Arusha 4-Schools Relay…
Arusha 5-Schools Relay…
Day Hike Marangu Gate towards Mandara Hut…
With 800 Kids from 5 Schools to Arusha Stadium…
On the next evening we went to a very nice ethiopian restaurant to meet with some of our new tanzanian friends we got to know during the various events we had during the last weeks.
When Albena first arrived in Arusha, she and Sharbori scheduled a day trip to Mount Meru for the day. She made a new friend in Faraja who was the guide for that day. Faraja is very involved in the community development in the Mount Meru area and arranged for us to visit with the children of the Olturota Primary School. (which used to be his own school many years ago)
We were formally greeted by at the Olturoto Primary School by Huruma Sokimaro, James Meengienga - the Head Teacher and Frank Chinyuli - the Head Academic Master
At that time, we were able to give many dolls to the school made by Oneness Heart Tears and Smiles as well as a water filter supplied by Daulot from Seattle.
After that we ran together with the teachers to the sports field where about 400 kids were waiting to receive the us with the torch.
The Peace Run ceremony was then led by Albena and translated to Swahili by the teachers. She asked the kids, “Why do we carry the torch?” One child replied, “You and your group want to keep peace in our world”.
After leading the kids in a ‘moment of peace’, they were aksed who felt the flame of peace in their hearts? Nearly all of the kids raised their hands.
Then all the children made a large circle to take their turn at holding the torch. A procession was made around the circle, each child either held or touched the torch, then gave a ‘high five’ to the team members following behind the torch.
The kids were extremely disciplined and managed to run around the whole field in a raw. That was very impressive to us becuase usually kids just run for their lifes:)
After all the running, we made our way back to the entry and office. On the way, Vasanti was teaching the children about kinder yoga, which she does in Heidelberg. The kids were excited to learn.
After taking last pictures with the torch we had to say our goodbyes and begin our journey back to Arusha.
We were very happy after this wonderful reception and had decided to walk back rather than squeeze into the tiny taxi which had carried us there. Once we left the schoolyard, many children accompanied us and carried the torch. They all seemed to treat the torch with respect and peace. Each child took his turn carrying the torch before saying their goodbyes. We then made our way on foot, back to the office of tourism and our meeting with Willy and Tatah.
Walking down the hill we had the feeling of being out there in "real" Arusha. Even though people do not have a lot I did not have the impression that they need more. It seemed a simple, natural life that people lead here it was very intresting and impressive to get a glimpse of it.
It seems to be quite easy to open up a shop in Tanzania: you just build one and sell what ever is too much on your field...
What touched me most about Africa is the heart of the people. It is just there. You can smile at someone and if your smile is sincere you will get a sincere smile back. And I believe that this heart is something much more valuable than expensive medical equipment we have in the west...
We finally arrived at the Bureau of Tourism and spent over an hour talking with Tatah about the Peace Run. We then sang both the Peace Run song and the World Harmony Run song to the entire staff at the office of Tourism. Everyone seemed to gain so much joy from the experience. Willy said “You can’t run a country without peace, so by all means, we’re in”.
And they gave us some nice Tanzanian gifts too. A great meeting!
Thank you to our new friend Faraja for arranging such an excellent day.
Our last visit the next day was to Mount Meru Hospital, where Rose - mother in law of Jackpot Safari owner Andrew Malalika - has been working as a nurse for over 30 years now and is in charge of the premature baby care department with great love and care for each child. She gave us a list with urgently needed equipment and material and we promised to do our best to support her work in the hospital.
Last day shopping at the Maasai Market. A beautiful place with all the craftmanship and artwork you can get in Tanzania, but be prepared for serious negotiations.
Everything has an end and so, unfortunately, also our stay in Tanzania. It was a beautiful experience and I believe most of us are looking forward to a soon comeback.