in wheelbarrows and surveyed

buildings with a measuring tape and a compass. It was hot, sweaty, back‐breaking work but nothing is

quite as rewarding as falling fast asleep after putting in a full day of physical labour towards a good

cause, taking a cold bucket shower, downing a warm soda pop, and catching up on our favourite

Spanish novella.

Of course, the smiles and

welcoming people were also

great reward! From the staff at

the mission and the children at

the schools to the local Maasai

men and women passing by

during their daily routines ‐

everywhere we went we were

welcomed and called out to with

friendly smiles.

The people of Engikaret are truly happy people, despite their obvious hardships. It really does make

you think twice about your own life and what is important and necessary to be happy.



Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

In all, our team of 12 volunteers dug over 300m of trenches, hung over 200m of gutters and plumbing,

installed 3 tanks with over 30,000 litres of storage capacity, and helped with the production of a

110,000‐litre concrete tank. We were also able to construct a feeder line that brought a non‐functioning

goat‐trough back into use. They say that with a typical rainy season, the system we installed can provide

the schools and medical centre with enough useable water to last 6‐8 months of the year! The project

has been a true success and I think I can speak for all of us volunteers and say that we are incredibly

proud to have been a part of it!

In between all the water project stuff we also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, participated in a Maasai elder

induction ceremony, played soccer matches against the local police force, partied hard in Arusha and

Moshi (karaokeing way off key!), sampled banana beer, went on safari, befriended some young

apprentices, and earned our “badges” in goat‐catching, water‐drawing and pickup truck surfing. We also

sampled various BBQ goat innards, learned some Swahili (and Danish!), introduced the local kids to The

Lion King, visited a coffee plantation (sort of), squeezed 8 people into a Toyota Tercel and danced and

limboed with Catholic priests. I’m sure there’s a whole lot of other stuff I’ve forgotten to mention that I

know my fellow volunteers will surely remind me of when they read this article.

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Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

We may have been geographically isolated way out in the middle of nowhere, but we were all in it

together and through that unique shared experience we learned to not only work together as a team,

but to live together as a family. I guess it’s yet another demonstration of the power of water – the power

to bring a group of random individuals from around the world, together as a family.

Philbert Kim, Canada

*For further information about BridgIT Water Foundation, please visit



Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

Volunteers Moments

1. My Volunteering at St. Elisabeth Hospital

It has been absolutely eye‐opening to see the practice of medicine from such a different angle than at

home. You have the great opportunity to see diseases that you wouldn’t encounter in more developed

countries. The doctors who are here have different approaches, which are interesting to observe as they

are forced to be resourceful and pragmatic. Overall it has been a valuable introduction into medicine in

a very different culture.

Joe Price.

2. Medical Programme

It has been an amazing and fascinating time in Tanzania. I have had loads of opportunities to explore

and learn about the cultures and traditions of people in Arusha. My time in the Hospital was great and

the doctors and nurses were very welcoming and friendly. Overall everything runs very smoothly and I

think this has been a remarkable trip, which I will never forget.

Chun Man Chan

3. My work Experience in Tanzania.

Work and life in Tanzania is really a new and exciting experience for me. When I first arrived at the

host family I was very warmly welcomed. by Mrs Sanyaeli and her Children. The food and living

conditions were excellent. I really enjoyed every moment I spent here, especially playing with the kids

every night.

I worked in St. Elisabeth Hospital for 2 weeks. We had a number of informative meetings followed by

visiting clinics every day. I have learned a lot about tropical diseases in Tanzania. I have also been able

to see real examples of medical work in the ward.

Apart from having work experience in the hospital, I also learned about the culture of Tanzania and

some common dialogue in Swahili. The safari trip in the weekend was a one in a life time experience,

with lions, giraffes, elephants and really cool animals that I have never seen before.

All in all, I recommend this trip to every prospective medic. By knowing how fortunate I am, I’m now

more determined to pursue a medical degree and become a doctor in the future in order to save lives

and help the needy.

Tommy Lai.

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Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

Two Weeks Specials (1 ST


The summer is here and that means that we are having our first group of volunteers coming for two

weeks to do care and medical placements.

For this first group we had 20 volunteers: 11 on the medical group and 9 for the care placement.

Even though two weeks is a short period of time the people gave the best they could on every activity

that they performed and tried to get involved in the Tanzanian Culture.

The Care group was helping to paint the ‘Lakitatu Secondary School’ during the mornings and then

playing with the kids of the school and even teaching a bit of English. In the afternoons they visited the

kids from ‘Tumaini Orphanage’ and played along with them or tell stories before they went to bed.

Tanzanian population. Also, they had an outreach in the Maasai community.

The medical group was

divided in two and they

helped at St. Elizabeth

and Ngarenaro

hospitals, doing rounds

with the doctor in

charge while he was

explaining about the

diseases of the patients

and the treatments to

follow. By organizing

medical workshops the

volunteers had the

chance to find out

more about the

principal diseases

which affect the

Besides the work activities, we had cultural ones such as Swahili lessons at the office, where our teacher

Victoria teached us basic phrases like ways to say hello and thank you.

The first week went so fast and suddenly we were on safari for our weekend trip. The destination was

Ngorongoro Crater, a beautiful place located 4 hours away from Arusha town. After a long trip we

completed the first part and made a stop on a camping site where we had dinner together and spent the




Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

The next morning we made our way to the crater, a wonderful place where we saw different animals

like giraffes, lions, elephants,

hyenas, hippos, zebras and

wildebeest. It was such an

amazing experience! Then it

was time to go back home and

get ready for the second week

at work.

For the second week the

secondary school looked very

different from when we had

started: the outside was almost

done and while some of the volunteers and local staff were

finishing it. Other volunteers had started to apply the second coat

of paint on the inside of the classrooms. Painting on windows and

some gardening were also other of the things done by this group.

I went to visit Ngarenaro hospital and I found the medical

volunteers helping at the maternity wing, taking the kids to the

scale to check the weight while other were helping to fill the


Friday came so after two weeks of hard work we had a day of leisure visiting the snake park and going

to the Maasai market to get some souvenirs for family and friends.

By the end of the day, we went back to the host family to get prepared for the departure the next day.

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Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

We would like to thank the first group of volunteers for all the enthusiasm and energy that they showed

during the two weeks, and we hope that they had a nice experience here in Tanzania and would like to

see you back someday.

Asante Sana!

Jorge Aguayo

Assistant Manager



Official Newsletter of Projects Abroad | TANZANIA

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