From a Volunteer's Perspective
Today there is something new in the help2kids blog. It’s not Cassie as usual writing the blog, it’s me Desiree, the newhelp2kids volunteer. All German –speaking people can be happy, because I’m writing the blog as well in English as in German! 🙂
Maybe I quickly tell something about me: I’m 23 years old, come from Germany and just finished my studies for elementary school education in Germany. I decided to work as a volunteer before starting my job as a student teacher back in Germany in the following August.
I found the very nice help2kids homepage actually by mistake 🙂 but I was immediately enthusiastic about it. Because I was looking for a project in Tanzania I contacted Frank, the President of the NGO. I sent my CV and the motivation letter and it worked out very well. He wrote me back very fast and after a short skype- interview with Christian it was clear that I would be a member of the help2kids family for two month although I knew that there were no kids during this time. But both of them promised me, that kids will move in the beautiful house very soon. You all can imagine how happy and excited I was when I heard that 13 kids moved in the house in February, just 3 weeks before I got here, so it really was a perfect timing! 🙂
Now I am here and I am really impressed of the wholehelp2kids concept. I arrived and everybody welcomed me with open arms. Thank you all for this warm welcome. The kids are so wonderful and we come along very well. I already feel like at home :-). And this orphanage is really something special. I can tell because I have the comparison to other Tanzanian orphanages. Before I came here I stayed for four weeks in Arusha and worked there as a volunteer in a Children Center as well. The kids live here in this wonderful western house with electricity, water a.s.o. in this beautiful and peaceful neighborhood. They have very healthy and also well balanced nutrition plan and do not only get ugali, rice and beans as it is usual for other orphans. Another thing that I really like about help2kids is that they also accept Kids with special needs because other centers usually don’t (especially the HIV-positive children).
During my first week many things happened here. Because kids started school recently they got new school uniforms. At the beginning of the week we picked up the uniforms at the fundi (seamstress) because every child got its individual uniform done. Look at the picture how gorgeous and smart our kids look in these uniforms! So cute!!!! We all were so excited when they first wore them!!!
Last Tuesday I started my first “project” here. Because I want to start afternoon classes very soon (I want to teach Art, English and Health) I also want the classroom to look nice and motivating for our kids. So I decided to paint the classroom and draw different topics as “the numbers”, “shapes”, “the alphabet”, “the colors”,….on the walls.
Furthermore this week I got a first impression how Tanzanians shop on their local market in Kawe. There you find besides fruits, vegetables and rice everything you need for 15 little school beginners. We got there the exercise books, belts, shoes, socks, backpacks…. And by the way: I just figured out that all the things you can buy here at such markets are second hand. That means the people here sell the cloth donations from all over the world for affordable prices.
Another thing is quite unique here in Africa. Here you can buy almost everything on the street when you are waiting at a T-junction or at a red traffic light…..and so it came that Cassie bought two beautiful lovebirds in a cage on the street 🙂 I was quite surprised when Cassie asked: have you seen these birds……we have to get them…. Then she turned around and bought for only 35,000 TSH these cute little birds. Now our help2kids (and help2animals ;-)) zoo is completed by these cute birds and soon we will build an enclosure for them next to the turtles.
Sounds like many things happen here in only one week but that’s not even everything…Right on the day I started to write my blog I didn’t feel very well. I had a headache and my back hurt…..then I thought: “Ok, I know that symptoms…..It could be…..” But I decided to go to bed and hoped that I would feel better next morning. But unfortunately during night I felt even worse. I took my temperature and figured out that I had fever. From this point on I was sure: “Ok fine, I think I have malaria.” A little bit afraid of what would expect me in an African hospital I went together with Patrick to very good hospital in our area the next morning. After the blood test the suspicion was proved. I haven’t been here for 1 week and I already got Malaria, although I take prophylaxis! For 5 days I have to get an injection in the morning and then I should be fine again. And I have to say its not that bad as I thought it would be. I already felt much better after the first injection. And I also want to say Thank you to Patrick. He was so worried about me and cared for me very well!
Oh and congratulations to him. He just got his driver license this week! Good Job Patrick :-)! You already are an excellent and safe driver!
In this way Cassie and me want to say Thank you to my sister and my wonderful god-daughter Celine and Graham Bradley 🙂 Don’t our kids look awesome in these? Graham and his family donated a whole bag of clothes. We really appreciate that. Thank you so much 🙂
So my first very exciting week here in Dar es Salaam is already over and I really look forward to the following seven weeks I am staying here. Thank you for reading my first blog. Maybe another one will follow soon! We are sorry that we didn’t post the blog earlier but we haven’t had electricity the last two evenings……We have electricity blackouts every day at least for 10 hours. Although I’ m already used to “hamna umeme” (suaheli for: no electricity) from Arusha, I have the impression that in Dar es Salaam the situation is even worse than there….