Thursday, 30 October 2014

A message from our leaders

Final day with team silcoates started with an early breakfast before the short drive to lake manyara national park. We enjoyed anthother great game drive in which elephants, babboons, flamingoes and even hippos were spotted. We then got them safely to the airport where we said some sad goodbyes and they are now well on their way home to see their familes and enjoy the luxuries of proper toilets, warm showers and proper beds. It seems like only yesterday we were waiting at the airport with anticpation to greet the team and welcome them to Tanzania. In the 2 weeks we spent with them, we have watched them grow and have been amazed by their positive attitudes, relentless work ethic and fantastic humour. They have all come a long way from the nervous and clean volunteers we met 2 weeks ago. Not only did they complete all the tasks that were set out to do, but they have completely transformed Sinai school and made some lifelong friends along the way, including hundreds of students, teachers and members of the community from babati (or as Mrs coll liked to call it babiti). Its been an absolute pleasure to have shared the expeerience with them and we have been proud to have been involved with all they have achieved.

Ellie- inventor of hydration time, been an absolute pleasure to work with and none of us will ever forget the shapes you threw on the babati dance floors. You legend
Dan Carr- what a trooper, your donation to the special needs classroom was inspiring and will greatly enhance the standard of the education they received. Its fair to say we've both been carred
Charlotte- don't think we've ever seen you without a smile on your face, your constant energy and enthusiasm has kept team spirits high and we were particuarly impressed with your tireless appreciation of rice and beans, although you do need to stop sharing food with monkeys.
Tommykins- you've been an absolute machine all week and a natural team leader, we're just sorry your parents never commented on the blog.
P.s. We have a vet waiting for you at home, we've heard your swans are sick.
Cathall- what can we say! Golden shovel, aka submarine, quite possibly the best cement mixer ever, though you do need to work on your pass the pigs and mafia skills
Rebecca- we didn't think it was possible for someone to trip on air until we met you! Always smiling, always laughing and always full of chicken facts, the farmers at the pig project will never forget you or the brilliant lesson on English agriculture you gave
Jack- you're a true gent, and always ready to lend a hand to anyone or any job that needed it. A real pleasure to have around for the whole team
Beth- you're dedication to sorting the library was crucial to the success of installing the new and improved library. We will never forget your natural talent at charades or the enthusiasm that went with it.
Lucy- fundi Lucy, a career will always be waiting for you in Africa as a plasterer and painter. We hope you enjoy a chicken feast to make up for all the rice and beans you've had to suffer through for the last 2 weeks!
Georgie- you got on with everything with a smile on your face, top photographer and key limer, great job and cant wait to see the photos!
Georgia- you absolute powerhouse, the only problem we had was getting the shovel out your hand at the end of the day, great worker and team motivator, you gave 110% to any task you were given, including trying to top your leaders fine quality banter, unfortunately you didn't succeed on that one
Danny Hoyle- the school will really appreciate the football shirt donation and we know how pleased and proud you were to see them wearing them, good job
Jo- your passion and skill as a librarian made a tedious task of book sorting an enjoyable one, you put everything into every task you were set with a smile your face and without complaint, you've been an absolute gem and we are really sorry we kept beating you at banangrams
Jemma- you've come such a long way in the last 2 weeks and really thrown yourself into it all, you've been an absolute pleasure to have around and we've never known anyone to look so fresh after 2 weeks of bucket showers, hole digging and cement mixing, what's your secret?
James- always worked tirelessly without a complaint, really strong and an incrediably hard worker, and so impressed with your committment to the trip especially considering what you were missing
Liberty- you are a star, our fencing expert and a Trojan throughout, we've loved seeing you come out of your shell and grow in confidence throughout the last 2 weeks, you did a great job as final site foreman and making everyone workers of the day was magic, you're amazing!
Peasey- Dan Pease- the best mafia narrator ever with some incrediably inventive deaths. Your haggling skills are second to none, still can't believe you left the market barefoot!  Cracking sense of humour, great work ethic but questionable fashion sense!
Rob- watching you interact with the Sinai pupils was absolutely priceless, they found you entertaining, hilarious and muscially gifted. Wherever you went, you were followed by adoring fans and this seemed to only increase throughout the trip.

Mr Coll-your enthusiasm and passion for the gardern was incredible,even Mr marsaille was proud, he will sorely miss his favourite worker. Your ukelele playing and team songs were a lovely touch and a real boost to team morale throughout
Mrs Coll- aka roomie- you've really looked after everyone on this trip and just been wonderful to have around for us and the students. Your kindness, attentiveness and consideration has been crucial in keeping the team moral high.
Mr Newell- what a treasure, your stories, jokes and enthusiasm have kept us going throughout, your bumps, cuts and grazes have kept us constantly on our toes. We are sorry to have beaten you at bananagrams so many times  but know you enjoyed safari enough to make up for it.
Mr Mistry- firstly thank you for organising such a great trip with such a great bunch of staff and students, they have been a real credit to silcoates. We are so Happy you have all enjoyed the trip. Your consant good humour and incrediably hard work has been truly inspiring and we both feel geunienly privelieged to have shared this trip with you and the rest of the silcoates team. P.s. Jess owes you a latte

Jess and Jack

On their way home!

Dear all,

Just a short note to let you know that the team have been waved off by Inspire leaders Jess and Jack and are on their way home.

We hope you have enjoyed these updates - it has been a real pleasure sharing in the team's adventures.
Jess and Jack will be writing a final blog post later this evening.

Best wishes,
The Inspire UK team

some photos of safari:

Thoughts from the teaching staff - 'what a difference a Silcoatianmakes'

What a difference a silcoatian makes! We have exceeded everything that we aimed to acheive- a hardship garden triple its size, full of banana trees, onions, cassava, papaya plaants and vertical gardens. A brand new library including floor, plastering, painting and decorating as well as moving in all the renovated furniture and books. A special needs classroom with a tv and DVD player, the gardens safely enclosed with barbed wire and 3 brand new ovens built and ready to use. 
As teachers we are immensely proud of our students who have thrown themselves into these projects heart and soul. It hasn't been easy- we have slept on thin pellets on classroom floors, 10 in the girls, 8 in the boys. We have been woken up every school morning by children arriving at 6 am, eager to talk or play with us. We shared two squat toilets with the teachers (no basins or Norris or flush). Our showers were 6 jugs of water in a washing up bowl- many of the us felt we were getting a tan until we eventually had a proper shower and found it was just ingrained red dirt. As well as doing our building and gardening work we have had to do jobs throughout the day- filling the water buckets was a long and constant job carrying smaller buckets from the tap or the well; cooking the evening meal for everyone (no pressure there then!) Over a fire which we first had to build; cleaning the toilets; washing up in cold water for the whole team three tines a day; cleaning the dorms and organising evening entertainment for those who could actually manage to stay awake longer than 8.30 pm. We should also mention that night falls at 7 and we have no electricity in our rooms. Not to mention the heat- even the tanzanians are saying it is very hot for this time of year. Our students did all this with no complaints and with a positive and cheerful attitude.
Another challenge they faced were the bugs- the spiders (some quite large!), the beetles, the large white grass hoppers which managed to get everywhere, the huge hornets and the scorpions (the girls being braver than most of the boys). The food was also challenging at times- some of us never want to see rice and plain beans again. Our students have risen to every challenge and have all learnt new skills, some physical, some social. 
The work that silcoates students have done will make enormous difference to the educational experience of the pupils at Sinai school babati. The importance of our work was really brought home to us at our leaving ceremony from the school where the teachers had organised a real feast to which the education officer for the region was invited, a very important lady. Dina, the headteacher of the sinai, proudly showed the education officer all thaat we had acheived. This lady said that the school was an example for others and that pupils with special educational needs from the region would be able to be taught there from now on.
We couldn't have achieved all this without the support of everyone at silcoates school. Thank you for coming to events or for buying buns or for your contributions in whatever way. A huge thank you to inspire worldwide and jess and jack who have worked tirelessly to make sure that our trip has been safe and successful. Jess and jack have cheerfully guided us, kept spirits high when they were flagging (thank you so much for the chip butties half way through) and have always been there when someone needed medical assistance or someone to talk to, as well as being great fundis (builders).
Thanks also to julian, founder of the Livingstone Tanzania trust who has done so much of help schools in this area and educate people in a sustainable way. Yohana from the Livingstone Tanzania trust accompanied us and was a tireless worker and transalator. Grace came as a volunteer from LTT, leaving behind her 3 year old little girl to do so. She also deserves our thanks, in particular for teaching us all to wash out clothes so that the dirt actually came out!
Part of our night time routine is to listen to the blog and then jack reads our the messages from the folks back home- these have proven to be a boost for the whole team.
Every morning after breakfast and washing up and before work the site manager for the day would lead the while team, including the fundis and some pupils in stretches to help us limber up before a day of hard physical labour.
Students and staff have had very little time in which to so their own thing. Almost every waking moment has been accounted for with jobs and hard work.
We leave tanzania feeling sad to leave our new friends behind but safe in the knowledge that we have made a considerable difference. We have changed lives and our lives have also been changed. Thank you for your support
Anand, Jon, Dan and Sandra #proudtobesilcoatian 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


First of all, happy birthday for tomorrow to Ellis Hague and Toni Newell.

Today we left Sinai for safari, at Tarangire National Park. Immediately we saw lots of animals including; giraffes, lions, water buffaloes, lots of elephants and guinea fowl to tonmykins delight.

After we had lunch at the viewing point overlooking the National Park joined by monkeys who did anything they could to steal our food.

In the afternoon we continued with safari before heading off to the masai market. After some top class haggling and trading Daniel Hoyle and Jack Hague went home topless in return for a wooden giraffe.

The team arrived at the hotel to cold showers after Mr Mistry had used all the hot water and felt properly clean for the first time in days. A great day finished off by good food and an early night.

From Danny Boyle and Jack Hague

P.s. Harry, Lucy says yes!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Last day on site

Our last day on site!

The morning was very hectic, everyone in a rush to finish on time. Wé had painters painting, cloth hangers hanging cloth, librarians librarying (that is à Word because Jo says it is) gardeners gardening and people generally just running around in a rush.

In fairness, the team ran like a tight ship this morning to finish comfortably in time, including the mammoth job of moving all the pre sorted books and assotted furniture into the new library.

At around one we had a celebratory lunch with all of the teachers and fundis and the educational officer for babati, and we gave a grand tour of everything we had achieved over the last 10 days on site.

We then moved outside for the leaving ceremony  where songs were sung and speeches were made and we handed over our donations to the school, we also received gifts of brightly coloured fabric, some from the school and some from the ladies at the pig project earlier this week and some beaded necklaces, which we were later told were made out of dried beans to commemorate our week and a half of eating a staple diet of rice and beans.

After some tearful good byes to the kids we quickly showered and packed fir our early morning start and tomorrow before leaving for yet another surprise.

We were led a short distance up the road to a lodge, where we had tea: chicken, chips and salad (something which everyone was immensely grateful for and a few very heated games of mafia.

All in all we have had a very busy and emotional day, all of us sad to leave Sinai, but simultaneously happy to be one sleep closer to coming home.

With love, the Tanzania team

P.s. if in possession of a dog, there have been requests to bring them on Friday (there has also been a request to buy a dog and bring it on Friday as well). And everyone would appreciate mobiles...

Also Lucy says 'harry is there anything planned friday'

Jo wants to ask her mum if rachael has a link to this blog. It would mean a lot to hear from her before we come home

Jo and Beth

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Dream Team

Just one more morning of work to go. None of us can actually believe that its finally come to an end.

Today we had our usual 6 30 wake up call for the last full day on site. We had a lot to do involving a variety of tasks.

Jo, Beth and Danny Carr completed the orgnisiation of the school books ready for the new library. The garden is now almost complete with only a couple of vertical gardens left to be constructed. The garden has been a project in itself with original plan of a small extension turning into a garden three times the size of the original size. This includes 2 walls, new fencing numerous banana trees. Today they contoured the land to divert rainfall.

A group of painters had the task of sanding and painting the whole building inside and out. The team was on the way to completion until several fubdis accidently spilt paint on our fabolous work, leaving us with an extra task to complete for tomorrow.

Today the team had to sadly day goodbye to our project manager Jason who described the group as a dream team, for completing a 2 month task in 9 days. We are all excited to see the children's and teachers reactions tomorrow, after our final push on site.

Can't wait to see you all, lots of love georgie, Lucy, charlotte and Danny h

P.s. please charge all mobile phones and bring to silcoates 9 am Friday, and prepare for some African attire

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday Funday!

We got a lie in today! Some of us opted for an early morning shower but most chose extra sleep. Church began at 10, and was certainly an experience. Highlights included our own performances of "amazing grace" and "o when the saints", Jo's prayer and the part where many of the congregation shouted different prayers over each other in Swahili. We were all a little intimidated! The overall group reaction was akin to that for marmite, enjoyment or confusion, but no one remained indifferent. Lunch was our final serving of infamous, "rice and beans", much to everyone's relief.

Afternoon's work was transforming the library. We finished the barbed wire fence and almost completed the wall around the garden. Jemma and Becca planted 9 papaya trees. Work on the classroom was messy and Ellie managed to break a paint machine. All in all a busy day left us all set up for our final full day on site tomorrow.

Jo and charlotte

P.S. workers of the day were Becca and Charlotte, wally of the day was Ellie

P.p.s. we're now two lots of strictly results behind, will someone please share

Beth sorting the library

Mixing cement

Fixing the fence

 Clean team ready for church!


Working hard

Jo saying a prayer in church

This is what merited wally of the day!

Dan and his banana tree