Peter, Debra and Henry
Our primary teachers gave us gifts of Massai clothing
It’s time to say good-bye to Kibaya and our unforgettable year there. There is an old Cuso saying that goes, ‘you will learn at least as much as you teach’ and this has certainly been more than true for us. It will take a while for it all to sink in but already I have started to look back.
I can still vividly remember that first bus trip to Kibaya. We’ve had better rides in our night mares. What should have been a five hour ride turned into ten hours, involving two dala dalas and a broken down bus. We stood up the whole way, except for when we were sitting on a rock at the side of the road. One of our bags was perched on the lap of a fellow passenger and our computer was stashed between the feet of a passenger twenty feet away. The bus was so packed that one couldn’t bend over to reach the water bottle on the floor. It was one of those adventures that are better in the telling.
After banging and shaking down a rutted, dusty dirt track for the last three hours of the trip, we arrived in Kibaya. We knew it was our destination because there was a mzungu standing by the bus stand. That mzungu turned out to be our colleague, Tessa Most. She took us in to her home fed us, gave us the scoop on the local conditions and made us welcome.
Our Primary Teachers
We have grown to appreciate this dusty little town on the Masai Steppe. On trips to Dar es Salaam, for meetings or for shopping, we have often commented on how much better we have it than the City Vols. Sure they have access to anchovy pizza with olives, chicken tikka masala with puffy nan bread and everything else under the sun that is western but, after all is said and done, The Real Africa has been our home. We are very proud to be able to say that.
It hasn’t all been a walk in the park. Like every other volunteer we’ve had our ups and downs. What we can say though is that the ups have overwhelmingly outweighed the downs.
We have done good work here in Kibaya and we are thankful for that. We haven’t done it alone and so thanks must go out in so many directions.
We must first thank Andrea Bacsfalusi, Tara Henderson and Gesa Harmston at Cuso International. Without their support we wouldn’t have gotten past the Halifax airport.
Kudos go out to Jean van Wetter, the VSO Country Director. Jean is the-go-to-guy at VSO. There is no better way to put it. His support for our work has been unfailing. Volunteers know that they can always depend on Jean. His humour, his dedication to development and his solid dependability have seen us through. His is the toughest of jobs; coordinating volunteers and supervising the VSO staff in Dar must be akin to trying to get cats to walk in a parade.
We would also like to thank Tessa Most. She has been the best of neighbours and colleagues. Tessa’s heart is huge.
Lastly, but not least, a big vote of thanks goes out to Mr. Ndee, the director of the CERC, Henry Kimola, our primary champion teacher, Mr. Kitundu, Richard, Happiness and Neema, our secondary champion teachers. To all of the teachers, our colleagues in Kibaya, we love you all.
Sixty Primary Teachers who completed our programme enjoyed a graduation lunch