Relaxing at the beach on Farmer’s Day followed by manual labor for a cheap price
Yesterday (Friday) we celebrated a local Tanzanian holiday known as Farmer’s Day…kind of like our Labor Day by 1) sleeping in 2) playing Uno while waiting for the rain to stop 3) spending an afternoon at the beach and 4) having pizza and chips mayai (chips with eggs) for dinner. The pizza was amazing because it was cooked in a wood fired oven. The pizza took forever to make (about 2 hours) but it was well worth it.
Today was an adventure. In the morning, we went hiking around town before our meeting with Father Peter, who is the church liaison with the government hospitals (namely Kidongo, Lybia and one other that I forgot). We met him at 10:00 am to talk about our diabetes project and about possibly collecting data from other hospitals. The meeting went great. We are meeting with him on Monday to arrange transportation to the other hospitals.
After the meeting with Father Peter, we spent a few hours visiting curio and gift shops. I took the group to the ELCT hotel (the hotel we stayed at last summer) and to my surprise, the receptionist remembered me! That was exciting! After visiting the ELCT, we spent a half an hour at an Internet Café before heading off to Mr. Raza to meet the fundi to begin the building of Habiba’s house.
At 3:00ish, we walked to the location of Habiba’s house. As we were walking, I realized that I visited her house last summer before leaving Tanzania. I remember her mud house and thinking how in the world can this house last a rain storm? Well, it can’t and that is why we are building her an iron sheet house. I don’t know how this house will last the hot summers and chilly winters but I guess we’ll see. Mr. Rutta (an assistant of Mr. Raza) showed me the financial breakdown of the house and it was surprising to see that the house cost a total of 810,000 shillings (roughly $800.00). That includes material and labor fees, which is only 60,000 shillings (roughly $60.00)! We, of course, are working for free.
At 4:00ish, we finally began building after the fundi laid out the shape of the house using wooden sticks and string. The house will be 12 feet by 12 feet! Then we began digging holes to layout the frame of the house. The best part was next….we had to use blades to chop up trees that were used to create the skeleton of the house. It was almost dark by the time the skeleton of the house was finished. We said goodbye to the fundi.
Tomorrow, we are waking up at 6:00 am to go out hiking. If time permits, we are going to church before heading back to Habiba’s to continue building her house. Our goal tomorrow is to build the roof…or at least help the fundi build the roof.