Hey! Tolu and Lorelle here, bringing you today's update. We had an early start today, after a noisy night due to some screaming bush babies and cawing birds. Breakfast was at 7 am, featuring an array of yams, eggs, papaya and watermelon, sausage, Tanzanian pancakes and authentic tea and coffee. It was, of course, paired with delicious fresh orange juice. We have all been pleasantly surprised by how fresh the food has been. In fact, we were able to see the source of some of the staples we had eaten.
Tim and Saku, our guides for the day, gave us a tour of our neighbor's farm. We saw goats, cows, chickens, and many crops. You may be surprised to know that sunflowers are very abundant in Tanzania or that there are about thirty species of banana cultivated here. Nothing is wasted. For example, corn is eaten whole and also dried for use as flour, or the bark of a sausage tree is used for medicine. Our trip to the farm was then followed up by an hour long stroll from one village to the next. We had the privilege to see the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is usually covered by clouds. (Tanzania has a cool climate right now; it's dry season.)
We ended our stroll with a walk through the market; it was pretty empty considering today was Sunday so most people were at church. We were able to find a woman selling avocados and other fruits. Tim, one of our awesome guides, bought us five avocados for 2000 Shillings; that's less than a dollar! (The exchange rate is 2239 Shillings per dollar.) We were able to enjoy these delicious avocados during lunch back at the lodge.
After lunch and an hour of free time filled with ukulele tunes and hitting each other with frisbees (by accident of course), and the occasional, much needed, nap, we took a bus to visit Ms. Luciana, a local teacher, and member of a highly respected family in the Chaaga region. She answered a lot of questions about Tanzanian culture:
What are some challenges in the education system in Tanzania?
Funding is scarce (only five dollars per student for the whole year). In addition, many students in Tanzania do not have their parents living at home with them. They may live with other relatives, such as a grandmother, who may not have money to provide them with school supplies.