We have been at our home in Karagwe, a hostel on the campus of local NGO Mavuno,
Our accommodations are even more comfortable than we anticipated. We have one of eight rooms situated around a sunny courtyard. Some volunteers from Germany, our students, and Amizade’s site coordinator Stephanie fill the other rooms and round out the little hostel community. We have solar panels that give us electricity to light our rooms and a rainwater catchment system that gives us running water, even (cold) showers and flushing toilets.
We all share meals prepared over the pictured small stoves by our cook, Mama Kennedy. The food is outstanding – everything is so fresh! Porridge, “chipsi”, and roasted ndizi are made with the bananas growing right outside our windows... we have (very) local pineapple, cabbage, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, meat, eggs, passion fruit, mangos, cassava, and more... and fish from lake Victoria.
Saturday our friends Marty and Natalie came to visit from their homes in Uganda and Kenya. They were able to attend a fantastic Amizade welcoming party where we were introduced to our hosts. With 30 or 40 guests of all ages – including the staff of Mavuno and their families, volunteers from another local NGO, several community leaders, and folks living in the nearby village – we drank Coca-Cola and Kilimanjaro beer, ate a delicious meal (with samosas!), played two rousing rounds of musical chairs, and danced the night away.
Sunday we took a hike to visit one of many successful and impressive Mavuno projects, a solar-powered pump that moves difficult-to-access water from the bottom of a valley to the community living along the ridge, saving locals – mostly women and often children - uncountable hours of strenuous labor carrying jugs up the severe hills. Unfortunately, my attempts to photograph the project were unsuccessful ... but we do have lots of other pictures from our walk: