I have received a lovely account from Sally who came and volunteered at Baobab too. For your reading pleasure:
Baobab Journal December 1st 2010
I think I will start with my last day at the Baobab shamba because it was so special and all the strands of my time with Terri, the orphans, the building works, the plantings came together.
My daughter, Alice, and her lovely neighbours in Dar es Salaam, George and Theresa, drove up to Bagamoyo. I moved out of Francesco’s Hostel and we went to the shamba.
The children and their carers were already there and having fun in the playground, Alice had bought herbs and planters from Dar so we got to work and planted them and also gave the shamba a new hose. The old one had more water pouring out of the holes than came out the end. Gabriel and David the two chaps who look after the land and animals were very, very pleased with the new hose.
Terri is American and had not had time to celebrate Thanksgiving on the previous Thursday which is the normal day so had gone ahead and organised a wonderful party for all the builders, farm workers, the children, their carers and teachers about 40 people in all. A goat had been killed the previous week and a sausage had been made with the meat left, there was a vast bowl of rice (nice change from the maize porridge) peas with peanut butter quite tasty lots of vegetables. Alice had bought up pre cooked eggs from her chickens in Dar and I made devilled eggs as a starter and she made some goat cheese. It was a feast.
With everyone still sitting on the floor or on the benches around the rondavel Terri told us that Gabriel the gardener was going to give thanks for the meal and then everyone could express their thoughts of what they were thankful for. Every single person spoke either in Kiswahili, Maasai or English or all three. Terri said thank you to me and to all the donors (you guys) and I thanked Terri and her husband Caito for putting up with me and I also thanked the lovely ladies at the Orphanage, Sarah, Helena and Gloria and the lads on the farm. For me the most moving was what David said. He had no English when I arrived and I had only managed to teach him a little bit including ‘you must water the trees every day’. When It was his turn he looked at me and said ‘Welcome every day’.
We ended up with an incredibly sickly bright blue and white cake bought from our funds I had to cut it up into so many pieces and when I licked the icing it turned my tongue completely blue. Tanzanians love food colouring. Every morsel was demolished. I took fond farewells and cried some of the way back to Dar.
A quick run down on my second week there. The English lessons continued to the Mamas at Baobab home and they just loved Bingo, Snap Hokey Kokey and learned so much. I would play with the orphans every day and found it very very hard to say goodbye to them. When I arrived on the motor bike all the neighbourhood children would call out ‘Sally Sally’. I visited the Montessori School for the older children and also the Nurse Training School and I hope through Mediae Trust to fund more text books. I spent some time at the hospital where the children receive their AIDS medication and was impressed with the staff and care there. With our funds the ceiling materials were bought and more cement and the windows are almost finished. The walls of the kitchen are now about 10 feet high and growing every day. I planted another 20 trees to create shade for the playground area.
This may not be my last journal about Baobab. I Just have to go back to see how the trees and shrubs are doing and how the children have grown. It was a truly wonderful experience and again I thank you all and feel that you were part of it too.
I am writing this from a spectacular house near Nanyuki at the foothills of Mount Kenya as I am staying with very dear friends. The weather is like a cool English summer’s day and a great break from the hot steamy coast. I think you may be in snow. Greetings to all
December 1, 2010